“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
― Mary Oliver
I love snow, falling snow, outside a window. So crisp. So serene. Inviting us to stay inside by its sheer presence outside. It does not beckon us to come out and play — though there are those of us who would surely go if called. It is content to simply be, asking nothing in return. I truly love scenes like the one above though, living in Southern California, they don’t exist for me to gaze out on. Even so, even though I borrow from the captured moments of others, others who are generous enough to freely share, such photos place me in the season. They wrap me in winter. They aid my heart and soul in an effort to step back, slow down, embrace the ebb of the calendar before it flows back out into the year at large.
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there’s really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” ~ john ruskin
The wind as it batters the landscape. I am not a fan. So I suppose I don’t agree completely with Ruskin’s statement. The winds here, whether they are cold or Santa Ana warm, are fierce and destructive. They do not howl as they caress the eaves, they scream as they slam up against them. They rip car doors out of one’s grip and slam them into any vehicle unlucky enough to be in the next parking space. Sometimes the unfortunate car is your own. No, I am not a lover of wind — or fog. Fog is great for an early, grey morning of staying inside, but not when you have to venture out and drive through it. This week both have been here. Wind. Fog. No thank you. Give me sunshine (not too hot). Give me rain. Give me snow. Keep the rest.
Still plodding through LES MISERABLES. It has become my little obsession to finish it THIS year (hopefully, before Summer!). Last year I added JESUS CALLING to my daily morning reflections on His Word; recently I brought NEW MORNING MERCIES into my daily meditations. Good stuff to start the day with both. THE SECOND JOURNEY is Joan Anderson’s follow-up to A YEAR BY THE SEA. I read her first book nearly seventeen years ago; I find that I want to reread it, revisit the thoughts I highlighted. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s GIFT FROM THE SEA somehow feels like it rounds out this particular reading group; a trilogy of sorts. And what would January be without some sort of diet & exercise reading (gearing up for the doing, of course). I started reading NEVER SAY DIET several years ago. Not.the.right.time for it then, but now, now feels like the right time to dabble in such success stories. Different reads for different times of the day. I guess you can sum it up to what I can only term as ADCRD (Attention Deficit Compulsive Reading Disorder). I can’t, apparently, read only one book at a time, though I have tried. As my moods shift throughout the day, so goes my reading interests.
In the semi-lull between fall and winter viewing, I’ve been catching up on a few series that I’ve recorded but simply can not fit into my week (or I’d never get away from the telly). ONCE UPON A TIME is one of them. I am still taken by the way the creators and writers of the show have managed to successfully blend a wide variety of childhood fairy tales, and Disney classics, into an engaging storyline. They are masters of suspended belief — as I KNOW that Mr.Gold and Rumpelstiltskin and the Beast (from Beauty & the Beast) and the Crocodile (from Peter Pan) are NOT one and the same character / person, but I’ll be darned if I don’t believe they ARE when I’m watching Robert Carlyle on screen.
PARENTHOOD. I’m invested. There is only one more episode and then it’s gone. A series — over. I’m not ready. The acting, the writing, the music, the sheer momentum and feel of the entire show and its assemble. I have learned, perhaps, more about the complicated and complex emotions nestled into the marrow of each member of the Braverman family, indeed any, most (?) big families: between siblings, between parents and children, between adult parents and adult children, between grandparents and grandchildren, between aunts and uncles & their nieces and nephews, between cousins, than I could ever have imagined when the show began.
And, if it’s January, it must be Downton Abbey. Not only am I a fan, so is my husband. Enough said.
Around the House::
It’s official, I will never live in a matchy-matchy home. It simply will not ever come together like the pages of any interior design magazine, or blog. I have always been eclectic in nature. Many colors, many styles, many textures, many textiles — together. Keep your all-the-same, everything matches, everything must.be.against.a.wall living if it works for you. I’ve tried. From crystal to dining sets to picture groupings, my only semi-success is my penchant for things nautical; a collection of lighthouses, shells, beachy-stuff. They don’t match, they just go together. I suppose that is the best I can hope for, that things go together; somewhat anyway. It became very apparent a bit ago that I will probably never, ever be able to afford a full set of good china. It’s also been apparent for quite some time that I will never, ever find a set of good china that speaks to me. I do, however, find a piece or two here and there (not necessarily fine china) that grab my attention. So I decided that it’s time to clear out the cupboards of things that just.don’t.fit anymore and start collecting pieces that I just like. A set of 12 mismatched plates? Willy-nilly, yet interesting, serving plates and dishes? Yes, please. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing will ever, EVER match in my home — and I’m okay with that.
One of our daughters, along with one of our grandsons, will be leaving for Berlin tomorrow. Our son-in-law and their other two children will stay stateside. She homeschools the son who is traveling with her and the son of a couple who are friends of the family. They are opera singers and they travel a lot. It goes without saying that we wish them a smooth journey and to be safe in their goings and comings (though I told them so, of course). She anticipates being in Berlin for two months. While there, she hopes to make a short excursion to Austria to visit her cousin, his wife, and their six children. Our nephew moved his entire family there for a three-year teaching job at university. Global is close to home these days. It is winter in Berlin. I hope she takes lots of pictures. And I hope she doesn’t mind letting me share a few here, because, well, let’s review what I’ve written above.
At my day job the last six months have resulted in the retirement of my supervisor, as well as the relocation of my office-mate. In what once was a three-person office that leaves me totally alone. The foreman and crew are in the plant control area located on the other side of the building. I don’t mind working alone in the early morning hours but, as the hours stretch into the afternoon, it does start to feel a wee bit claustrophobic. It doesn’t help really that my nights are spent mostly alone as well, since my husband work nights. The occasional excursion to a class or out with a friend, or visitor to my home, helps put loneliness at bay, but the lack of human sharing, even if just for a moment or two throughout a day, is starkly apparent. I’ve never had this much alone time at a job and it’s not all what people would think it to be.
So here’s to slow & steady Saturdays made for sharing with warm bodies.
Stay connected, dear reader.