Hello! 2019

It’s been 31 days since you’ve been here and you have already shown us a range of emotions from one spectrum to the other!

Let me still start with counting the blessings. The good fortune of having friends who become family in times of need. Who go out of their way to help in all ways. Of friends from far away who we have not spoken to in years, call and ask how things are when the going gets tough – just letting us know that we are in their thoughts. Blessings of all creature comforts without which things would be harder to bear.

It’s been 13 days and I am still unable to come to terms that Appa (FIL) is no more. The cancer had been getting to him, but we hoped and prayed that his body would have the strength to fight it. Not prepared for the sudden-ness of it all. 3 months and 20 days is all it took since diagnosis, for it to all be over. While I still continue to break down at odd times and when hubby talks about him, I have new found respect for MIL who has been practical through it all. Have I said it here before? I wish I can be her when I grow up! The way she goes through life despite everything life throws at her. She comforted me while I cried instead of it being the other way around. I’m ashamed! I wish I was there to pay my last respects, to tell the man who was nothing less than a father, that I am going to miss him, his support.

Maybe, some day, I will write all about him when I can compose my thoughts without getting emotional. Until then, all I can say is “Appa, you will be sorely missed by this daughter. Rest in peace”.


Friday Fun: Sam the sweet heart

There has been much activity happening what with this being summer and all. But in my head, it could all wait while I lived the days and came back here to write about it at a later date. But Sam’s sweety heart tales couldn’t wait, I want to log them here because I realise in the daily fights, these moments will get forgotten very soon.

A few weekends back, we went to a friend’s house for dinner and the kids were playing outside. About 30minutes later, the other boys came back except Sam. When I asked where he was the other kid just said that he is still playing at someone else’s house. I got concerned because it was someone I didn’t know and I didn’t want him to be there alone. So I sent the other boys to call him back. The boys got back Sam along with the neighbour boy in whose house they were playing. I was all ready to scold Sam for staying back in someone’s house we didn’t know when he comes up to me and says “Amma, we were all playing with his toys and no one helped him clean up – so I stayed back to help him clean up, amma. I did not stay there to play.” The other boy also came and said “Aunty, he was the only one who helped me clean up”. I felt very guilty for getting ready to scold him.

Sam and another friend’s son participated in a Triathlon a few weeks back for which my friend got beyblades for her son and Sam. We later then went out for dinner when Sam said “Amma, I will get Su (another kid) also a beyblade with my piggybank money – he doesn’t have a beyblade and he will feel bad if we play without him.” He asked me to buy his friend another beyblade for his birthday too because that friend wanted that particular “newest,quickest” one. Sam doesn’t have it either, but he asked for his friend and said “Its ok Amma, its his birthday, buy for him now and buy for me for my birthday”. Even after reminding him that his birthday is another 5 months away, he was ready to wait.

In appreciation of this kind heart, I ordered the same “newest, quickest” one for him too πŸ™‚


A weekend trip to DC

Writing this post on my way back from DC sitting in a relatively new and clean Greyhound bus.

I had been looking forward to this trip since October last year, if truth be told but I wasn’t sure if it will ever happen. My friend from my first job days is travelling from India to DC on work and when she was here in October last year we planned to meet the next time she was here.

So I immediately booked my tickets and planned the weekend. The best thing about us is we are both extremely opinionated Librans. Thoughts that are kept to myself just tumble out while talking to her. She was the one who introduced me to blogging, we share the same passion of good books over movies and dont like outdoorsy activities much.

We checked out a local pub near Georgetown university, went to spy museum and the touring Cirque Du Soleil show. I am glad I planned the show because she liked it as much as I did just as I had hoped. Through all this there was one thing constant- talk talk talk. I guess we finally gave a bit of rest in the cab last night on the way back to the hotel and also because we didn’t want the driver listening in!

Like she wrote me on WhatsApp just a few minutes back

It always amazes me that even when we don’t meet or talk for years it always feels like we are just continuing a conversation we left incomplete yesterday.

Its always a great break to be just me with someone who “gets” me. I can’t wait to plan another one like this. Sanju, are you reading this? πŸ˜‰

100 Happy Days: Day 100!!

Moments that make me feel on top of the world:

a. We watch a cooking show where the participants made silly mistakes and Sam tells his dad “Appaaaaa, Amma cooks so delicious, she should go and participate in this show, she will definitely win!”

b. A friend sang on stage recently at a concert and shared a video that we all watched. Today morning I was singing along with the radio to a favourite song and Sam who was eating breakfast, says ” Amma, see you sing so well, your voice sounds just like that singer on radio, next time you should also sing on stage.”

c. He came home and was discussing something about snakes having scales on their bodies and I happened to use the same terms that his teacher had used in class. “Amma, how do you know everything? You actually know everything, you should be a professional”. I said “I am an IT professional”. So he says “Noooo amma, you should teach, you should be a professor.”

