Octfloofberfest

Octfloofberfest (floofinition) – 1. Annual observance, usually held in October, to celebrate animals, especially housepets. 2. Any celebration done in recognition of, or association with, eight animals.

In use: “After adding a rescue Pittie and introducing her to the rest of the floofmagerie, they held an Octfloofberfest in honor of their eight pets. Treats for everyone!”

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Conundrum

There it is, the bolt informing you that, holy shit, it’s almost December. December begins this Saturday. 

If you’re like me — and I hope you’re not — you’re agog with amazement that November is almost empty. Hell, 2018 has almost spent its calendar, and here I am, still dragging myself forward.

But, you know, take the positive, I am moving forward. It doesn’t go as fast or smoothly as desired, dreamed, or hoped for, but I keep creeping forward.

What will the end of November mean? Well, in some ways, it means a re-assessment. It means, for me, an agnostic in America, enduring the holidays, which sometimes means enjoying myself, respecting others’ beliefs and traditions, and otherwise, doing what I do, except there’s more food and music.

Likewise, the end of the year means some searching, but I search almost every day, looking for truth, hope, justice, luck, love, something to eat, answers for puzzling questions, etc. So, really, nothing, but because of where I live and who I am, everything.

Yes, it’s a conundrum. It’s a good word, conundrum.

In Green

I’m wearing green today, homage to St. Patrick’s Day in America.

I don’t celebrate holidays much, and celebrate them less as I age. I don’t look forward to them much. Putting out decorations rarely occurs to me.

After thinking about it, I’ve realized that I little associate with the external world. Events are remote. I live by and enjoy the internal worlds created as I imagine and write. It’s a problem, and it’s a benefit. The problem is that my wife is exasperated because I’m not all up about holidays like other people. The benefit is that I feel like I’m successfully writing, and that makes me happy. Like most things in life, the value is on a sliding spectrum, and changes often.

I suppose I could change it, or try, since I’m now aware, but I’m not inclined to do that – for now.

Baby Steps

If she could just make it through this meeting, she could make it through the morning. Then she’d just need to make it through the afternoon and the drive home. Then, she just had to make it through the party tonight, and the family dinner tomorrow, and the celebrations the day after that. If she could just make it through all those things, she could make it to the end of the week, and get some time for herself.

But first, she had to make it through this meeting.

Holiday

Betrayed by the calendar and swept up by traditions and norms, he ended up on a holiday. Religious holidays dominate the world, he ruminated. In America, there are usually Federal holidays. Most of them are “Monday” holidays. Then, they are banker holidays. They’re rarity in America in this century. The bankers take a holiday when the Federal government goes on break.

This was different from all those. This was a writer’s holiday. Writers rarely take a holiday. Indeed, although he never sat and put words into anything, they kept pouring into his mind, unaware of what a holiday is supposed to be. He couldn’t help but to keep writing in his mind, spinning the story and holding onto it until he could get back to a keyboard.

Winter Solstice

Don’t know about you guys, but we’re excited in our household. Tomorrow is winter solstice for those of us living north of the equator. It’s something we celebrate in our household, we like the idea of welcoming the sun back, and the longer periods of daylight that are to come, but it’s also a meditative experience. My wife and I generally observe it privately, practicing habits and traditions discovered while attending other winter solstice celebrations. Stole them, you could say. You could say that, but I never would.

My wife mentioned our practices to others, which generated some excitement. People urged her to host a Winter Solstice dinner at our house. She, after debate and thought, capitulated. A few friends are coming over. It’s a potluck sort of affair. We’re serving some cheeses, breads, crackers and fruit as appetizers. Others will bring additional fare. My wife is making several soups, which will be served with more bread. It looks like her lentil soup and cheesy tortellini soup is on the menu. Wine will be available, along with spiced apple cider, with a shot of brandy in it, if you desire. Dessert is a bûche de Noël, purchased at a local store. I hope it lives up to its appearance, because it looks delicious.

Afterward, we’ll write wishes and hopes on small slips of paper, and colorful ribbons will be used to tie them to the Yule log. Then we’ll go to the fire pit in the backyard, set the Yule log with our wishes and hopes on fire, and reflect on life as we watch the log burn. Maybe we’ll sing “Stonehenge,” by Spinal Tap.

The weather often adds interest. Some years, it’s snowed on us as we’ve lit our log. Other years, gusting winds worried us. Tomorrow is forecast to be about twenty-eight F when we’re out there lighting the log, but rain and snow are not expected.

Should be a good time. Hope you have a good one, too. Happy winter solstice!

Doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?

The August Holiday

The best thing about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the December holiday triumvirate in America is that they make it difficult for November and December to sneak up on us. It’s hard to be unaware of the calendar with all that commercial preparation – advertising, music, and sales, repeatedly presented at high volume – taking place.

That’s the trouble with August in America: no real holiday to mark the calendar. Sure, we have Labor Day at September’s beginning, but it’s one of those nebulous Federal Monday holidays. People often ask each other, “When is Labor Day this year?”, meaning, what day does Labor Day fall on? Then you hit that long stretch from there until Halloween. Days skim by on such untroubled water. Suddenly September has turned to October, and you’re playing catch-up with time.

It’s a game that’s hard to win.

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