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The Best Days of 2011

Let me start off by saying that the last two, maybe three years have not been my finest.  I've had some good times and I've had some bad, but for the most part my life has been in disarray.  I've made mistakes and I've made some good choices.  I've been hurt and I've hurt others.  I have trusted those I shouldn't have and forgot about some I should have paid more attention to.  I've lost people and have friends who have lost loved ones.  I've been angry and I've been thrilled.  I've run the gamut of emotions almost on a daily basis and most of you have read all about it.  I have been an open book since "finding" Facebook and part of my thinks that must change.  There are some who love being a topic or a mention in my blog, but there are others who wish to remain anonymous.  I really need to find an outlet for a lot of my frustration and boredom.  I also need to find a source for more happiness.  All that being said, I've had some good times.  Obviously, I'm not going to speak of some things that are too personal, but I will mention some days that truly stood out for me.

In mid February, I rented a car and drove to my father's house.  I had a lot on my mind at the time and really needed a break from home.  It was while driving, listening to music and just taking in the scenery that I really felt like I need to make changes in my life.  Some have been made and I feel better about.  Some I've fallen a little short on.  It's a tough rode, but that day was smooth sailing.

One of the most personally productive days happened back in August, when I woke up and grabbed a pen and a pad of paper and hand wrote a story, which later became my longest blog ever.  It was called God's Test.  I wrote it literally seconds after I woke up and it took over two hours and was well over twenty pages.  It was one of the most cathartic things I've ever done.  It didn't matter that at the time, nobody would read it, because I wrote it, as many are, for me.  I just looked back at my life and thought about the fact that maybe all of this is a test.  I never really considered the possibility of a higher power, but posed the question as if there was.   I don't know why, but at the time, it was like a weight off my shoulders.  Maybe I should go back and read it myself and see if any of it makes sense eight months later.

In June, my father asked me if I would be able to come up to Ithaca and care for my grandmother.  I wasn't working, so of course I obliged.  I would have anyway, but this wasn't even an inconvenience.  I got there and as the days went on, I learned things about my grandmother I had never known.  We connected in a way we never had in 41 years.  It was a special time.  One afternoon we sat in the kitchen and talked and she gave me some advice, told me some anecdotes and we laughed.  She went in for a nap and I grabbed a cold beer and sat on the porch.  The somewhat sunny day turned dark and the wind started to blow.  It then began to rain in sheets I have only seen a few times in my life.  There was no thunder, no lightning, just the sound of the rain.  It was one of the most perfect days I've had in a while.  It was as if her sage words shielded me from the storm.

A recent wonderful day was spent with a friend in the city.  A start in Brooklyn, with some delicious food that was, correction, is the best meal I've had this year.  Then off to a cooking class where we had more delicious dishes.  It was a great day, sans the weather, but I felt like I was making up for lost time.  Seeing Brooklyn, eating great food and being with great company. I greatly appreciated being invited.

The best day was a simple day.  A day spent watching TV, laughing and eating pizza.  On this day the company was made all the difference.  It was a lazy Sunday afternoon in August.  It wasn't too hot and the door was open.  It was just one of those days.  Started with lounging in bed.  Some breakfast and then we plopped down on the couch.  We spoke about serious things, we spoke about the senseless.  We watched silly television shows and we played games on our phones.  It was an odd day for many reasons, which I will keep to myself, but let's just say, there was something important.  Something in me changed that day.  I can't say it's been all for the better, but it reminded me of how to feel.  I hadn't felt the way I did that day in quite some time and it just meant a lot.  Recently I had a chat on the phone that reminded me of that day.  It made my mood change instantly.  It's hard to hold on to those moments and sometimes I try to hold on too tight.

The best days of the last ten years have been a day off in Portsmouth, NH when I took a break from the crowd and stood in the drizzle and spoke with my parents on a pay phone for almost an hour.  My mom was sick and while it pained me to leave that summer, I knew I had to.  Another was a day where me and a few others just sat on a dock and watched the sunset.  Or the night I laid under the stars talking to a friend.  Of course there was the day before my mother died.  We talked and she apologized for something that had happened maybe 25 years before.  She remembered every detail.  Or the evening my father and I sat and listened to Ewan MacColl and Buddy Guy, sipping Johnny Walker Blue and eating cheese.  It's days like these that matter and that I store away for times like this.


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