Entry #9: It's gotta rain sometime...


My family is preparing for the holidays. We're going to be having lots of relatives over and my mom wants everything to be special. I like that about her, the way she cares about all the details that makes someone's visit to our house something they remember in a positive way. Mom says that 's part of what she sees as her "mom" job... making positive memories for her kids and for the whole family. Nice.

I like this time of year. As I ride in the car with my mother on the way to some super market, the leaves of the trees are all yellow, some green. Some are even falling right in front of the car! I guess that's why they call it Fall. (Just a little joke. A very little joke)

We have relatives who live in the eastern part of the country, where it is very cold and the leaves that change colors on their trees have done it a long time ago. Being on the west coast, everything seem to happen at it's own slower more gentler pace. All the good things seem to get here quicker... like the way we get spring in early March (way before the eastern half of the country.) And here it is, officially almost winter, and is still looking like Fall. Back there Fall is just a memory and all they're left to look at out their windows are barren branches, wet black bark, fingers scratching at the sky.

Maybe that could be part of a poem... "... scratching at the door of eternity."

I think I'll stick it in the back of my mind and use it sometime.

Anyway, we're having these relatives come over and I'm looking forward to it. Thanksgiving and Christmas and all that holiday stuff has always been an okay time for me. I have a bunch of little cousins and they're cute. My brother likes having little kids around. He's good with them. It brings him out a little bit and makes him seem way more normal than usual.

I actually like food shopping. I also like helping out my mom in the kitchen. Hey I know it sounds weird for a guy to say that but deal with it. Besides, this is my journal, I can admit anything I want to here.

The shopping center is very crowded. It takes us about 10 minutes of circling around the parking lot just to find a place to park.

I like walking through the produce department, especially this time of year. It's really amazing the kind of things they have! The colors! The peppers... red and yellow. Purple peppers! I notice the more exotic the color the more they cost. Seems like a total rip off. I mean, I bet they don't even taste any different. But I guess if you're into purple peppers you've gotta be willing to pay more for them. The other thing I like about getting ready for the holiday, is that there so many last minute chores and things around the house that it takes my mind off of Becca.

I can use whatever excuse I can get to not think about her. In case you've been wondering, I haven't been in the best frame of mind since the dance. I know I know she said she just wanted to be friends, so what did I expect? But I can't the picture of her dancing with Derek out of my head.

On the way out of the store. I hear a sound and look up. A sea gull flies overhead. The sky is solid clouds. They say it's supposed to rain "..locally heavy at times." That's certainly the way I feel. But it's natural for the weather. That's what it does this time of year. I don't know that it's so natural for me to feel this way.

It's funny the way people in California (a place that doesn't have all that much in the way of weather to begin with) make such a huge deal about rain. I mean if you want to grow purple peppers and all the other stuff we're so used to, you've got to have rain sometime.

So we brought home all these groceries. A huge turkey and all the ingredients for stuffing. We also bought some pumpkins because my mom wants to make a few pumpkin pies and a couple of apple pies. And we got about 10 pounds of sweet potatoes. Every year she makes this dish with sweet potatoes and melted marshmallows on top. It's some kind of old family recipe. I have no idea which relative came up with it, but all I can say is: "Thank you, unknown ancestor! We are still enjoying your legacy!" My mother thinks when she serves the sweet potatoes she's giving us something nutritious. ("Yellow vegetables are very high in vitamin A" "What's Vitamin A good for, Mom?" "Uh... Night vision I think." "Very handy thing to have, if you're a bat. No, they're blind. Oh well.") But all we care about is the marshmallows!

Don't forget the cranberry sauce. Has to be made from scratch. She'll probably also bake some other stuff, besides the pies. Maybe bread or a few cakes. Don't want anyone to go away hungry (don't even want anyone to be able to stand up after the meal.) I guess we'll all just have to sleep right here, tonight, heads in our plates, because there's no way in hell we've got the strength to push this chair back far enough to be able to clear the table!

And if you tell her that maybe she's overdoing it a little, she just smiles and says, "Don't be ridiculous. Besides, we love leftovers!" (I don't know about you, but after a few days of turkey omelets, turkey salad and turkey soup, I've had it!) Yeah, my mom really gets into holiday cooking. She has told me that her mom, who died before I was born, was a great cook. And the best times she spent with her were in the kitchen. So even though my mom doesn't have any daughters, she's really glad that I kinda like this stuff. And I'm learning a lot too. Hey! We all have to eat, right? So, I think it's a good idea for a guy to know how to cook. I'm pretty good at it too.

We've got this great set of knives, if you keep them sharp, and you're careful (of course) you don't have to use a whole lot of pressure to chop up anything. Not onions, celery is a breeze. Tomatoes... man, it's like slicing through soft butter.

After I cooked with her for a while, things were in a holding mode. You know all the stuff that needed to be baking, boiling, simmering, was doing its thing she told me I could take a break. So I went upstairs and started working on this poem:





It embraces you

I embrace you

The bodies move

It's just a ritual

But some of us

Feel it

on a heart level.

Some of us

Want it

in a way that hurts.

Who gives out permission to fall in love?

I've got mine

But someone's withholding yours.

I looked out the window. God, those red trees across the street are incredible! Orange, crimson. There's even purple in some of them. Who says we don't have Fall in California? All right, so next door is this weird palm tree, but right here, right in front of me, there are leaves just as beautiful as anything I've seen on a calendar picture from New England.

I reread the poem and decided I had to talk to Becca. I called. It rang once. Then I freaked out and hung up!




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