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A Woman's Journal


All in a Day

By Maggie Turner

December 14, 1999

All in a Day

Heavy rain this morning has now been replaced by heavy snow. It is very windy and the temperature is still above freezing so the sidewalks and roads will be wet and very slippery. Not a good day to venture out for a walk. In fact, the weather is so bad that working out of doors is out of the question. Attila arrived home early, wet and chilled. He was soon soaking in a hot tub, followed by a nap. He has chicken soup simmering on the stove. How nice it is to be warm and well fed when the weather is extreme.

I awoke around four a.m. this morning and could not return to sleep. Several issues occupied my mind. "The Teenager" is making a series of poor life decisions that I seem powerless to influence; this does not prevent me from feeling deep concern. At this early hour I even find myself worrying about things like money and ice storms and Y2K. Some of the issues that consume me are important, some are trivial and none of them are subject to my influence. Periodically, it seems I must follow myself into these painful night vigils to hopeless causes.

Often, while I wander awake as the house sleeps, out will come the tarot cards. For an activity I deem as entertainment, a tarot reading always ends up being hard work. Gazing at the offered set of cards and contemplating their meanings, I often fall into a deep reverie. Issues long dead return, colored by more recent experience. Hours will pass unnoticed until suddenly I am weary, abandon the cards, crawl back into my warm bed and fall fast asleep.

Today I am dragging myself around, tired and a bit cranky. Luckily I have been alone most of the day, allowing me to come to terms with myself. It will be an early night tonight. Well, that is my plan but "The Teenager" may throw a wrench in the works.

The snow stopped this evening leaving behind a white carpet. How beautiful it is, looking out the front window. The low cloud cover and the reflecting snow make the sky bright. The Christmas lights on the houses across the street shine like beacons of good cheer. Tree branches are intricate white webs.

We are having a quiet evening listening to Christmas carols and puttering away at odd jobs. From time to time we take short breaks to fit a few pieces into the jigsaw puzzle. During the winter months there is usually a jigsaw puzzle on the go. I find that the quiet attention to color and shape induce a meditative state. It is the closest I can come to "clearing" my mind of all thoughts.

We have been blessed with an uneventful day. I am settling myself down in front of the television to watch the Christmas comedy "Trading Places" starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. I like this movie, it accentuates the absurdity and cruelty of the distribution of wealth. It is epitomized by the following dialog between two aging wealthy brothers, Randolph and Mortimer.

Randolph, "Mother always said you were greedy."
Mortimer, "She meant it as a compliment."

Each year at Christmas, I look forward to reading the same stories. "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is not only a pleasure to read, there are many movie versions of this story. I favor the 1951 English production starring Alistair Simm as Ebenezer Scrooge. Another story I enjoy is The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry (William Sidney Porter). The spirit of Christmas shines bright in these stories.


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