Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 11/19/21

Today I’m resurrecting an old blog category I used to publish each Friday where I listed five things which bring joy to my life. I ingeniously named the category “Five Friday Happy Bringers.” It’s a weekly gratitude journal of sorts.

So here’s today’s listing.

1. Brilliant fall, even in Savannah.

A cool leafing in the Design District

2. Our body’s natural ability to breathe.

On an exit door at my local Y

3. Old shoes which fit so comfortably.

4. Robert’s homemade chicken pot pies.

5. This little blog, which is enabling me to reconnect with a small but significant sense of purpose.

FABULOUS FRIDAY AND WEEKEND TO YOU ALL!

Posted in The View from Behind

The View from Behind: Introduction

For some reason, I have always appreciated, even revered, “the view from behind.”

As a child, on the first day of each new school year, I was a nervous wreck waiting for the teacher to announce our seating arrangement. Front of the class? 😢 Too much exposure! Too revealing! Too out there! Far too much responsibility to “be.”

A nice, comfy seat toward the back? 😁 Perfect. I get to observe, to “see.” To calmly breathe.

Note to self: ASAP, schedule at least three long therapy sessions to discuss the three short paragraphs above.

But for now, allow me to introduce my newest NealEnJoy blog category: “The View from Behind,” where I invite you to join me somewhere in the back.

Little gator and me, Okefenokee Swamp Park, Waycross, Georgia

Always hold an “alligator” (or any challenging life … critter) in front of you, and if you can, kindly but temporarily tape its mouth closed.

Posted in Holidays and Seasonal Changes

Attempting a Dia de Muertos Celebration

Last fall near Halloween, Robert and I watched Pixar’s Coco, which beautifully introduced us to Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). Coming from a family culture that embraces frequent visits to graveyards and cemeteries, I loved the idea of remembering loved ones who have passed on by having their own joyfully colorful and celebratory holiday.

It was only a couple of days until November 2, the traditional day when the holiday is celebrated in Mexico and other places. So we quickly made a little ofrenda (altar) consisting of a couple of pictures of our deceased parents, some flowers and a candle or two. Sitting before our simple shrine, we thanked our folks for their lives and their love.

But 2021 was another story. We began gathering Day of the Dead materials months ago and started making preparations.

We collected Day of the Dead candles, banners, decorations, and on a trip to Atlanta, we found a loaf of Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead) at the Buford Highway Farmers Market (what a glorious center of culinary diversity).

Last Tuesday, November 2nd, we celebrated by combining our dinner table and our Day of the Dead ofrenda.

Robert’s folks …

And mine …

We made some of their favorite foods for our meal …

Fried corn, collard greens, Maryland crab cakes and pork rinds

The loaf of Pan de Muertos, round to symbolize the cycle of life, with teardrops flowing from the top, representing goddess Chimalma’s tears for the living.

Holding hands, we shared memories of fun, funny and joyful stories from the lives of our parents and other loved ones who have passed on.

A movingly marvelous evening and now a permanent addition to our holiday calendar.