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12:49 p.m. - 2010-10-22
Pot Roast Life

"Good things! Get yer red hot good things right here! Good things!"

(This, if the cadence doesn't give it to you, should be read so you hear it in the sing-song chant of the baseball park hot dog vendor.)

Actually I don't know if they still have the wandering hot dog vendors at ballparks anymore. I haven't been to a game in years. Not much of a baseball fan and without THE Yankee Stadium any sentimental value I had toward taking my kid out to the ballgame is gone.

Anyhoodle, I said there's good things. No use getting mopey over the now forever gone House That Ruth Built. Besides, I'm sure if I went on eBay I could buy a chunk of the old stadium and add it to my collection of Pieces of History. Tuck it in with that hunk of the Berlin Wall, the neon tubing from the rooftop sign of Hometown Theatre, the stones from places I've been and from places more widely-traveled friends have brought back for me.

Okay, that was weird. Here I am in a little puddle of nostalgia and someone just drove by with 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' blasting from what had to be roof-mounted speakers, the song came in through my closed office windows that loudly and clearly.

Of course that song pre-dates me, it was a hit for The Platters in 1958 and I didn't get here until 1963, but it's part of my life's soundtrack. Mostly because it's part of the 'American Graffiti' soundtrack, something which is a piece of my own history. Movie and soundtrack both.

A new piece of history with a memorable soundtrack will be made this weekend, not mine but a friend's. Her elder daughter is getting married on Sunday. Right now my friend is as demented and joyful as only the Mother of the Bride can be and I'm thrilled for her. Not for being demented, but because of the joy. I've known my friend for almost a decade now and have followed her daughters' adventures as they grew to womanhood. Now R is getting married. To a really good man and her best friend. Does it get any better? No.

"A blessing on your head! Mazel tov, mazel tov! To see a daughter wed! Mazel tov, mazel tov! And such a son-in-law like no one ever saw…"

Speaking of children, I have a dinner and shopping date with Wolf tonight. Might be odd that our date is at Sam's Club and the dinner is that awful pizza from their cruddy snack bar, but it's our 'thing'. We'll talk and laugh and wander the aisles and dream shop a little while I put the necessaries in the cart. Wolf will point out the video games for his Wii that he'd like for Christmas and we'll pick out a cheap movie from the bargain bin to share tonight after we get home and stow the groceries. Hey, not every memory you make with your kid has to be at Disney World, you know?

Groceries. With the turn of the season it's cooking time again. Oh, I always manage to cobble together decent dinners for my family all year long, but the coziness of making rich savory dinners on these chilly days is irresistible and delicious. Though I certainly enjoy watching my guys put it away and their appreciative yummy noises and cleaned plates, this is the cooking I do for me. I get to strut my stuff, making use of every bit of thrift, experience and creativity to turn out budget-friendly dinners that taste and smell so good it's ridiculous to think they were done on the cheap.

A mindset Mick is slowly coming around to. My man does love to spoil me and has difficulty believing it makes me happier to spend the afternoon putting together a great dinner than to be treated out at a restaurant. Not every single day, I do like to go out sometimes, but honestly when the days draw down cold and early dark there's few places I'd rather be than my own kitchen. That I have the freedom to be here instead of behind a register or an order pad or (metaphorically) on my knees kissing customer and boss's ass, well, it IS a luxury. At least to me.

I'm really okay. I know my last few entries sounded more than a little frazzled and upset. Things have been a bit rough recently. Not from anyone's indifference or on purpose for the joy of being a jerk. It's mostly because being at peace has become my new normal and when things go fubar it throws me some. And really, considering that just bulling though and coping all the fricken time with mess and hurt and confusion used to be how I lived every single damn day and now I've gotten used to being happy, the occasional rocky place isn't the end of the world.

Good things? How about how the BEST thing is that I'm not afraid anymore? Afraid I don't deserve this. Afraid I'll be punished for it. Afraid to let my guard down and simply live without fear.

It's been a long time coming and in some ways I'm still learning how. But if my life lesson for my 47th year has been to learn how to be happy and well…I'm guessing I can do it.

Much love, ~LA

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