I'm in the Baltimore airport waiting for my next flight back to Austin.
The Southwest Airlines counter is donned in plastic green garland with wrinkled red ribbon and a bad arrangement of "let it snow" is playing on the airport intercom occasionally interrupted by a Siri sort of voice telling us to report suspicious activity to officials when ever you see something creepy.
I was up north visiting my family before the holidays. My mom who just turned 99 still lives in the same house where I grew up in north Buffalo. Even though her home is beautiful I felt a melancholy being there as things are of course quite different now.
My children are adults starting traditions of their own, my father and sister Shay have passed away and my once vibrant mother who would create memories of candle lit dining room tables decorated with fragrant pine and set with grandmothers silver is now the one we take care of...now we set the tables and light the candles...and rightly so.
Her house was dark when I arrived and desperately needed the warmth of company and light.
My heart kept flipping between a sense of joy that she was still with us...this amazing smart beautiful woman, to a nostalgic sadness knowing nothing can ever be as it was in those years of holiday's past. Happy no school feelings, baking smells, singing and dads violin, constant company, the warm crackling of vinyl playing Ella, Nat King Cole and George Shearing, sitting on the radiator watching falling fat flake sparkling silent snow around lamp post light in blue cold night evenings from out our front window.
On my week of visiting I found myself searching for a moment...anyone of those memory moments...to grab even just a glimmer of and drink it up.
Waiting at my gate to return to my life in Austin I got a call from my son and his wife.
They both sounded excited and happy as they shared their news with me...I was so touched by the sound of their exuberance and I was reminded of the cycle that is this life we all live.
Things move and shift and change and I can't really recover the little jewels from my past but I can find new gems moving forward...and how lucky am I to have those memories. Life is an interesting and wonderful journey and my life has been an incredibly fortunate one. Not so for many. I am filled with gratitude.
Happy holidays and may the new year be one of good health, inspiration, happiness, creativity, and time spent with the people you love...and in the bigger picture I hope that this year will bring a greater awareness of inclusiveness, an understanding and practice of true equality, magnanimity, care for this fragile beautiful planet, less divisiveness, more compassion, more honesty, empathy and kindness. Wouldn't that be nice?
To my Texas fans, see you at JEN in Dallas Jan. 3,4 & 5 and The Suzi Stern Quintet will be at the Elephant Room in Austin Jan. 18th. Come by and say "hello". I would love to see you.
Happy New Year and much love,
Just this 1/4 inch dusting of the frozen white stuff got everyone in town excited and school was cancelled...somewhat amusing to a Buffalonian!
It was magical...I got out a bit too late with my camera because much of it had melted already.
I felt like the snow was a gift...one of those wonderful memories I got to grab a taste of for a few hours.
The grand Dame herself...lovely at any age.