remembrances of days past some sweet, some mundane holiday songs, gone from the public square trees once adorned with lights and baubles now tossed by the curb crumpled wrapping paper fills the garbage bins
December marks the end of the calendar year the new year has arrived like a unblemished babe awaiting impact of what the world will lay on the babe or the impact the babe has on others
so for us, the new year comes it can be a clean slate a time for new beginnings or a holding place for the past’s baggage
baggage from the past you can chose to toss gone is the looking backwards and lingering regrets
with a clean slate and heartful of gratitude i have a new start
The words below jumped off the page as I read them.
Do you get social media fatigue at the end of the year?
I wanted to scream YES. It’s the Holiday season and the thought of Christmas conjures up cheerful and pleasant feelings which radiate throughout my being. Most are personal. Those feelings don’t translate well to social media.
Are you laughing, or agreeing?
There’s this tug, which pulls me in conflicting directions.
I want to be creative
Many tasks are tied to traditions I continue to maintain
There is always something to be done
Thoughts of snuggling on the couch to enjoy the moment are tantalizing
I released a book in late October. I should market said book. There is another I should format for publication.
Somehow, all these aspects of life swirl together, creating my here and now.
The Christmas season of 2022.
To you, those who follow my blog—may you find moments to enjoy whatever makes this season special to you.
I admit, I don’t know what I’m doing. Everything about my current environment differs from anything else I’ve known. The learning curve has been steep.
The first photo is of a dragon fruit bloom. Our first year here, I watched the blooms, waited and then, nothing…
I learned they often require hand pollination. So this second season, I began hand pollinating the blooms. And nothing. Nothing, that is, until late in the season. The fruit set.
You can imagine my initial surprise when the fruit starts gained in size, instead of just withering on the plant. This surprise was surpassed when I saw the fruit turning red and eventually appear ripe.
What a weekend! It was Tom’s 50th Class Reunion (twice delayed), which sent us heading to Scottsdale, AZ for Memorial Day Weekend. The class reunion was great and provided my hubby with the opportunity to connect with folks from his past, talk about high-school pranks, project cars and hobbies. We enjoyed much laughter and good connection with some of his former classmates. During the video presentations of senior pictures, I realized those students looked like the kids I graduated from high school with 50 years ago. They sure looked young! My guess is they were like the kids I graduated with. They thought they knew much about life, Didn’t we all experience a surprise?
Though the reunion was fun, our accommodations were the highlight of the weekend. We stayed in the house where Tom grew up. A home built in the early 50s, designed by a renowned architect and built by Del Web as one of his first homes before he became famous for building communities. This house was a one of a kind in a unique neighborhood developed by invitation of the owners of Ride ‘n Rock Ranch. This house was the initial build within the area and identified as the Ranch Guest House. The owner never stayed in the home, but used it as a perk for his executives and for tax benefits. A breezeway separated the bedrooms from the main structure, with each bedroom having its own entrance and a private bathroom. Tom’s parents were the second owners of the structure. During their tenure there, they enclosed the breezeway, which resulted in the first bedroom being connected to the main part of the house.
There’s a one lane road leading to the home, which is set back with plantings and trees lining the walkway to the entry. I felt like I was entering an enchanted zone.
The current owners are passionate about the history of the home and understanding changes performed on the property. They have amassed a huge history on the house and the neighborhood.
Tom has told me many stories of the place and his growing up experiences. I have to admit, I struggled to understand the layout or the neighborhood. His stories came to life for me. It felt like I stepped back in time.
Ho, Ho, Ho! The stockings are all hung on the mantel with care.
Not with hopes of gifts, but stuffed full of memories from Christmases past.
Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa should come on a sleigh.
Ha, ha, ha—no snow here, but then there are no children here either. So perhaps no one will notice.
The music of the season fills the airwaves, the shopping spaces, vehicles and homes. Taking listeners on journeys back to their past, those years of prior Christmases. Some smile, some shake their head and think it is all nonsense. I’m one who smiles with memories of being a child, memories of being a mom and surprising a child. My memories overflow and allow me to derive pleasure watching others as they celebrate the season.
Back home, it is quiet here. Not an eerie quietness, but a quietness that settles like a soft comforter one wants to snuggle into. This season has brought contentment, joy and peace. I revel in these feelings.
Lights and baubles bedazzle the tree; some shiny and some not.
Each bauble holds the secret of its history waiting for the dark when only the lights of the tree allow them to speak of their origins and how they became part of this holiday tradition. How I would enjoy hearing them tell their own story, how they feel being out of the box for a brief season.
The nativity scenes on full display sit in several rooms, emitting their own scenes and memories from years past within the family tree. Now they live together in our home, with our family, and share their pride of being treasured for so many years. Their story continues to live in our lives.
