Thursday, December 31, 2020

Farewell to the Year That None Of Us Wanted

Ah, yes, 2020.  As this year wanes, I'm sure I'm not the only one looking back on it for the lessons it holds and making plans to improve the year to come.

There were bright spots. 

Babies whose arrival brightened our lives and made us more determined to shape our world into a space where they could be safe and healthy.  A baby girl born on Leap Day and many discussions on how one celebrates birthdays.  A baby boy born to a couple who've been hoping for a decade.  A baby girl and the miracle of IVF. Each of them deserves clean air and fresh water, opportunity to learn and grow to their full abilities, ideals to live up to and a hopeful future.

A sparkly ring finger this December.  Because nothing could be better than knowing your child has found happiness and commitment in life and loving the one he chose.

Gratitude as I discovered the difference between need and want, between essential and optional. I realized how truly fortunate I am.  I value people more than acquisitions, simple pleasures more than elaborate plans.  Give me a needle and thread, seeds and sunshine, a neighbor's smile over the back fence. 

I've managed to foster some good habits.  Planning a dinner menu is now something I anticipate rather than a chore to dread.  I have my composting system dialed in.  I wake up to a kitchen with all the pots and pans cleaned and put away.  I have finished many a long-term project.  I am less a procrastinator and more a planner.

Gratitude, again, that I've spent a lifetime acquiring some very useful skills.  I can cut hair, cook from scratch, bake with confidence, sew cute and well-fitting masks for family and friends, grow a productive garden, give a good massage, mend and make alterations fearlessly, triage medical conditions, paint birthday cards, raise healthy hens, build a chicken coop, read for pleasure and escape as well as to learn and grow, tackle any frustrating internet app until it has bent to my will and also let science be my guide in confusing times. To these, I've added the ability to French braid my own hair, make a reliable loaf of sourdough, and match my pajama selection to the sheet set of the week. This was a good year to be fairly self-sufficient.


I'm content to stay in my little home, with the love of my life and my heart dog, and dream of better days ahead while I strive to make our current life delight-full.

So, 2020 might not have been the year I was looking forward to, filled with family and friends and all the cherished yearly events and holidays.  I can't change the past but I can foster the future.

A happy new year to us, each and every one. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive, stay kind. Be thoughtful, be open, be critical, be idealistic.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

My All-Time Very Favorite Wondrous Christmas Ornament

I always refer to it as the Soap Bubble.
There's nothing better than sitting together on the loveseat and seeing all the magic and beauty of Christmas condensed into one perfect sphere. 
It reflects the special ornaments made by little hands, the cross-stitch beauties made by family, the Shiny Brites from my childhood, the elves from our first married Christmas, the satin ornaments we bought for our first tree, the spun-glass icicles, the wooden European ornaments, the teensy-tiny ornaments that glisten high up on the most delicate branches as well as each colorful lightbulb.