You know, one of our Christmas gifts was 'The New York Times'. We get the Sunday edition in the mail, and I save that fat newspaper until the following Sunday, and read it in the afternoon, sprawled on the couch, with my reading glasses hanging off my nose.
What a treat that is! Locked as we are in our quiet little corner of the world, we are used to the quiet life that unfolds around us here. We get our news from the radio, or from the internet, or the BBC News on PBS. I don't buy magazines for the most part. Too pricey. So this newspaper is exciting stuff, the news in depth, the stories fascinating. Today, for instance, I realized that we're actually lucky compared to how other people in other parts of this country are weathering the recession, and as I read their stories, I stop to feel blessed. I read about weddings, young people starting their lives, the groom the son of Count and Countess --------- from France. I read a columnist who described her days as, "Getting up in the morning, and drinking her coffee, reading the paper, and then going to the gym." On the way home from the gym, she calls home to find out what her children want for breakfast and she picks that up on the way home for them. She talks about how difficult it is to 'do' lunch, because it requires multiple stops...one child will not eat fish and likes Italian, another is a flat out vegetarian who likes Indian. Dinner is casual, eating out with friends. (I laughed a bit at her fussy children. I cooked. I cooked one meal. As I explained it, "My job is to provide healthy food and plenty of it. If you do not like the meal, well, sorry, but I've met my scope of work...") There are advertisements for $3,000 watches and fur coats and expensive jewelry with names that I've heard about, even though I've never actually seen that sort of thing. And I wonder about the population who can flip through a newspaper and think, 'I like that,' and then stop in to buy it. There are stories about Iran, and Iraq and Afghanistan, South Africa, Denmark, glimpses of the New York City through the eyes of the people who live there.
It's dazzling, really, and I enjoy my Sunday afternoons, daydreaming about what it must be like to live the lives that I read about. Really though, when you get right down to it, I'm happy enough in the woods. I've baked five batches of homemade bread/rolls/cinnamon rolls this week, tweaking with a new recipe. Baked cookies. Shoveled snow. Hauled in the firewood. Did laundry. Washed countless dishes. Put Christmas away. Wound the key wound clock that chimes comfortingly from the back bedroom. I'm going to college. I have a new job working in a kitchen. I feed the birds and pet an old dog, and I ponder this world around me.