Gosh, it has been two years since I visited here. I bet at least that much for you too dear readers (if there are any left).
I am firmly settled here in Budapest. Since my last writing, my kitchen is complete and I have fed masses and given a few classes. I still have love, and a dog, and my roof is cozier than ever. Today, I was driving, yes I have a car now, from an industrial area to the north of the city back home with snap-together shelves, which I know will be a nightmare for me to assemble. If it says it is a snap, it ain’t. I knew the way home, but I used my WAZE navigation app to see what it saw with the pre-holiday traffic starting its lazy snarl. It took me via the rakpart down and along the Duna (Danube). A wonderful way I would not have chosen. The city opened up and I saw the beautiful bridges, castle, and Parliament. I am grateful to have found myself here; it made me fall in love with Budapest all over again. Many roads can lead home.
It will be three years end of December, since I lost my friend Pierre (here) who decided that he was in too much pain to continue, and now a year-and-a-half since my father died. My father didn’t choose to go, but I know in my heart he knew he was dying. He cleared the decks for my brother and me; he got organized for his departure. He died in the arms of the man he loved, and I am grateful for that. I wanted to go and be there; I wanted to fix it; I wanted to <insert tim here>. I wanted to do it for Pierre and couldn’t, and there was no time for my father. I miss them both very much. I know Pierre would be proud of his youngest daughter who has since published her second novel Ecosystème. It is a good read; she is a powerful and funny writer–buy it if you read French. He loved his grandchildren from his eldest daughter, and secretly liked the way she scolded and fussed over him and his habits. “I wonder if they will forgive me,” he asked me once.
‘Tis the season for celebration, at least that is what we are told while lured to consume more and more as though that will make us happier. Shiny ball syndrome. I always find the season stressful as do many people. I don’t have a lot to stress about these days and for that I am grateful. I could share recipes of cookies, eggnog, hams and all the trimmings, but I am tired, and as I look on my kitchen counter, I see a perfect Ruby Red grapefruit. It is a kiss of light and sunshine as the days grow darker. The sections of citrus sweetness pop, the oils from the skin awaken the taste buds and the brain says YUM! LIFE IS NOT SO BAD! SMELL THE SUNSHINE!
So go out and buy the biggest most expensive grapefruit for yourself and sit in revelation of how a small fruit can make so much difference on a gray day.
I wish you all love and happiness in this season.