…to get outside
…to delete apps
…to make soup
…to complete a small project
…to eat a dive-bar burger
…see a nostalgic, mostly feel-good movie
Yesterday was cold, but sunny, and so we spent a few hours working in the yard. I shuffled some plants around, cut back stems that finally withered from our first frosts, and planted a few new things for winter. Cane pruned the pear tree and took a load of lumber scraps and other detritus from summer projects to the dump. It felt really good to move our bodies in the cold air and look closely at the sparse kind of beauty that late fall brings.
The first thing I did yesterday morning was make soup (recipe linked above; I recommend mashing the beans a bit to make the broth a little thicker), and it was so nice to go inside and warm up with it after getting cold and dirty and the best kind of tired.
After lunch we took naps, and then we went out for a real, honest-to-God date. We walked around a fancy part of town to look at lights and storefronts, and then we had one of our favorite dinners, a dive-bar burger. Followed that up with Spielberg’s latest schmaltzy offering, but we found it more charming than eye-roll inducing. Sometimes you just want to spend a few hours with simplistic characters, grand speeches about Important Things, swelling music, and gorgeous people, clothing, and interiors. This time of year is a good one for that kind of movie. We made our annual obligatory trip to our city’s main square to see the big Christmas tree that is erected there every year. I’m glad we did.
This morning I read Anne Helen Peterson’s latest newsletter offering (linked above), on reading, and so much hit so close to home. I miss reading the way I once did. I keep trying to find my way back to it, and it eludes me. I then spent a good amount of time deleting apps from my phone. I’d already deactivated the dumpster fire that is Twitter, which I rarely used anyway, but I’ve put both Instagram and Facebook in timeout. I really love some Instagram accounts I follow (e.g., poetryisnotaluxury), but I would rather be the kind of reader I once was. I’m not sure this will do the trick, but I’m willing to try it.
Not much in store for today. I’m sitting at our dining table in the living room, on new-to-us old chairs we bought and recovered last weekend, watching snow blow out the window. The weather app tells me it’s supposed to be rain and 37 degrees, but my eyes tell me those are snowflakes and that they are sticking to the ground. I’d rather believe my eyes than my phone. We’ll be celebrating the second Sunday of advent at dinner tonight, a Swedish tradition my daughter has brought home with her. We celebrated first Sunday last week, and we really enjoyed it. There will candle lighting and a fire burning in the fireplace and something warm and comforting to eat.
I don’t know if it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I know for many it isn’t–and I think you probably can’t live as many decades as we have without feeling some sorrow through the holidays–but we’re doing our best to make the best of these weeks. We’re keeping it small, and simple, and listening to what our bodies want. Our souls, too. Hoping you can do the same in the weeks to come.