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San Antonio

— Life —

From Disney's Alice in Wonderland
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Like Alice in Wonderland I’ve slipped down the rabbit hole. Unlike Alice’s world where, “Cats and rabbits would reside in fancy little houses and be dressed in shoes and hats and trousers,” my world has been filled with “men in suits, driving four door sedans who emptied the contents of our garbage can into the trunk of their car.” 

This is my world, the rabbit hole in the memoir I’m writing. 

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— Life —

THE LIBERTY BAR RESTAURANT, A FORMER CONVENT, IN SAN ANTONIO.
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For 40 years I’ve lived just 80 miles up the road from San Antonio, yet I can probably count the number of times I’ve driven down here.

I was here in the 1950’s as a child, coming by rail from New York City to a train station which no longer exists. I remember the vaulted ceilings, palm trees, and soldiers in uniform everywhere!

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— Relationships —

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For almost 35 years as Christmas approached, I worked my derrière off as I listened to clients stress out and complain about the holiday season: In-laws they didn’t like yet had to host; parents or their new spouses they didn’t like; kids that were challenging; presents they were obliged to buy; not enough time or money and no idea what to get anyone on their long list.

After six weeks of listening to this, I was Grinched out and in a “Merry Effin Christmas” mood, myself.

Now that I’ve retired, the last two years have been completely different. My shopping is simple. I buy something edible and Texas-authentic for each of my sisters. I give my son one gift I know he’ll love, and my partner and I plan a special trip – this year to Mexico. We spend our time with people we love, doing what we love, and this year it was all packed into a whirlwind 72 hours!

We began our holiday weekend by driving to San Antonio for lunch with a very dear friend. We took her to one of our favorite restaurants on the outskirts of the city where we ate, drank delicious Dirty Martinis, and talked non-stop for a fun-filled, three-hour lunch! Although it was the first time she and my partner had met, it was as if they were instantly old friends!

The next morning was Christmas Eve, and my sweetie’s daughter came to our motorhome for brunch before leaving to hike and camp in Big Bend. That evening we had dinner with his son’s family, where everyone ate gluten-free lasagna… just for me. It was delicious!

We also attended the annual pot-luck Christmas Party our friends have hosted for the past 10 years. A decade of fun, food, and frivolity! My son met us there, and since his Dad was in town, he was invited to join us, too. Having just lost one of our group to cancer, I noticed at this year’s bash everyone has begun saying, “I love you,” more earnestly, looking into each other’s eyes. And there were a lot more bear-hugs as everyone parted company.

Maybe age gives us wisdom and perspective after all, because loving one another is ultimately what the season is about.

XO, Donna