January 25, 2011

Burnt Orange Moon

Posted in Family, Food, Friendships, Hobbies, Knitting, Weather, Women tagged , , at 7:57 am by Liliana

Burnt Orange Yarn

Burnt Orange Yarn

For me, this is the most grueling time of year.

It is cold, it is dark, and there are no holidays to look forward to.

This morning, thought, even though the sky was ashen and overcast, and icy snow was making the roads sleek and unpredictable, I felt fresh and energetic, ready to face the week.

I had a wonderful weekend.

I am frequently accused of being an introvert, with great need for solitude, but this weekend it was the company of family and friends that fed me the energy this cold winter had depleted from my body and soul.

Friday evening we had an old friend and his wife over for dinner. We ate beef brisket, roasted potatoes, salad; fruit pies, tea and coffee for dessert. And we talked. About children growing up and leaving, about parents getting old and dying, about life.

Saturday morning I spent at a cafe with my daughter and a young friend talking about young people’s plans, schemes, hopes. About starting one’s adventures in life.

Saturday evening, my friend Jelena had a ladies’ evening at her house. She made elegant cocktails and appetizers, carrot and asparagus soup, lasagna and light, creamy dessert. We watched a movie. We told stories and laughed.

Sunday morning my family gathered around our dining room table for brunch. We ate eggs, fresh bagels and cream cheese, smoked salmon, fruit. And drank lots of coffee.

We sat around for hours and Sasha and Nena talked. The rest of us mostly listened, but sometimes we all wanted to talk. Sometimes we needed a referee.

Then Jeff and I walked over to our neighborhood coffee shop, had hot chocolate and talked some more. It’s not always easy for the two of us to find a quiet, uninterrupted corner in our house. We gave each other turns. We listened.

In the afternoon, I went to my friend Ann’s house. We sat in her living room, full of her own pottery, art and yarn, and knitted while her husband Ray made a wonderful pasta dinner. Ann taught me a new cable pattern. It was not hard. I started knitting a scarf for my sister, beside myself with joy and accomplishment. The color of the yarn is deep burnt orange.

The weekend was icy cold. But throughout, the sky was iridescent Adriatic blue, and the sun was shining and making the snow sparkle.

And at night, the sky was clear and full of stars. The full, giant moon was the color of deep burnt orange.

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July 20, 2010

Sisters

Posted in Family, Friendships, Home, Women tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:42 am by Liliana

Sisters - dressed for Halloween

Sisters - dressed for Halloween

My sister and her family are living in our house this year while my brother-in-law attends graduate school.

We have been together for a couple of months now, and all has gone well.

Still, Branka and I are very different people. She is outgoing, gregarious, in constant need of company. I need a lot more quiet time. Spending a few hours at night reading in my room, is for me, both a mental and a physical necessity.

I think my sister was counting on having me around more. Last night, when we were taking our evening walk with Kaya, she mentioned that she had forgotten about my need for solitude. After all, we have not lived together for a very long time.

I felt a bit sad and guilty, anxious that I was neglecting my little sister. I tried to explain. I get my energy from burrowing deeply within myself while meditating on the thoughts and writings of others. Branka sustains her energy from personally interacting with others, understanding their needs and finding solutions to their problems.

Surely there is a place for each of us in this world.