Took a trip with my daughter Julie. Went to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. The choice was an all-inclusive so that we had minimal decisions to make.
When Julie returned from a journey recently to Arizona, she brought me a gift of small containers of spicy condiments. She knows my taste, or lack of it.
The first night we went to the Mexican restaurant. The food was bland. Very disappointing. It turned out most of the meals were less than tasty. We ate out at a place we discovered 26 years earlier on a trip there, and it was excellent.
We did relax. The time was wonderful, particularly with her. I would do it again.
A friend told me that she and her sister went out to breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. There were three people at the next table, parents and a child. My friend was able to hear everything they talked about. They reflected on how hard they had worked for the whole week, including Thanksgiving Day. This breakfast was their first time away from work.
My friend told them she had heard what they were talking about. She said that she credited them for working so hard and was happy they had a time to go out to eat.
The family paid their bill and left. When my friend was ready to leave, she asked for the bill and was told their bill had been paid by the other family.
My friend said, “I am able to afford things easily. It was lovely that they did that, and there is some irony there. How kind of them.”
Pay it forward.
We moved to Alameda six years ago on Halloween. We dropped out air mattress and a few other things we brought with us at the home we were renting. Our furniture was coming the next day. We then went over to San Francisco to go trick-or-treating with Isaac and Ari, then six and three years old. It was so much fun, we continued this ritual.
This year they are nine and twelve. I sensed this would happen. They were going off with their friends in different neighborhoods. We decided to stay home. I had candy I had frozen six years ago which I bought in order to take to Ari and Isaac a few pieces. I defrosted the candy to pass out.
I admit, I did not put the front porch light on because I had clients.
No children came. Perhaps they presumed that once again we would not be here.
Am I over participating in Halloween?
During the holiday season, there are certain themes I have often heard people express. One is concern over the cost of gifts, another is concern of what to buy people, and the last is regrets over rituals that have developed over years.
Some rituals grow tiresome for people. There is reluctance to decline an invitation or to start a new one.
Last night I went to my son’s home for the annual Latke Party to celebrate Hanukah. I have attended this event many times. Erik, Ellen, Isaac and Ari invite many friends from a variety of venues in their lives. Some are from school, athletic activities, neighbors, friends and family.
This year I was focusing on my experience of being there. The guests are warm and welcoming. I have met many of them before, typically soccer or baseball games. I observed a warm interaction between the adults and great camaraderie with the children. The adults smiled, shook hands, engaged in conversation easily, and asked questions which reflected real interest. There was true engagement.
The children were friendly and interacted with the adults easily.
The feeling was one of comfort, acceptance, and interacting genuinely.
I look forward to next year.