First, I’ve been remembering a certain kind of sadness
and am discovering it is the sound of my furnace fan.
The cycle– it buzzes as the fire lights and then the fan blows,
finally just as you’ve adjusted to the the white noise, it cuts off
and slowly the chill in the room returns until . . . it buzzes again.
Just those sounds and the subtle temperature changes that accompany them trigger so many memories.
Christmases in this house. Recent winter’s past– most significantly this seasonal transition when I notice these sounds and feelings most.
Two years ago it was day after day of me sitting at the computer researching CATS costumes, threading tails, knitting —
friendless save for my family and the comfort of television and online personalities. In some ways I miss those days.
A year ago this season was full of people, most of whom I couldn’t trust, many of whom I have since “lost.”
And what will I remember next year? Limbo? Confusion? Work? Neglect? Grief?
Or grading papers, watching movies and eating the foods of my childhood?
My mama has been cooking.
Yesterday she made and brought me ham salad.
Today I went to their house for soup beans.
And she made me rice krispie treats so gooey you have to eat them with a spoon.
Just how I like them.
And as she was cooking I realized she is the sole bearer
now that grandma is gone
of all the family traditions, stories and recipes that I don’t already know.
My goal this Thanksgiving is to gain a few more of them for myself.
I have paid more attention than most where those things are concerned,
yet it doesn’t feel like enough.
And I suspect it never will.