The New Year Hath Begun

Snow Photo

Light breaks through the winter landscape for January

By Mary Anna Violi |@MaryAnnaVioli

Knock on wood: five days into the New Year and so far, I have avoided tripping, increased illness, and damage to myself in general. Not only does the temperature remain well below freezing, several mishaps befell me as the previous year drew to a close. Yet I remain confident the weather will warm up to at least above freezing in another week or so, and that I will rebound.

After having spent a wonderful day in Fort Wayne with my aunt, uncle, and cousin visiting from L.A., I drove home in a snow sleet storm. The conversation lively, the food excellent, and the tea and coffee at their home warmed my heart. Their company offered a sweet post-Christmas get together. Later, driving at 40 miles an hour, I didn’t make great time, but I managed to drive us home safely while enduring white out conditions.

As the morning broke, I found myself as sick as could be with a vile virus. Between the terrible cold weather and my overall malaise, I dosed myself with over-the-counter medications in the cabinet. In the wee hours of the morning, I stepped into the bathroom, and promptly tripped over something. I catapulted into the side of the porcelain bathtub on my right shoulder, and then crashed onto the tile floor on my right hip. Failure to turn on the bathroom light, my negligence in not stepping into sturdy slippers, my lack of vision wear, plus items left on the bathroom floor, combined to form a perfect storm of catastrophe. I had taken sinus and congestion medication before retiring for the night, which resulted in fuzzy thought processes, or lack thereof. Or I simply chose not to put away items.

At the risk of sounding like Lazarus, I was in tremendous pain, unable to get off the bathroom floor. EMS guys managed to hoist me up and into a straight back chair. After checking me over and evaluating my walk, they determined nothing had been broken. They suggested taking me for further evaluation at the hospital, but the winter wind whipping around outside held little appeal in my mind to venture out. The EMS personnel and the three firemen offered kind words and compliments about our Christmas decorations and outdoor lights. After they left, I spend the remainder of the night attempting to sleep in a recliner.

Thus, I remained inside during the blustery New Year’s weekend, making use of a heating pad and drinking copious amounts of green tea. It turned out that Coco Chanel, our little black and white cat, had developed a proclivity for the heating pad. Whenever she now sees me plug it in, she races to pounce upon it. We now share it. Last night I had a glass of wine with a slice of Whole Foods pizza. I have imbibed enough tea and water. I am still smarting over not having been able to toast the New Year with a glass of bubbly. Perhaps it is not too late to toast the New Year. Tonight I will fill my glass with the gentle fizz of Prosecco and ring in the New Year. It’s never too late!

Ciao for now.


Autumn, At Last

A dazzling autumn morning lifts my spirits -
A dazzling autumn morning lifts my spirits –


By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi

Yesterday, September 22nd was the first day of autumn.  The weather in this part of The Heartland was picture perfect autumn weather of a sunny day followed by a cool night.  I embrace autumn weather.  After the insufferable heat, humidity, and lack of rain in August, I surveyed my parched front lawn and mused about how it resembled toast.  The lushness of a rainy May and June had given way to the dog days of August.  The only thing good about August is my nephew’s August 4th birthday.  In the oppressive heat of August I am always helping my daughter move:  For her four undergraduate years we loaded up our SUVs to heave and ho into the dorm the first two-year], and then into the sorority house, and finally into a house with six other sorority sisters.  This past mid-July to August involved a move to a domicile for graduate school.  At least I feel reasonably certain she is staying put for the next three years of law school.

In the aftermath of the wretched heat of August came autumn.  The weather is, in fact, on the cool side, but I am not complaining.  My feeling is that we are able to don extra clothing in the chillier weather, but we can only take off so much of our garb in the hot weather, unless we lived in Saint Tropez, or frequented another beach town that turned a blind eye to sunning al fresco.  On yesterday’s first exquisite day of autumn,  I dined with my darling daughter at a charming bistro in her new town. This morning I smiled as I put on a lightweight jacket and ventured outside.  The sun shone brightly and perked up my spirits as I reveled in another autumn morn.

Ciao for now.