Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee this weekend, 17 December, I would say life has been very festive indeed since we last met. I am very pleased to see that Electric Alli has revived the tradition of sharing a beverage and some personal news each weekend. This open invitation to stop, linger, chat, and share digital drinks is the perfect spot for a holiday party. Do drop in for some fun. Read what is new with the group, or share your own post here. The movable feast is on the move once more. Please join us.
I have a fire in the wood stove today to take a mild chill off the house. We have not really experienced any winter here yet, which is confusing all the plants. Although I sold the property with my big citrus trees I still have a large Lisbon lemon and a small Meyer lemon at my condo. Like many other trees in Tucson they bloomed several times last year, and then dropped all the fruit because the weather has been so bizarre. I am hoping this year will be better, but so far it is ridiculously warm. Please relax and let me make you one of my holiday teas. I have gone wild ordering flavored teas for the season, so I probably have exactly what you like. I can brew some coffee if that is what suits you.
I would tell you our lives have been super festive and bright since I sold my real estate and downsized to fit our belongings into our condo. It is a relief to be free of the tax burden and all the extra junk I had stored in the barn. I have gone a a little shopping spree to celebrate, acquiring upgrades for the home. Yesterday I had to buy a new garage door opening system, but I feel fine about it because I had the money to pay for it, and it will last for the rest of my life.
Our company had a holiday party this week. Since it was a workday Bob was too tired to attend. I was pleased that my neighbor Heidi was available to go at the last minute. The party was in a super location above the city, with a view of the lights. Food and drinks flowed lavishly, and every guest got a gift. We all had a great time, including Heidi. This happy situation was followed up by a generous bonus for every employee on Friday. The mood at work has been very festive. We are all having very happy holidays.
We began our holiday party by attending the Fiesta de Tumacacori on the first weekend of the month. It was wonderful. I love the mission and the natural setting next to the river. We stayed at a cool air bnb, and attended the gallery openings in Tubac for luminary nights, then enjoyed two days of street food and Mexican folkloric dancing, cum National Park Service, cum Catholic church. It was everything I hoped for and so much more. I think I will need to go every year in the future.
The next weekend we attended a magic show at the Scottish Rite temple downtown Tucson. Both the show and the amazing historic building were great to see. Outdoors after the show we enjoyed bands and food trucks set up for the Second Saturday downtown. The nights are still very warm, and downtown is decorated for the season, so we went back down last night for the Holiday Parade of Lights. It was pretty corny, but lots of fun. We discovered a new restaurant we love and enjoyed a great dinner while the parade finished and the crowd dispersed. It was another excellent trip to downtown for fun. We have been living it up without any regrets lately. I hope your season is turning out as well as ours.
I have not been writing as much as I would like. Starting tomorrow my work schedule will change. I hope it will restore my previous diligent writing practice. At least I know I will write a post each weekend to keep up with this talented and diverse group of writers. Happy holidays! Thanks for stopping by.
I am a hedonist. This archetype is a prominent part of my persona. I don’t mind being considered to be a Sybarite. I think I might inspire some people to experiment with allowing a little bit more pleasure into life when they see it does not seem to do me any harm. Art, taste, harmony of elements are all of great importance to me. Often it is much better for me to go to a museum alone because I normally want to stay at least twice as long as most others. I also adore very long, lingering dining experiences that are memorable because of the good company and good cheer. My good friend and fellow hedonist Eric Ellenberg and I once went to the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center for lunch (long before 9-11). The food and the view were grand. We stayed for hours and I remember it vividly. I have always been happy we went because now we could not if we tried. Most full on pleasurable experiences can’t be repeated. The synchronicity of the moment and all its glory comprise the ecstasy we feel, but that does not mean we should not plan and create pleasurable times. Authenticity is the main ingredient of truly memorable fun times. Holiday excess and obligation often conflict with inner peace and joy. Here are some ways to be festive without breaking the bank or cramming the schedule full of stressful events:
This season many Americans go into deeper debt. From now until next year we will be bombarded with advertising designed to drive the economy. This year you can avoid buyer’s remorse and debt by lighting your own way through the cold winter’s night. Be particular instead of excessive. Use discernment to create gifts and experiences that show how much you appreciate individual taste. I wish all the Gentle Readers good health and financial freedom this winter. Stay solvent, my friends. It is much more festive in the long run.
Space and time are the first two elements of fine festivity. A party, gentle reader, must have room to breathe and become what it wants to be. One can always have impeccable timing if one takes time to consider the elements and the goals. My party in Providence, RI is to celebrate with the living and the dead. I will visit some of my ancestors who lived there in the early 1600’s and discover people who live there now. For me , this is an excellent balance. I like both groups equally.
The city contains historic buildings and museums that will please me a great deal, but I have also perceived some excellent night life and party opportunities downtown. I will visit Plymouth Colony, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Wampanoag village before returning to Providence to party. I will probably need a day to myself in the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, after which I believe I will feel like painting Rhode Island red (a little rooster humor). I love nothing better than historic architecture put to modern artful uses. I am highly attracted to the whole state because it is so tiny and well preserved. It appears to have fabulous taste and a high fun factor, not to mention a history of wealth and power. I am looking forward to discovering what Providence has in store for me.
My friend Steffi Burger is one of my German teachers. She was actually born in Germany but will soon join the Swiss club, the most exclusive and hard to join club in the world. She has lived there for about 20 years I think, and fully knows Switzadootch. She will never be able to speak like a real Swiss because she uses German as it was learned in Stuttgart, and will not be able to hide that ever.I am in a category of Swiss speaking much worse than Steffi. I do not speak or read hochdeutch, based on my theory that it has nothing to do with the language and culture of Switzerland. I have tried to learn this very funny and dialectic local code by absorbing it. Results vary. Sometimes I can read stuff and discover the meaning, and others I am totally off course when I read. They capitalize all nouns, which I joke about and have never found to be all that helpful. This is why….the noun is likely to be an entire paragraph. They just love to combine words in their language. I often really like them just for the way they sound. My new favorite word in German is weltuntergang. It is giving me flashbacks to the very first things I learned to say. My friend Beth and I learned a phrase from Ursula of Berlin, the most fashionable woman we had ever met. She taught us to say, ” Let’s be friends. The world is a village.”( Luts uns freude sein. die welt ist ein dorf ) It was my only full concept so I used it in response to everything and everyone. I knew some nouns and the verbs to ice skate and to ride a bicycle. But if the nouns I knew neither ice skated nor had a bicycle I had no way to make any coherent sense with my vocabulary. Welt, or world was in my initial lesson. Now the welt is going under in a single word. Wow, so much as happened, but one thing that has not happened is my magical acquisition of German or Swiss languages by osmosis.
I asked Steffi about parties in Langweiss or Zurich to celebrate the end of the world. She said this had not caught on as a festivity. It is sometimes hard to explain humor when the cultural background is missing. It is complicated to tell someone that the end of the world pot luck party you are excited to attend is to mock the people who are actually afraid of the end of the world. Gives new meaning to you had to be there. I spent the summer of the World Cup partying with the Swiss when the event was in held Germany. I could never convey to an American how the Euros feel about soccer. You truly have to be there to see what they do. Same with Fastnacht, it is inexplicable to people outside the culture. There are intense reasons to celebrate that are generational and not yours if you are born elsewhere. So the Swiss really do Advent, and appear to be skipping the idea of weltuntergang celebrations. I hope the world will not end before I get the chance to go back to Switzerland to party Swiss style. Stay neutral, my friends.