After 3 such back to back conversations since last night, how can I not be on cloud 9? We are in the “Mommy knows everything” stage which I am cherishing, in a few years when we get to “Duh! Mom doesn’t know anything” stage, I will have something to come back to and remember πŸ˜€

If this is not happy moments, then what is? I realized I didn’t know what miracle I was waiting for, to end this 100 days blogathon but I couldn’t have asked for better moments than these. Wasn’t this the whole idea of the 100 happy days? To cherish and remember the simple everyday moments that made us smile?


100 Happy Days: Day 99

Yesterday, to celebrate mothers, there was an event organized by the ladies for the ladies in the community. There were 350 women in all and it was a grand event in every sense. Women dress for other women is so true. There was a sense of “this is just us ladies and we can let our hair down” atmosphere, though the cynic in me recognised that there would be gossip and judgements later. I also realised that I have changed so much. I used to be uncomfortable among only ladies before. I never liked the topics of discussion. But now, I can hold my own conversation without zoning out!

It was a fun evening with dinner, drinks and dancing. I guess after coming to this country, I never had an evening out with friends and no husband and kid. Its May and we don’t know what life has in store for us in the coming few months, but once again we have finally made friends and are getting comfortable in the community.

100 Happy Days: Day 98

I had a good day today. Took the car out by myself for some ‘me time’. Went out at 11am and got home by 3.30pm. Just some window shopping and when I got hungry, bought a sandwich and a frappuchino, sat at the table and ate by myself. I realised then, that I have never done that – eat by myself, ever! So both the driving and the eating by myself are both small personal tick marks for me 😎

100 Happy Days: Day 97

I realised, I should not hoarde these last 3 days waiting for something great to happen to finish these 100 days blogathon.

Infact, this past Saturday has been simply awesome. We went to watch singer VijayPrakash concert about 2 hrs drive from home. The concert was obviously simply superb. I don’t remember the last time I ever gushed and crushed on anyone so much!!! Felt 16 with all that adrenaline rush again πŸ˜ƒ

The other good part was going with another family and meeting a lot of other kannada families from our town at the temple who were all there for the same reason- lunch and then the concert. It was a day very well spent. Also, making new friends in this still new place. Am I hoping for the friends like we had in NJ? Probably not, maybe too early to have so much expectation. But its still good to know we would be welcome as a part of a larger group. I just hope that we don’t have to move from here, come July.

100 Happy Days: Day 96

Hey there! Yup, I remember very well that I have not completed this series. But what to do? There just wasn’t anything exciting happening and I wanted to wait to put something really fun here, atleast the last 5 days.

Spring is here, finally! The actual spring day we had a snow storm that dumped more snow than all the winter snow storms we had! Then the spring break happened, flu happened and there really wasn’t much to write. Why am I writing today? This weekend has been fun. Yesterday we had a gathering and Sam participated in a very well known dance drama called Punyakoti. I had made 5 gallons of masala buttermilk for all to drink. It was a fun evening, getting to meet a lot of new people. We also got invited ( for the first time here) to someone’s house for after party meet. Should I hope that we might finally be able to make some friends here?

Today, we finally checked another off our to-visit list- the Cherryblossom festival in Washington DC. It really was beautiful. We walked nearly 4 miles and put in 11k steps and took loads of pictures. Live music and lots of people, it looked like a fair, though we also managed to get a few good pics. Happy to bed today. G’nite!

100 Happy Days: Day 95

Though a little later than I thought (blame it on the latest Nora Roberts!) I have to add this to the happy moments. Yesterday was our new year – Ugadi habba. Festivals for me are days to meet family and friends, eat good food, have a good time. We had invited another kannadiga family for lunch. This is the family that we accidentally met in the Indian grocery store who then introduced us to everyone else we have met here so far. We even visited them for dinner but somehow we could not invite them home. I realize that perhaps the invitation was destined to be for the festival?

I cooked the usual festival fare of bisi bele baath, gasagase paayasa and she got along carrot halwa. Their son and Sam get along like a house on fire and hand them a tablet – enough said! It was a day well spent in good company. Otherwise it would have just been another boring usual Sunday.

Wishing this ViLambi naama samvatsara will be filled with good times and good food in good company with great health for one and all πŸ™‚