THE NEXT BIT OF THE STORY

Meg Fee New York City Today is my father's last day of work.

31 years at the same company.

Today he "retires"...whatever that means, which I'm not sure any of us know beyond him not going into work every day.

It's a big deal.

My dad's a big deal.

And I'm really proud of him.

Because I think, he thinks, we don't get just how hard he worked and just how much he sacrificed and how much it cost so that each person in our family could do and be anything.

And you know, I'll probably never fully get it.

But the reason I want--with every bone in my body--to one day make my father as absolutely proud as I can, is because he worked tirelessly so that the word possibility might always have and "endless" before it.

And I can't think of a more meaningful gift for a parent to give his child.

 

christmas morning

christmas eve spread

christmas dinner

a vegetarian's plate

blue and yellow

mom's birthday dinner

dessert

menu on board

travel pack

skittles

christmas card?

it felt like there was so much to celebrate this holiday season. with my mother's 50th* birthday just days before christmas and an unexpected twist in my schedule that got me home to texas a little while longer than expected, with everyone's health in good stead, and the four of us being together for the first time since last december, it just felt like a really special few days at home.

my brother and i have long since passed the point of needing a lot of gifts under the tree--a point we keep emphasizing to our parents--a point that continuously falls on deaf ears. i began to wonder about this. we don't care about the gifts we'd say again and again. and again and again my mother and father would shake that off. we don't want you stay up all night wrapping and placing packages under the tree. go to bed, we'd continue. it was this year that revealed my parents like doing that stuff. they are the ones who aren't over it. they are the ones who care about the gifts and piling them up under the low-hanging branches of the evergreen. but it's not so much what's in the boxes that they care about--they enjoy the process. so, this year,  in order to make that happen they took to scavenging under all the sinks in our home for long-ago forgotten hair ties and boxes of toothpaste and who-even-knows-what-else. they separated packs of socks and wrapped each pair individually. my brother and i sat through the whole thing bewildered, watching as my mother and father nearly wet their pants from laughing so hard. it was so fun to see the roles reversed. so fun and so strange and so very, very different.

it was a holiday of renegade gifts, really good food (and wine), lots of games, and the people i most love in this world.

all in all, not bad. not bad at all.



*(the number my mother has now decided to go with. so we're gonna give it to her).

trading thursday for saturday. and turkey for fish.

one if by land

one if by land bar

one if by land table

one if by land fresh roses


thanksgiving is my favorite, you know?

i'm not entirely sure why. maybe because it's so known. it's always the fourth thursday. it's always a half-week event. maybe because it feels like the beginning--because it ushers in, invites a season of such joy. 

i'm pretty sure it has something to do with the feel of the air, the holiday's hallmark colors, the falling leaves. the lack of expectations or demand of gifts. it is a holiday predicated on giving thanks. on taking the time to sit down, to dinner, as a family. it demands a dressing up of the dining room table and departure from the usual. 

the holiday is a trumpet calling us in from the fields to eat.

the funny thing is my love for it has nothing to do with the food and everything to do with the experience (yes, yes, which the food is a part, of course). but i don't eat turkey (i'm a vegetarian) and even when i did, i didn't care for it. mashed potatoes don't really do it for me, nor does stuffing. but a good acorn squash? heaven help me.

this year i had to work the majority of the day. it was less than ideal but bearable. my parents came over in the morning to my clean apartment and we watched the parade while eating clementines, banana bread, and drinking our respective morning drinks (tea vs. coffee).

my real holiday happened saturday. my parents and i went to the theatre, took in Other Desert Cities-- such a beautiful, arresting play--the very finest of what theatre has to offer (the writing is so damn fine that i've seen it twice). we then sought out one of our very favorite haunts, One if by Land. there we saddled up to the bar and let the live melodies of the piano wash over us. and in a moment of throwing caution to the wind we threw out our original dinner plans to remain there. to sit at a beautifully set table, fresh flowers everywhere, and eat our way through the four-course menu.

people come to new york to see midtown. radio city and times square. the lights, the endless lights. they want to take a carriage ride in central park and see the tree. and i don't blame them for this. i understand the impulse. but i would argue that it is a relatively recent development in new york. i know, i know, it goes back to the fifties and beyond, but this is a city of such history. boston gets all the historical glory, but new york holds its own (just rent Gangs of New York to know the veracity of that--also because Daniel Day Lewis is a genius). 

this is all to say...give me the old new york. the fringe new york. the underground new york. with it's exposed brick and lit candles. it's easy to love a new york that's all glitz and bright lights, but it's so obvious. i want the underbelly, the hidden pockets, the tucked-away-corners.

(One if by Land is in Aaron Burr's old carriage house) and it is everything i love about this city. it may have made for a less than traditional thanksgiving and i certainly missed gathering around the table with so much of my family in colorado, but it was so special, nonetheless.


visiting boston.

boston 2

boston 3

boston 9

boston 5

boston 8

boston 4

boston 7

i was meant to take the 6:30 am bus saturday morning. the 6:30 am bus to boston. to spend a day-and-a-half with my mother and brother as my mom made her way back from london via a brief few days in beantown.

at 6:40 i woke up in a panic. what day is it? where am i? what's going on?

i was safely in my bed on 181st street. and the bus was just gone. 

i eventually got there. took a later bus. endured the traffic. was rewarded with twenty-four hours in the land where paul revere and every other great patriot once resided.

it wasn't much time and we were all of us tired. but long walks through the back bay area and south side, dinner at a the french restaurant, gaslight, and getting to see my brother taste ben & jerry's for the very first time made it all worth it. 

of course i didn't get home till 1 am last night and i'm now off to an 8:20 dermatologist's appointment. yes, i too am wondering about my ability to manage time and plan for future events. why did i schedule my time as such? who knows? what made me think i could make that 6:30 bus? oh heck if i know.

happy monday. xo. 

popops turns 88!

this last weekend i spent a day in connecticut with my grandfather and aunt jean celebrating popop's 88th birthday.

when i think of the stories that fill this man and the lineage he has unfurled before him...

there are no words.

and i am humbled by those giants of family who carved out a way of life for us in this country. the legacy is staggering. awe-inspiring.


pops 88

popops