January is one of the strangest, and sorrowful months of the year. Between Christmas and a bittersweet New Years Day is an imperceptible chain, intent on imprisoning my soul, to drag me down into the pit of hidden memories. Thoughts I tend to push to the recesses of my mind, but they always clamor to be revisited during this solemn time. I hide behind the snow-filled days busying myself in my kitchen, and with long bouts of slumber. I lie nestled beneath the warmth of down-filled comforters and soft plush throws. I even watch to see the delayed openings of the government and the closings of county schools. My sister and I loved hearing school would be closed due to inclement weather. We would bask in the glow of sleeping in and having our friends over to listen to records, have long chats about current events, and we would play board games or cards for hours on end.
This time of year is a transitional time for me because so many of the people I shared these holidays with are no longer living. I am made to reflect on how I expected my future (the world was my oyster) would be in a world headed for better and exciting times. And for me they were until the late eighties, when the war on drugs began, the cities were really unsafe and things seemed to go downhill from there. Is it wrong for me to yearn for those innocent times when life was simpler and happier? I suppose a few more days of lethargy are here and then like a magic trick, the weight of this is whisked off and I am reborn for the coming year. It might have something to do with the end of the Chinese Year around the end of the month and sometimes into February. The Year Of the Wooden Horse begins January 31, 2014. So … one more week and I’ll be back to my funny self.
And then a vanilla, almond white cake, with a layer of lemon curd, cream cheese frosting and toasted almonds. It was a bit warm in the center when I cut and assembled it. It was awesome, but it tasted even better chilled. Homemade cake is very filling.
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