Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sold On Solo

The wipers don't work and the horn don't blow,
But there ain't nothin' wrong with the radio.

Aaron Tippin

Years ago I became accustomed to the fact that I would probably be spending the holidays alone. I was out of town working, or in transit, or filling a radio shift for an announcer who took a vacation day to be with his family.

In my youth the holidays were obligatory affairs. The coming together of a family that didn't particularly want to be together. Those who drank got drunk. The others either gossiped or fought with each other about something. The children, myself included, were bored, It perked up one year when my brother's kids were youngsters, But that was only once.

Frankly I was glad not to have to be a part of the so-called festivities. I was more content to be by myself. And so it has been most of my life.

There were exceptions. A couple of years ago I spent Christmas with a four star family of friends in Vermont. And several years ago I spent a few days with another family in California that turned unfriendly. Earlier this week I went to the local artists organization Christmas party and met some very nice people. But on the days of celebration I am usually alone.

I don't have plenty, no big Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, But I have enough. Sometimes not quite enough, but I make do with what I have. I don't have all the music I want or all the literature but what I have enables me to journey to great places where the joy of meeting and discovering new ideas happens. I can tuck myself into a corner of my small apartment, with a single lamp shining across my desk, a fresh cup of coffee and an open book. I am instantly with a friend, celebrating. It's a cozy way to spend New Years Eve or any other eve.

Some would say "But don't you miss the company of other people?" Of course I do. But I'm in the company of great thinkers and artists with the stimulating and inspiring conversations it brings me. And these friends never turn their backs on me. They may not always agree with each other, particularly about complex philosophical issues, but they are gracious and intelligent about it, They're my real family and I love them.

There's north country lore which says you can tell how much snow there's going to be in the winter by seeing how high the spiders are instinctively building their webs to prepare for it. I'm no spider (I am not!) but even before I knew what the weather forecast was I had the strong feeling I should stock up. So yesterday I went to the market and came back with enough groceries to take me into next week. Now I learn that beginning today we are going to have a major storm, the worst storm in 100 years according to the overly dramatic local meteorologists. Instinct is a wonderful thing.



Beth said...

I'm glad you stocked up a little. I thought about you when I heard that the East coast was getting a big storm, and they specifically mentioned Philadelphia. Stay safe and warm, my friend!

Rose said...

Stay safe my freind. Yes, I heard on the News some states were getting up to 28 inches of snow.

Glad you stocked up.

Hugs, Rose

miss alaineus said...

in my experience the more i have to do with my real family over the holidays is directly proportional to how much stress i will experience. t. and i plan on not celebrating other than driving out to his parents for the fam. stuff they do.

we also did not focus on the party aspects of christmas at work, hard to celebrate anything in a city with a 50% unemployment rate.

take care of yourself and stay warm!


Linda's World said...

While it true you may be alone physically, you know you have many, many on line friends who are out there and thinking about you. If you lived closer, you'd for sure be invited to my family Christmas dinner this afternoon. Linda in WA

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

So glad you got out to stock up. Stay in and when you do go out, make sure the sidewalks are passable.

Gerry said...

I have often thought about the huge difference a childhood spent with books as well as friends and activities makes, because your mind is expanding too. A book reader's mind is going to be constant in growth and expansion because once that habit is well established it is usually with that person for a lifetime. My sister Ann, a great reader, still have a most nimble mind and a tolerance for ideas and a quckness of response that amazes everyone. She is a swimmer and hiker, too, and has always had time for family and friends. Except for a Christmas day dinner my holidays will be spent with my good friends, the book writers. I got a book gift two days ago I could not wrench out of the box, so had to wait until I could catch the mailman. It was a lovely gift, too and will keep me preoccupied a number of hours. Raymond said not to send books because his box was small! I will keep two choice ones for him to pick up.

Anne said...

Just arrived in Az to spend my tine until the late spring. It's yet another time to tell you that "I adore you" I hope you don't get tired of hearing it. I am only a click away my friend. Anne