Writer’s warning: I'm going to use the word Christmas regularly throughout this post. If you are actually offended by the word Christmas, feeling it’s not inclusive, then don’t read any further. I will not make any apologies for using it, especially since it applies to my mom.
On August 8, 2017, my mom died. I posted her wedding picture and shared my feelings in an Instagram post that morning, but this is the first time I’ve taken pen to paper, or more accurately, fingers to keyboard, to pen any further thoughts.
I’m still not entirely sure of what I will say, but I feel I need to say something. So if this sounds more stream of consciousness than rational thought, you’ll know why. Four weeks later, life finally feels like it’s coming back to some degree of normal. When it’s fully back to normal is anyone’s guess.
When I got the news of mom's death, I took four days away from the office, and was back to work the following Monday. That was a huge mistake. We’re under a tight deadline, but my productivity was awful, my heart just wasn’t in it. And while it’s understandable, I have a co-worker that might point out my lack of productivity (despite the circumstances). I digress, that’s for another post altogether.
Today, I finally went through a treasure of mom’s – her sewing kit. Nothing fancy, just a little brown case, with a taped handle, and her name on it.
I have Halloween ornaments hanging above my kitchen sink. I have a lamp with bats on it in my bedroom. And a shower curtain with images of cats, witches, pumpkins and ghosts.
The one thing lacking was a string of lights, maybe ghosts or bats, or some such thing. I searched on eBay, but saw nothing that grabbed my attention. I saved the search, as I was sure I’d eventually find something I’d like.
About two weeks ago, I looked through this saved search and saw a string of 10 pumpkin lights. The picture above is from the eBay posting. I clicked on the link and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I bought the exact string of lights 25 years ago, in 1991. Unfortunately, mine were so damaged from when I had my furniture in storage that I had to throw them out.
Now it may sound crazy, but seeing the lights took me back 25 years. It was my first quarter returning to college full-time. I was working two, sometimes three, part-time jobs. I didn’t bother making a Halloween costume as I didn’t have to time to make one, nor free time to go out and wear it. While I didn’t go out to celebrate, I did buy some wonderful pumpkin lights to decorate my apartment, a string of 10 plump pumpkins, each with a big jack o’lantern smile.
On Halloween night in 1991, I went straight home after work to hit the books. It was snowing on the way home. Unusual, but not unlikely, for late October. But this snow was sticking to the ground – and accumulating fast.
The snow fell throughout the night, cutting short the trick or treaters’ candy haul. The next morning, the city was covered in snow and the stuff was still coming down. Classes were cancelled, some businesses even closed for the day.
Once it was all said and finally done, 28 inches of snow was on the ground and the snowstorm was dubbed the Halloween blizzard.
So, back to the eBay posting. The lights were only $10 and I clicked Buy It Now. They arrived just a few days later and were absolutely perfect. Not a ding, not a blemish – they looked brand new. The box was a tad scuffed, but still intact. There was one tiny snag – they don’t light! I plugged them into four different outlets and nothing. Oh well. I strung them in front of my balcony blinds and they’re perfect.
I really don’t care if they don’t work – those plump pumpkin lights made me smile and love Halloween all over again. Oh, in case you’re wondering, there’s no snow in the forecast for tonight.
And if you really want to understand the influence this television franchise has had, just look at some of the gadgets we use today, from cell phones to hypospray (yes, hypospray.)
While I usually write new stuff with each blog, today I’m reposting one from July 24, 2016 called Boldly Going. If you guessed it was about Star Trek, well, you’re right. It encapsulates why I love the show and why I think it’s even more relevant today.
Happy anniversary Star Trek - continue to live long and prosper, and continue to share your positive message of hope with future generations to come.
I’ve dressed as a vampire the last several years, but this year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series airing, I’m going as a Starfleet captain. My uniform will be from the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I ordered a pattern and got it just last week, with every intention of buying fabric to start work on it right away, but, alas, I hit a snag.
In the last year and a half, I’ve purchased almost all fabric from Hancock Fabrics. They had a great selection of fabric, and some pretty sweet coupons as well. Earlier this year, several HF stores closed here in the metro (the company filed for bankruptcy), but three remained open.
I drove to one of the stores last week and when I got there, the window displays were gone, the store was empty. I pulled up their website and it says “coming soon” on the home page. How soon is coming soon? Will it be an online store? While I have in the past, I don’t like buying fabric online.
We do have two other fabric stores: Jo-Ann Fabrics and SR Harris Fabric Outlet. Jo-Ann’s has a nice selection of fabric, but it’s more of a craft store. SR Harris is an outlet with floor to ceiling bolts of fabric, and it can be overwhelming.
In my opinion, two options isn’t a lot of choice.
I do hope is Hancock Fabrics comes back in some incarnation, but, if not, I’ll be shopping for an online store.
I sent an e-mail to someone asking for suggestions on where I can volunteer my time, or get additional experience. I’ve been looking myself, but I might be looking in the wrong direction. A little help is always a good thing.
If you think I’ve been slacking on blog writing alone, you’d be very, very wrong. I haven’t even started on a new Halloween costume yet. Horrors!
When it comes to Halloween, I’ll have a costume idea in mind as early as January and start sewing in early July. Yet, here it is, the end of August and I’ve only got the pattern ordered. Ordered! I am so behind. Usually, I go as a vampire, but in honor of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, I’m making a Next Generation Star Fleet captain’s uniform. My tag line will be coffee, French roast, with cream. (I’m not a tea drinker.)
I digress, but Halloween is the best holiday ever and I had to miss it last year. Boo.
Oh, and one other thing. I had a run in with heat exhaustion that morphed straight into a cold. Yeah, summer colds are a blast, especially when it’s 90 degrees outside.
Today has been one of those rare quiet days at work – excuse me, while I knock on wood. I’ve actually been able to clean out my office space, specifically my files. I’ve needed to do this for months, but now, it feels like I’m preparing my desk for the next person who steps in this role.
There’s someone out there who loves (or at the very least, tolerates) being an administrative assistant, but I don’t anymore; I’ve done it too long. It’s provided some valuable experience and life lessons, but it’s time to move away from it. And I’m more than ready to move on.