New Year’s Eve

Today is the last day of 2018. Both 2017 and 2018 have been challenging years for me and 2019 is likely to continue that trend.

I do retain some hope that 2019 will be a better year for the United States with more shared responsibility in Washington. Perhaps there will be some consensus building and more attention to the common good.

We can hope.

Best wishes to you all for 2019!

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Retro with a twist

I posted this New Year’s Eve poem which is about an empty nest celebration, but that is not what our New Year is in 2017.

Rather, we are starting 2017 with spouse B, daughters E and T, and me all living under the same roof.

Which I never expected to have happen again.

It’s a wonderful – but most likely short-lived – opportunity.

And, like the entirety of 2016, it’s complicated.

I have been making vague references about re-organizing the house and about Christmas being quiet and such, but now I am at liberty to fill in some of the background story.

E and her spouse L have been living in Hawai’i and, this fall, they announced the exciting and happy news that they are expecting their first child! Baby will be the first grandchild for us, the first great-grandchild for my parents Nana and Paco, and the first grandchild for L’s parents who live in London, England.

E and L wanted to live closer to family for the birth of their child and, while Hawai’i is one of the most beautiful locations on earth, it is also one of the most remote. The problem arose, though, that E is a US citizen and L is a UK citizen who had been living in the US on a higher education visa. Leaving Hawai’i meant leaving the University, so his visa expired at the end of the year.

E and L also decided that they would raise their child in the country with the most supportive social and family policies, which is definitely the UK. So, L flew out New Year’s Eve to join his family in London. He will continue to apply for jobs; after six months of work, he can apply for a visa for E to join him.

Meanwhile, E will live with us, work remotely for her employer in Honolulu, and get ready for Baby’s arrival, sometime around July first. Obviously, it is not optimal for them to be separated during E’s pregnancy, but she will be able to visit a couple of times during her second trimester and L plans to apply for a spousal visitation visa to be here for Baby’s birth and early weeks.

In case you haven’t gotten the subtext, it is really, really difficult to observe all the immigration rules of the two countries, but E and L want to make sure not to break any laws to preserve their future rights to live and work in both countries. Baby will be a dual citizen.

So, to prepare for E’s staying with us for these next months, we have spent the last few weeks in major household re-organization. The most important change was for B and me to move to one of the upstairs bedrooms so that E could be on the ground floor and not have to navigate the relatively steep and narrow stairs while pregnant and while carrying Baby. The re-organization also gave the impetus to incorporate some of the furniture that had been Grandma’s into our home. An attic and basement insulation project gave us some additional storage capabilities and we also made some donations to area charities.

This all took many, many hours, so that is part of why my writing time has been curtailed lately. (Given my track record, I will refrain from any promises about posting more; the one constant in my life is surprises!)

So, E and L arrived the day after Christmas. We had a few days of family visiting. E and L were able to meet the local obstetrician who will be caring for E. And, on New Year’s Eve, L flew off to London.

At seven o’clock Eastern Standard Time, B, E, T, and I celebrated the arrival of 2017 at midnight GMT with a sparkling Niagara grape juice toast in our once-again family-of-four living room.

It won’t last long. When a job offer comes in, T will move to wherever she needs to be. In early summer, L will arrive and, on some currently unknowable day, Baby will arrive.

And, when her visa comes through, E and Baby will move to the UK.

Next New Year’s Eve is likely to be back to empty nest.

All the more reason to cherish the moment now.
*****
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join us! You can find out more here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/01/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-1st17/ . Prompts are provided but are entirely optional. And any post of any length on any January day is eligible. Hope you’ll jump in and have fun with us!

jjj-2017

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve poem

Last year, Silver Birch Press published my poem “Eastern Standard” as part of their “Me, during the Holidays” series. https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/eastern-standard-poem-by-joanne-corey-me-during-the-holidays-poetry-and-prose-series/ .

I am pleased to share the poem here today. Wishing everyone a new year filled with peace and joy!

JC

Corey

Eastern Standard
by Joanne Corey

As the third millennium turned,
our family toasted with sparkling cider
at midnight Greenwich Mean Time,
seven in the evening for us,
in deference to daughters’ bedtimes.

With our children grown, the two
of us honor that tradition,
clink glasses, savor the past,
sip, hope for the future,
in evening dark as midnight.

Catching up on the twelve days of Christmas

Today, Catholics celebrate Epiphany, commemorating the visit of the magi to the infant Jesus. Technically, it should be celebrated on Jan. 6th, bringing to a close the famed twelve days of Christmas, but Epiphany gets moved to a Sunday in the modern liturgical calendar. Also, the liturgical season of Christmas extends through the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord the following Sunday.  (Can you tell I spent many years serving in liturgical and music ministry?)