Ho, Ho, Ho!
May this Christmas season come to your home and bring hope for the future, eyes to see the good in others, and peace to all who enter through your doorway, thus leaving you with many happy memories.
While holiday songs fill the airwaves and pine fragrances permeate the air, I find my days filled with decorating, getting holiday letters written, gifts for children and grandchildren to be mailed. With those things going on, my personal pattern finds my mind pulled to evaluating the year’s writing goals, and developing plans for the next year. This trend has been consistent, and you’d think I would expect it instead of finding it to be an annual surprise.
Reflecting on 2021 writing was an interesting project. My major goals were accomplished. I have “first drafts” of three distinctly different writing pieces completed. It also means many hours of editing, creating cover designs and proof copies will fill 2022.
Be on the lookout for upcoming information on:
The sequel to Dream Glasses, which is Finding the Way Home.Liz returns from Paris excited to start the future she has planned, only to discover life doesn’t always move in the direction we expect.
A collection of short stories, poetry and little quips—Clouds. Most of this writing occurred during COVID, and was inspired by various writing communities I am involved with. The inspiration and camaraderie of like-minded artists is invaluable to me.
A children’s story, Charley’s Great Adventure. The story of Charley the Chipmunk on his first big outing without his mom. He’s excited, he’s nervous—and he’s totally unprepared for what he encounters. How does he react to a fearful situation, to knowing he failed to follow his mother’s advice?
On the less than stellar accomplishments, my commitment to write as regularly as I had in 2020 was a struggle. Between moving and connecting in a new community, there were more interruptions. My excuse “shiny objects distract me.” I’m fortunate to have another writing mentor who assures our group, even when writers are not writing, they are processing information for future writings. I take heart in her words.
As your year is winding to a close, where are your thoughts and dreams for the coming year? Did you feel stuck in 2021, or did you discover new passions and interests this year?
This is the first year since leaving Wisconsin that we have a Christmas tree inside the house. Our Colorado years sported a dressed tree on the deck outside our dining area. Sturdy ornaments able to withstand the elements donned the tree. Many of the years, dustings of snow graced the branches and sometimes birds would land in the tree. All those years our fragile ornaments hid in boxes wrapped in tissue. It was a treat to open those boxes and see treasures stored away.
The decorating process unleashed memories from years back, memories of family events, memories of friends. The nativity set I grew up seeing at my grandparent’s house now lives at mine. Unwrapping each piece stirs memories from my childhood, when its home was a corner table in their living room. I treasure the story of how the set was acquired. First the stable with the holy family, then, as finances allowed, they added to the collection. The pieces don’t match, but they warm my heart as it’s part of my history. Several years back, my husband purchased a new stable for the set. It was our way of putting our own touch on this set.
The other set comes from hubby’s family and was purchased by his parents many years ago on a trip to Italy. The pieces all have exquisite facial features, all are in the same style. It is a simplistic piece that finds its home on an end-table each Christmas. I love both sets, and unwrapping them is our introduction to the holiday season.
Unpacked ornaments lay on the table, ready for the tree. Hubby picked up a piece and said, “Is there a history here? I see so many snowmen.”
I chuckle. “Yes. I have a friend who knew I liked snowmen and for many years, she gave me an ornament or two for my tree.”
I’m grateful he asked. It brought back so many pleasant holiday memories after my children were adults and I lived alone. Friends are so important in life.
He asked about other ornaments or decorations. Some were from my mom; some made by children; some purchased on travels; some, I don’t remember. Then we talked about some ornaments he brought.
I have many things my mother gave to me over the years. So much has changed since last year when we were absorbed with cleaning, unpacking and getting settled in our new home. There were no Christmas decorations. In retrospect, I recognize that may have been healthier for me. This year, I’m able to pick up a piece and enjoy the thought of my mom giving the ornament or decoration to me. Many of the items reflected her personality. The simple styles, or elegant lines, reflected who she was and how much care she gave in selecting gifts for others. Last year, I wasn’t ready to appreciate the memories associated with those items.
The end has arrived. It was time to purge the agave before it became rigid and too tough to cut. The blooms hosted bees, honey birds and some butterflies.
When the stalk fell, a mild sweet fragrance filled the air.
Pieces cut to fit the green waste mounded on the ground.
Then each was stabbed with a pitch fork and dropped in the bin.
Smaller pieces were scooped in.
Few pieces wait for next week’s trash collection day.
Check out the close-up bloom. Each of those tiny tennacles were feeding zones for all the flying critters that hovered around the blooms once they opened. After sitting in the sun for several days, there was no fragrance, and no visiting creatures. This piece will join its kin in the bin next week.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this marvel of nature with me.
We’ve yet to determine what will be planted in the agave’s former location. But the next selection will take into consideration the little bridge and mature size of the plant.