A matter of Great Loss

Yesterday was American Thanksgiving. I spent it in the company of a few of my many loved ones. I ate a lot of really tasty food, including sweet potato with marshmallow which my sons are calling Marshmallow Lasagna. I indulged in much win, and sipped cranberry liqueur. I ate apple pie and chocolate pie squished together and topped with whipped cream. I made a mocha with whipped cream.

Naturally I expected a bit of a jump in the scale this morning. In my wildest dreams it remained constant. What I did not expect, natch, is what happened – it dropped.

For the first time in five years, I am below 190.

Despite how much impact it has had on my self esteem, you probably won’t see me post about my weight much. There is far too much focus in my culture on weight and appearance, tying it to our worth as a person. I refuse to consciously contribute to that kind of superficial judgement.

Weight matters to me for health reasons, though. I take after the male line of my father’s side of the family. His father had a heart attack at 40, adult diabetes, and other health concerns. My father has diabetes. My maternal grandmother has diabetes.

I don’t feel that I’m sitting on a medical time bomb, but the hereditary factors are clearly there. Even at my highest weight my cholesterol has been great, but I had a brush with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my first son. Weight is acknowledged as a contributing factor to diabetes. So when you see me posting about this kind of thing, I want it to be clear that this is something that matters for my ongoing quality of life.

I have, without consciously trying to, lost thirty pounds since this time last year.

This morning I am somewhat puzzled – but greatly pleased.


Living On The Edge

Note: This post dates from 11/22, was lost (or so I thought) in a frustrating glitch, and has just been recovered from Drafts. Enjoy!)

The frost has come well and truly to Blisstopia.

The width of melting point

The yard, still trying for greenery, is rimed with frost. Ice fae painted the car windows and danced upon the leaves. Stepping out of doors, the bare skin crawls under the cold, causing one to hunch, to try to cover more with the suddenly insufficient coat.

The car sputters, grinds, coming to hesitant life only after a few tries, and fingers that clutch the scraper to clear the windscreen scream for a hot cup around which to wrap. The smell of winter, damply crisp and heavy with the promise of snow, winnows into the nostrils, a taunt of what is to come.

But the sun creeps across the lawn, easing away the time to restore the greenery, beckoning to be played upon even just once more. The car warms, an oasis of heat with steaming hood.

And a warm cup is soon to be had.

When We Die

My younger son, who is four and a half, piped up on the way home from dropping off his brother at school:

“When people die, mom, they leave their house behind! And they leave their blood behind, and the pipes their blood flows through too.”

“They do? And then what happens to them?”

“Their body gets digged way down, and their blood gets digged way down, and their bones get digged way down and buried.”

“That’s what happens to the body? What happens to what made them a person?”

“They hear a big *boom*!!! And they die. And their body gets buried, and they vibrate. Then they go into a story.”

“So when someone dies they leave their body behind, and vibrate, and become a story?”

“Yes mom. That is what happens when you die.”

“Thank you, sweetie.”


My First Time (tasting coffee)

I like coffee.

I like it a lot. I remember the first time I had coffee. I was only 7 or 8, and my dad gave me some money from the till and sent me to the little convenience store nearby (crossing two busy streets and rounding a corner, but less than 40 yards away) to get his coffee. One coffee, milk, no sugar. The girl behind the counter was used to me or my siblings showing up for my parents’ coffee by now, but I always felt the need to specify it was for my dad, not for me.

Coffee was a grownup drink. Coffee was mystical; it smelled of wet earth when it brewed, and like some Druidic potion it’s faint acidity would call my parents to rise from the bed. I was a hero in high school because the hour required I rise before them, and I would brew for them. The pot of clean water into the machine, gurgling. The crinkle of the filter, the shhhh of scooped grinds sliding across each other into it, in a nearly peaked pile. The gargling sound and puff of steam as water hit the heater, and the patter like a tiny morning rain of the first drops trickling into the glass carafe.

But that was years later. My first time, I was seven.

I had taken the money and looked both ways until I could cross Country Way, walking past the tire shop, the travel agency, the small local bank on the corner where I had my passbook savings account at the time. Then I crossed the bigger road, large enough to have a turn lane. I ran across it, stuttering back to walking when I hit the sidewalk on the other side. Superstitious, I stepped over the disused and mostly buried rails of the railroad (which got rebuilt and is now in service as a commuter line into the city) because what if some errant bit of electricity found me to complete a current if I stepped on it? I followed the sidewalk around the corner of the building and stepped up into the store. I got the coffee, and I headed back. I held that white styrofoam cup like a chalice, in two hands before me, and the steam seeping out as it softly sloshed. I walked with care, not wanting to spill. The lights were in my favor until I was about four steps into the road, and it seemed simpler to dash forward than to turn around with the cup of coffee in my hands.

I ran, and as I did the coffee slopped and sloshed; some spilled out the top, most catching in the rim but a little falling upon my naked hands. The first pain sacrifice of an angry god, and I was sniffling when I gained the sidewalk in front of the bank. I licked my wound quite literally and then examined the spill trapped atop the flimsy lid. It had to go or risk another burn, but I couldn’t pour it off.

Feeling a thief, an interloper, an infidel partaking of some great holy rite forbade to the uninitiated, I slurped it.

It was still hot, singed my tongue, and I felt that pain more than tastes what I drank, but the flavor lingered as I finished my walk back to put coffee on the counter and the change in the till. The magic words, Milk No Sugar, became mine that day, and while it was many years before I performed the ritual myself, it stays with me still.