I posted about our Christmas Eve and Day, but haven’t filled in much of the rest of our Christmas observance.  We do try as much as possible to observe Advent as a time of waiting and preparation, even though culturally in the US, most of December is packed with Christmas festivities which end on Christmas Day rather than begin there.

One of the things that helps us extend our celebration of Christmas is the arrival of my sisters and their families after Christmas. This year, they arrived on Dec. 26. We met at my parents’ apartment for food, fun, Christmas cookies, and gift exchange that afternoon and evening, followed by a big dinner at our house on the 27th.

We inherited the making of family dinners when my parents first moved to an apartment about ten years ago. Part of the inheritance came in the form of the electric rotisserie that I remember from my childhood, on which we made a traditional rolled beef rib roast. We served mashed potatoes, gravy, popovers, rutabaga which my parents prepared, baked onions, Aussie-style bread which our son-in-law made, and fall vegetable chili, which is made with carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, onion, tomato, and red and white kidney beans.

For dessert, we had four pies:  apple, pumpkin, apple blackberry, and cranberry meringue, an addition to our pie repertoire made by our older daughter and her husband. Four pies may seem like a lot for fourteen people, but we always want to have some left over for breakfast the next morning!

Unfortunately, work schedules and threatening weather intervened and both sisters and family had to return home on the 28th. That left us two days with our older daughter E and son-in-law L before they had to fly home to Honolulu. We went out to lunch at a couple of our favorite local eateries, spent time with the grandparents, and enjoyed quiet times at home.

On the morning of the 29th, we were all up at 4 AM to get ready to bring E and L to the airport for a 6 AM flight to Newark and then on to Honolulu. We wished they could have stayed longer, but were very grateful to have them with us for a week.

I did write about our (sedate) New Year’s Eve and Day, although I did have the excitement of a new poem coming out on Silver Birch Press.

Epiphany is traditionally the day that we take down our Christmas tree, although we were late putting it up this year and it isn’t dropping needles, so maybe we will wait until next weekend. B returns to work on Monday and next week’s calendar is filled with appointments, so it is back to reality, or at least what passes for routine, tomorrow.
*****
This post is part of Linda’s JusJoJan initiative. Join us! Read more about it here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/03/just-jot-it-january-3rd-frozen/

JJJ 2016

 

Welcome, 2016!

Happy New Year, everyone! We began our celebration toasting at midnight GMT, also known as 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, as I write about in my new poem on Silver Birch Press. We drank the very bottle of sparkling apple cranberry juice that I used in the photo, along with the wine glasses pictured. I did use some poetic license in the poem, as we do still have daughter T here celebrating with us this year.

I woke up early this morning with part of the middle of a poem for the collection I am working on this year swirling about in my head, so I got up to  type it into google docs before I lost it. I’m hoping it is a good omen for my poetic work this year to start January first by drafting new work for my first ever collection.

Later this morning, we will head up to GSV, the senior community where our elder generation live, to pick up Nana for 10 AM Mass. January 1st is a holy day in the Catholic Church, dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. After church, we will have brunch at GSV with Nana, Paco, Grandma, and Grandma’s neighbor Ann.

There aren’t plans for the rest of the day, although I expect it will be low-key. As you can see, we are not the wild and crazy types!

I wish everyone the gifts of peace, joy, and contentment in 2016!
*****
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join us! Visit this link for more info:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/01/just-jot-it-january-1st-persnickety/
JJJ 2016

Eastern Standard, poem by Joanne Corey (ME, DURING THE HOLIDAYS Poetry and Prose Series)

I am pleased to announce that my New Year’s Eve poem “Eastern Standard” is part of the “Me, During the Holidays” series on Silver Birch Press.

Not wanting to miss an opportunity to promote the Boiler House Poets’ video, there is a link to it in my bio, as well as a link to the SBP publication of “Lessons from Mahler.”

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful 2016!

Peace,
Joanne

Silver Birch Press

CoreyEastern Standard
by Joanne Corey

As the third millennium turned,
our family toasted with sparkling cider
at midnight Greenwich Mean Time,
seven in the evening for us,
in deference to daughters’ bedtimes.

With our children grown, the two
of us honor that tradition,
clink glasses, savor the past,
sip, hope for the future,
in evening dark as midnight.

PHOTO: Bubbly (fruit juice) and glasses ready for 2016.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As the year 2000 began, midnight celebrations across the world were broadcast live on television. Realizing that the top of the hour was always midnight somewhere, we decided that we would celebrate at midnight GMT, so that we could all observe our usual bedtimes. We still love this quiet way to celebrate the new year.

corey1ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanne Corey lives and writes in Vestal, New York, where she is active with the Binghamton Poetry Project, Sappho’s Circle, and the…

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New Year’s Eve on Silver Birch Press

I am happy to announce that my poem “Eastern Standard” has been accepted as part of Silver Birch Press’s current series, “Me, during the Holidays.”

It will run on New Year’s Eve, so watch this space for the link!

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