Playing Santa

When I left the house this morning, we were out of regular bread.  (The Lolas always have their stash of Raisin Cinnamon Swirl, but Alan and I prefer to go with whole grain or potato bread..)  On the way home, I was actually debating upon whether or not I would go local and hit the grocery on the way home, or go into the city and pick up the bread from the small grocery near Alan’s hotel and then go home via the Express bus.  The deciding factor was whether or not I would see the N train heading towards Manhattan first, or the 7 Express train heading towards Queens.  The N train came first.

Alan was still busy at work so even if I was in his area, he told me to go ahead and head for home.  On my way into the grocery, I saw an elderly woman with her pushcart and empty paper cup in hand just outside the door.  Even before I got my loaf of bread, I walked over to the sandwich corner and picked out something substantial, then I got two bananas, and a large bottle of water.  Only then did I get my loaf of bread.  I told the cashier I wanted them bagged separately.

On my way out, I handed the old woman my contribution to her dinner.. she said “Much appreciated..” and I walked away.  She left her perch soon after.  I was glad she did.  I knew she had to find shelter from the cold, and tonight is not going to be an easy one.  Sometimes I can’t help but wonder how they can survive in the open — in the morning, you will find the homeless inside cardboard box “cubicles” usually atop or near a heated building exhaust.  Other times, they would be curled up in some closed doorway or steps.

I pray they keep warm tonight… somehow..

My First Edition Autographed Clancy finds a home..

As a giver, I enjoy picking out a gift and thinking about it.  There are many friends of mine, though, that I find such difficulty picking out a gift for for one reason or other.  And then there are things that you have and want to give to someone, but you find it such a task finding a deserving recipient.  My first edition autographed copy of Tom Clancy’s THE TEETH OF THE TIGER is one such book.  I first thought of giving one of my three copies to my former boss who loves reading and who loves Clancy like I do.  But I had too many things to bring to Manila I had to forego it. 

Alan and I have a friend who has the same passion for reading as I do, so Alan asked me which book would be a good gift for this friend of ours.  It wasn’t even something I had to weigh before I decided one of my Clancys was going to be THAT book.

She gets it tomorrow so I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise by identifying who it is, but I thought I’d keep a record of the dedication I just wrote a few minutes ago here on my blog for posterity:

Dearest ________,

It wasn’t easy picking a gift for you, but when Alan asked me which book I would recommend we get, I knew right away my autographed first edition Clancy would be the perfect gift.  I had him autograph 3 copies, but I have been hard-pressed to find someone worth giving one to.  Not anymore..

I know this will find a warm corner on your bookshelf.  Thank you for blessing our lives with your friendship.

Always,

Alan and Dinna

Three days to Christmas..

And I’m still writing on Christmas cards.. LOL.. I know, there’s no excuse, but hey, I have faith in the postal system!

I haven’t quite finished with my gift list, so I cannot sing ala-Karen Carpenter that “greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through…”  I just have a few things to pick up and I’m good.  I think.

Meanwhile, we’ve gotten colder in New York.  I was out to dinner with a friend last night and I was so glad to be wearing my cap and my puff coat and my knitted gloves.  I came prepared.  Still, I couldn’t help but feel my bu *t was freezing!  Thank God, Alan picked us up at the West Village.

I haven’t been writing much because I’ve been caught up in the rush.  The officework has been light but there are a lot of things on my plate these days.  I’m not complaining — but somehow it has affected my energy levels when it comes to blogging.  I have a hundred and one things I want to write down, if only I could go beyond the thought or idea and actually finish a blog post.  (And now I’m itching to publish this and get on with the rest of what’s left of my evening, with barely an hour to go before midnight..)

Have to prepare tomorrow’s coffeepot.  Nothing beats waking up to the scent of freshly brewed coffee, not to mention the comfort of skipping the whole routine of pouring in the water and scooping up the coffee into the coffeemaker.  Oops, post forming in my head..