It snowed outside today, big lazy flakes that came leisurely down, caught briefly in the street lights and then melted immediately upon hitting the ground. I am now drinking hot cocoa and listening to Mozart's Requiem in D Minor, the perfect accompaniment to my quiet and nostalgic Thanksgiving.
So many of the residents were out with family that we were able to fill only one half of the dining room for dinner and complete at least two thirds of the puzzle left temptingly out by the staff center. It is ostensibly for the residents, but several of us care managers are drawn to it and at any given time, one or more of us can be found bent over the scrubbed wooden table, frowning in concentration.
All evening long the residents trickled back in from dinner out with their families. They came bundled up, muffled with scarfs, their glasses at a funny angle from their hats. Stuffed to the gills, they hobbled their way to their rooms to fall into a deep and peaceful sleep, blessed by turkey and winter air.
Keith called me yesterday around six am. I was sunk so heavily into sleep that I could not move for a few moments, lay instead dizzily hearing the phone ring before I could heave myself over to grab it. I don't remember much of the conversation, I do remember I was not a lively participant in it.
I also remember that Keith said he will turn over his GI bill to me, to pay for me to go to school. This has had a most strange effect on me. I am realizing, slowly, that this means I will be able to go to college. In fact, I will be able to go to college and not worry about supporting myself, because Keith will not only be turning the bill over to me, but is also prepared to give up his dream of a boat to free up the finances for the children we both want as soon as generating them is humanly possible.
This is entirely his own idea. In fact, I promised him a boat, come pregnancy or high water, on his return from deployment. We even agreed on the price. I was actually kind of looking forward to a boat.
"No boat?" I asked faintly, when I heard this.
The other thing I am realizing is that I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and just thinking about it is hurting my head. The first thing I did think of, however, was a librarian. I confessed this leaning to my husband, which made him laugh, a laugh particularly deep and masculine.
It turns out that if I do become a librarian, I will give my husband the opportunity to live out one of his life long dreams, one otherwise not possible, now that he is a married man and all.
I researched being a librarian and it turns out that is much of what it means to be a librarian. Not only that, but I would need an MA in library science. I don't think I can be that committed, not while raising children.
I am thankful, however, to have a husband who has unwittingly given me a dream I never thought would ever be possible. Never mind that I'm tied up in knots thinking about practicality vs. passion (though ten to one my father, upon hearing this, would ask me why it had to be "either/or" and to consider the possibility that I might be having a "scarcity conversation." Ah, the lingo of life coaching!)
I leave you with a picture of the white Christmas tree, sans ornaments because it turns out the ornaments do not come with the hooks. What insane device is this, to sell them separately? Speaking from the ranks of the absentminded, I protest this unnecessary detail!
Sleep well, all you turkey dreaming elderly. I and my dogs will now take ourselves up to bed and dream of our Staff Sergeant; far, far away but always thinking of us.
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