My amazing week didn’t start on a Sunday or a Monday, but on Wednesday of last week.
On Wednesday, I was lucky to have a happy hour with my three favorite nurses from Ted’s time in the hospital. They are young, vivacious, funny as heck, and have more stories than I do. The same ones that I have gone to previous lunches with, skied with, had up here and paddle boarded on Evergreen Lake with, and maybe a few other drinks here and there in between. One is married to a young man who lost his wife and so she and I can discuss spousal grief from different perspectives, which has been good. They all seem to go through life, travels, and dating for the two, with great smiles and open hearts. I cannot even convey how lucky I feel to still be included in their lives.
On Thursday, I met up with my old work team for dinner and drinks. I had been into the office for the first time in six months just a few days prior to give and get some long overdue hugs. I hadn’t wanted to go in for fear of getting sucked back into the work vortex. Dinner out with the team was fun and good to hear all of their current customer service horror stories and get updates on their lives and families. It was nice to be missed but also nice to know that they were doing just fine without me and there isn’t pressure to return.
Friday was a Mom’s night inclusive of the husbands since we were celebrating Christmas and one of our member’s recent decision to retire. It is both interesting and wonderful that there are more of us out of the work grind right now than in it – even as some of us are not of retirement age yet. As is always the case with a Mom’s night, the food was wonderful, the drinks were plenty and the laughter was loud and plentiful. It’s been over twenty years that we have been getting together and each year just seems to add another richness to the pot of stories, life events and times shared together.
On Saturday, a small group of friends gathered over at the neighbors for their famous Feuerzangenbowle – Flaming wine. It is a Christmas spectacle that we have shared together since they moved into Barbara’s house several years ago. We missed last year, so it was good to be back to sharing that once more. Again, the food was divine, the seasoned and fortified wine was amazing and the company was the kind that fills one’s heart with love and good memories.
Sunday. Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t start Sunday out with the BEST WORLD CUP SOCCER GAME EVER!!!. Yeah, yeah, I haven’t actually watched more than a handful of world cup soccer games to compare with, but I can recognize excellence, nail-biting drama, leads, comebacks, overtime, and penalty kicks for the win. Messi and Mbappe lived up to their hype and then some. I was nervous even though neither were my teams. If you didn’t get to watch it, well, you missed one great game. I didn’t have any skin in the game, but I did make homemade empanadas that I took to Saturday night’s gathering and more for Sunday’s brunch with the Adams gals in support of Argentina and Messi to get a cup.
I met up with my Adams gals for brunch and for our art project of painting Christmas bulbs to commemorate 2022 and sending some of Ted up in fireworks at the July 4th memorial in Ohio. I have now known four generations of the Adams family. Gen 2 is my age and so I have known gen 3 and 4 since their births. Creative, artsy, beautiful, sarcastic, and fun, we have traveled together, hung out, and they, like the other groups this week, make me feel so lucky to be a part of them. We ate the empanadas in showing support for Argentina and also French onion soup in support of the French team and then settled into painting. Feeling that I have absolutely no talent when standing next to any of them, I contently watched and provided backup when I could. They gently kept nudging me to pick up a bulb and paint one myself and so I finally did. I mimicked some of what they had done on theirs and pleaded that they could at least do like the gal at the local pottery painting business does and go back over it after my final attempt and polish it up a bit so that when all is said and dried, it looks better than it was. To say I came home with priceless memories and keepsakes in the form of hand-painted ornaments to commemorate Ted would be an understatement. (I’ll take some photos after I’ve given the boys theirs so as to not ruin their surprise)
Sunday night was then over to our friends whom we have been doing dinner and a TV show on Sunday nights for years (except for when Ted was in hospital, vacations, or other previously scheduled events). More good food and good times.
Monday began with some true luck. I sometimes awake before I want to get out of bed, so I might skim the news, do the Wordle and maybe the mini crossword or spelling bee and then once tired, slip back into a nice snooze. I should say that when I do wordle, I am not one of the people who put in the same word every time. I tend to put in the first five letter word that comes to mind. Yesterday, was a bit of a miracle as I watched each letter turn green in succession on the first attempt. Not sure if the word came as one that has the good grouping of letters to use, or if I was thinking of this new slate that my world is being drawn upon.
One could say that the day couldn’t get any better than that, but it did. I had an appointment at the blood donation facility in Denver to give what they call is a Double Red donation. Since I have O- blood type, they like my blood in any shape or form, but a year or so back, I was asked to give a double red at one of the local community drives. It wasn’t an issue and I had the extra time to do it this time (they take the blood out, put the plasma back in, blood out, plasma back, etc. until they have all the red blood cells and none of the filler and it can take 1.5 hours to complete). Anyway, as I was being checked in, the gal had me step on the scale to check my weight as there are height and weight parameters to meet when donating double reds. I cringed at the scale. A year of emotional eating plus this past week of food with so many gatherings made seeing the number on the scale undeniably horrid to see. I sat down while she took my blood pressure and hemoglobin level. She finished those and consulted a chart and stated: “honey, I’m afraid to say that you don’t weigh enough today”. I busted out so loud in a ruckus laughter as no one in my entire life has ever said that I didn’t weigh enough for anything and especially as I was currently feeling as big as a cow. She laughed and said that she could write me a note to show all of my friends that I don’t weigh enough if I wanted. I have visions of me holding the note under my buffet plate on Christmas Eve and pulling it out and flashing it to anyone giving me a side look at taking some of everything onto my plate. It turns out that giving double reds at the facility has different weight/height requirements than when doing so at a mobile drive. She said that they would still gladly take my whole blood donation. We went on to laugh about quite a few things and when we finally emerged, it was like we were the circus that had just come to town as all eyes were upon us with questions of what had just happened behind the closed door of the side show we must have been to them.
Today is the last day of this incredible week, so I wonder what will fill my heart and make me laugh today.
Have a Merry Christmas week!