Sunday, November 27, 2016

End of the Holiday Weekend

On Daughter's Quilt

Woke up to a cloudy, overcast morning.  There was even a little rain in the early afternoon, but it was sunny, later, and I was able to open the windows and air out the place.  Now, however, the heater is on.

My daughter and I spent a quiet morning and early afternoon.   My neighbor called for our weekly Sunday morning chat.  Later, one of my cousins called and came over to get something she needed for her daughter.  And my daughter climbed up on the step stool and got down all the dishes and items I needed for the almsgiving.  These are items I use specifically for the almsgiving, so I keep them in the cabinet above the fridge, along with the Christmas china.  I will wash them during the week and keep them, maybe in the non-working dishwasher, until needed.
In the afternoon, I dropped my daughter off at the airport.  It rained a bit on the way to the airport, but it was clear when I came home.   I took down and put away the Thanksgiving decorations.  Then, I spoke on the phone with one of my aunts; she called to ask if I enjoyed her granddaughter's sweet sixteen party, yesterday.  I told her I enjoyed it very much, indeed.

A certain kitty cat spent the entire afternoon and a good part of the evening curled up on my daughter's quilt.  He was missing his favorite human.

Missing His Favorite Human

Later in the evening, I spoke with one of the monks at the temple.  He and the other monks at the temple had been invited to participate in a memorial almsgiving that is also scheduled to be held on the same day as my almsgiving.  Traditionally, such memorial almsgivings are held seven days after the death of someone  and again, three months later.  He said he had informed the person inviting them that they have a prior engagement, but he  was wondering if I would be willing to reschedule my almsgiving to another day.

I recognize the need to be flexible under the circumstances and have rescheduled my almsgivings in previous years to accommodate the needs of others.  About two years ago, this led to quite a bit of arranging and rearranging of schedules and flights being booked and cancelled and re-booked, etc., as days were switched back and forth a few times.  But this year, I am depending on at least one of my friends to help me with the preparation of the meal and this friend has had to request a day off from work in advance to be free to help me with the cooking and serving of the meal, etc.  It is doubtful if she'd be able to switch her day off to another weekend this month (she works in a store that is open seven days a week, so she doesn't automatically get the weekends off).

The following weekend is my friend's memorial service with lunch to follow.  It is scheduled for that Saturday.  There was a time when I could have attended one event on one day and prepared for an almsgiving the following day, but I am no longer able to do that.  I don't have the stamina.

The weekend after that is the December monthly prayer gathering which is being hosted by a friend who made it a point to ask if it would conflict with my almsgiving, before she scheduled it.  Which leaves the last weekend in December, which is Christmas.

So I informed the monk that it would be difficult for me to reschedule my almsgiving, this year, and we confirmed that my almsgiving will still be held as planned on next Sunday.  I have finalized the menu and written out my grocery shopping list.  But I feel conflicted, now, and guilty that I wasn't willing to reschedule my almsgiving.  Sigh. 

Sunday's To Do List:
- Rest - DONE
- Have daughter take down almsgiving dishes - DONE
- Take daughter to airport - DONE
- Do any "catch up" tasks from the week - NONE
- Take down/put away Thanksgiving decorations - DONE
- Confirm date with monks - DONE
- Finalize menu - DONE
- Write grocery list - DONE

Almsgiving Preparations List:

Week 1 (November 20- 27):
- Start cleaning the house (Dust/vacuum/tidy living room, dining area, family room, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms) - DONE
- Buy chocolates Decided not to
- Take down dishes used only for almsgiving and wash them (daughter to help when she comes down for Thanksgiving) - DONE (still need to wash them)

Week 2 (November 28-December 4):
- Confirm date with monks - DONE
- Finalize menu/grocery shopping list - DONE
- Wash dishes that were taken down
- Remind invitees
- Rearrange furniture - sofas, coffee tables, tall round side table (for reliquary), trolley (for plates of offerings), remove blue & white vases near fireplace (so I can set the small sofa in front of the fireplace)
- Grocery shop
- Cook

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter had a safe flight back to Berkeley and a safe journey from the airport to her apartment
- The little bit of rain this afternoon, as every drop of rain counts
- The sunshine after the rain
- The almsgiving date stands and has been confirmed; I don't need to rearrange my schedule
- Daughter took down the dishes for me

How was your Sunday? 


