A couple of seasons ago, I swore never again to get hooked on soap operas or endless teleseryes.
My recent vacation helped do that. Whatever I was watching before I took off was left in midair, and I didn’t have time to get caught up, much less start on yet another new “cuento de nunca acabar.” I was busy seeing family, getting together for lunches and dinners, and keeping up with new nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
And then came “Gran Hotel.”
It is a Spanish drama series, elegant, tender, with intricate and convoluted twists and turns and a beautiful brilliant cast.
I started watching on my last couple of days in Seattle. When I got back I hounded my daughter to download (or is it upload?) Netflix for me. It has a plethora of choices for movies, drama series, comedies, animation masterpieces and documentaries.
But right now, I only have eyes for “Gran Hotel.” The English subtitles are adequate but nothing as rich as the original Spanish.
I can’t wait to watch what happens to Alicia and Julio. The last episode I watched she was marrying someone else. I guess I could watch the whole story in one fell swoop. But where is the excitement in that? I like it when I can tell myself, “Abangan!”
In a couple of weeks, it will be Thanksgiving Day in America and in our home.
We will celebrate four days early this year. But that’s when all the children and grandchildren can make the trip to Alabang for our traditional roast turkey.
The date is not important. For my family, Thanksgiving dinner, whenever it happens, marks the start of the holiday season.
Our Christmas tree will be up. Ornaments have been cleaned and polished. Some of them could use a facelift. A few looked a little tired last year. All the lights work. But I can’t find the treetop.
It is also time to replace my old-fashioned farol. We had blustering winds last year and the three stars lost their tassels. I love capiz and all the new colorful kumukutikutitap styles. But nothing can take the place of the farol of my Christmases way back then.
The music will be festive as it always is when my family gets together. We shall miss those far away. But we are blessed that as many as we have near will join us under one roof to give thanks.
I reflect on how much we are given, every minute of every day. And how we take it all for granted.
Every year when we stand around the table for prayer, I have this deep urge to say a few words of thanks of my own. But I have “stage fright,” anxious that perhaps it won’t come out right, or that since I have so much to be thankful for, I may take all night to say my piece and dinner will get cold. Or I may get emotional and just fall apart and cry.
And so, I squeeze my eyes shut tight so the tears don’t spill over and I think of other things, like “Did I turn off the stove, or is my gravy lumpy or too salty?”
And then that moment passes, and all is well. At any rate, it is during those few seconds that I whisper my thanks and I am sure the Lord hears me. He listens. He knows.
It is Trump over Hillary!
The US election is finally over. I think it is safe to say that this one will go down in history as the most memorable. No one really expected the outcome. Perhaps not even Trump.
It was a long and hard campaign for both parties and the candidates got down and dirty. Tempers flared at a feverish pitch, frightening even for us, as far away as we are from America.
Like never before media did its worst. Full of venom and malice, it captured everybody’s thoughts with no regard for good taste or honesty. We heard foul language, filthy stories even from the podium. There was no trace of decency or decorum.
Unfortunately we were influenced by the events, mostly for the bad.
That it was divisive is a huge understatement.
Remember how we agonized over our May elections? This was no different.
The dust has yet to settle. Emotions are still raw. Euphoria will eventually be replaced by the reality of a nation torn apart in desperate need to bind its wounds.
The world is troubled. Across the ocean and here at home, heartbroken people are poised to march to an old familiar dirge. Is there solace for their pain?
Writer Max Lucado paints an eloquent picture of America after the election. It is a timely reminder.
And it’s not just for Americans.
“Voters on both sides feel frustrated, even embarrassed by it all. There is a visceral fear, an angst about the results.
“What if so and so wins? When we wake up Nov. 9 post election, when the confetti is swept away and the election is over, what will we see?
“I have a prediction. I know exactly what Nov. 9 will bring.
“HE will still be in charge. HIS throne will still be occupied. HE will still manage the affairs of the world.
“Never before has HIS providence depended on a king, president or ruler. And it won’t on Nov. 9, 2016.
“The Lord can control a king’s mind as HE controls a river; HE can direct it as HE pleases.” Proverbs 21:1