|Cheers and Happy Holidays!|
Dix. Ten. Yes, it has been that many weeks already since starting the book The French Twist by Carol Cottrill. Seems just yesterday, and each week when I open the book up on a Friday afternoon to read before writing my blog post, I am always surprised at the perfect timing of the subject matter, and this week was no different. This weeks subject matter is timely for the holidays; Rhythms and Rituals. In this chapter so many topics that fall under this heading are touched upon. Carol shared her experience chatting with a tour guide in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit and the tour guide wondering what ever happened to the man who played a harmonica on a street corner where she caught the bus daily. She shared her own memories with the reader about her ritual with her Father when she was girl and the eating of Sweet Sixteen mini doughnuts with him weekly and the memories that held for her as well as her memories of her families tradition of her Mother making of a perfect red sauce and rigatoni and the eating of and how she carries that on to this day. Of course Carol also talks to others about their own experiences, including as she has in several chapters the "American In Paris" page and how to "Frenchify" our lives via the R&R's we practice. There are portions that cover diet , not a diet, but how we eat, tricks (Trucs ) we can try to use for weight loss and maintaining our weight. There is also the subject of beauty, and dressing as well.
This time of year rituals are very much a part of the holiday experience, some change over the years, and new ones created as life unfolds, others have a firm foothold and are looked forward to each and every year. Getting into a rhythm or keeping our normal rhythm of doing things are very important to keep our sanity. I myself try to just live life as always to not get stressed out by the holidays. That was not always the case, but as I have gotten older and my health not being what it once was it is important I keep to the normal rhythm of how I live my life, but as far as rituals go, that is always changing. I have tried over the years to create rituals, traditions surrounding this time of year and they just never seem to stick, so now I just let the holidays and what happens during them within our family unfold. I think the only one I have kept is decorating within the first weekend after Thanksgiving and the drinking of port in the evening *giggle* instead of regular wine. Without grandchildren and my own girls grown and family scattered about , so making the holiday very small in my family there has not seem much point beyond that. During the rest of the year, I am not much better.
I have always wanted to have rituals in all areas of my life, and try, but life just does not seem to have it in the cards. We do have one in our family, and that is Wednesday night Spaghetti with our middle daughter. We started that soon after her husbands untimely death as a way to force her to get out of the house, and come see us, and in many ways it is the same reason now nearly two years later. My husband and I have a ritual where on his days off, or at least on most of them, we go out to breakfast together, something that does not happen on the days he works as he is often already at work by the time I get up. When I was a girl I had many more rituals. I would help my Great Uncle Harold, my Father's Uncle, in the garden or in his workshop building little cedar boxes as gifts, and when we lunch time would come around we would go to his trailer on the family property and he would fix macaroni and cheese for us and we would share a small toast and jelly sandwich, really sharp cheddar cheese on saltines and finish up with a bowl of mint and chip ice cream. Sometimes I would be given a tiny glass of beer too. Just a sip. I looked forward to this ritual and to this day when I eat the same foods I fondly recall those times. As a teen a group or friends and myself would have hot chocolate and mini jelly filled doughnuts each day, and we always met up and chatted over the latest gossip before class, it was my favorite time of the day. One of the few rituals as an adult that I also share with my husband is a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate each evening while we watch tv and on Monday's we now have a pizza night, followed by fresh baked chocolate chip cookies... not very French, they might frown upon such foods, but I think I can fudge as I am not fully French ( maybe a finger tips worth at best in my DNA), and well I do not think I wish to give that ritual up. As I write this I realize that all the rituals I do have in my life are surrounding food. They do go beyond that in meaning however, there is serious emotional and heart ties to them , however, I think if my waist line is to survive I might want to start a few that are surrounding the other subjects within the tenth chapter of the book. Perhaps a goal for the new year.
I know that for the most part many of you do not comment here on the blog, perhaps you follow via networkedblogs, or Google Plus, or simply from the link on my FB fan page, no matter how you follow my blog, I would love to hear from you what your rituals and rhythms are both for the holidays and in day to day life and what they mean to you. Go to my FB page, or comment here and leave me a comment. I will not be posting again till after Christmas so let me take this moment to wish you.....
|via internet search for Christmas in Paris and found on google images|