  1. Oh Sweet Bless, I am so sorry about the conflicking dates of the Almsgiving. Please don't feel bad [but know I would too] that you were not able to change your date. I feel you have been through so much, and you are not able to do this work alone, so you need the help of others , whom have already requested that day off.. Try not to worry over it.. Everything will be ok. Will be praying for you.
    We are having some difficult Christmas scheduling also.. We normally have out Christmas on the 24 th, so the kids can do their
    plans on the 25th.. Well this year, my son took a new church [a little closer to us, yea] but the new church has a Christmas eve service and since Christmas is on Sunday.. He will have to be there on The 25 th also.. Plus he is graduating from his second doctorate on the 18th and 19th. So.. schedules are so messed up.. not sure what we will do???? Feeling stressed hugs my friend.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I was a little upset, last night, about the whole thing. But it really would be like putting a spanner in the works to change dates at this time. Too many details to work out.

      I'm sorry you are having difficulties scheduling your Christmas gathering, too, Judy. Could you all celebrate before the Christmas Eve service (maybe do a Christmas Eve lunch or an early dinner?) and then go as a family to the service, perhaps? Or do a Christmas Eve brunch? I hope you are able to find a good solution that works out for everyone. (((HUGS)))

      Congratulations to your son on his second doctorate!

  2. I had to look up almsgiving. I hope it all goes well and honestly think it is a lovely thing to do.

    1. Thank you, Anne. Holding an annual, end-of-the-year almsgiving is a tradition started by my mother, which I am continuing.

  3. When other people are invovled, scheduling is always difficult. No need to feel guilty about not rescheduling. It just worked out that way. I'm glad your daughter's shoulder was feeling better so she could help you get things down for your almsgiving.

    1. Thank you. Yes, it is difficult to reschedule when others have taken time off their busy schedules to help me with the event. It is what it is.

      Taking down the dishes took less than 10 minutes with daughter helping me. She climbed up and took the dishes down and handed them to me; I took them from her and put them on the table! Had I done it by myself, it would have taken longer as I'd have to climb up to get the dishes, get down to set them on the table, climb back up to get the next items, etc. I was very glad she was able to help me. :)

  4. (((((HUGS))))) BLess. You can only do what you can do and since there are so many other people involved, I too would have made the hard decision to keep with the original plan.

    1. Thanks, Debbie. The only other alternative would have been to cancel my almsgiving. I am still debating whether to do that, or not. I might still call the temple, tomorrow, and suggest it.

  5. It was nice of you to rescedule in years past and I know you would do it again if you could. But you are entitled to stick with your initial date, as any other time will not work well. Do the monks travel as a group to these events? Would it be possible for them to each go to separate events? Or could they do one in the morning and one in the afternoon? You are so gracious, Bless, and shouldn't feel badly for adhering to your schedule. :)

    1. It would be possible for the monks to go to separate events and they have done so, in the past. Almsgivings are held only in the mornings because the monks are required to eat their last meal of the day before 12 noon, so they can't do one almsgiving in the morning and another in the evening. They could go to a sermon in the evening, but not an almsgiving.

      But this particular event is being held out of town and, as far as I know, only one of the monks at this particular temple drives and there is only one car. If the monk who drives goes to the other almsgiving, then, someone (me, as there is no one else to do so) will have to go to the temple to bring the other monks and drop them off, afterwards. Again, this is something I have done in the past (when I was younger, not ill/recovering from an illness, had more stamina).

      I am seriously considering calling the temple tomorrow morning and offering to cancel my almsgiving to enable them to attend the other one. I can't reschedule because that would be difficult to do. But I can offer to cancel it.

  6. It is so hard when you have to make difficult choices, when you don't have an easy right choice. You are still on the mountain and you have to respect that, but a kind heart like yours doesn't easily neglect the needs of others. It's a no-win game, but fwiw I think you made the right choice. Sending hugs x

    PS your cat is awesome.

    1. Thank you! I called the temple this morning to say I can cancel my almsgiving, but the monks have solved the situation! The other family rescheduled their almsgiving! All is well. :)

  7. You have been very accommodating in the past and no doubt I'm sure if you really thought you could do it would have re-scheduled again this year. But you have been through such a lot Bless and to start re-arranging seems a lot to ask of yourself at this particular time in your life. I'm glad to see in one of your replies that the situation has been solved and as you say all is well :) xx

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, I have been flexible and accommodating in the past and will continue to try to be so in the future. Just not right now! I don't have the stamina to do so at present. But, the situation has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. A little more communication might have been nice, but it has been worked out.


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