No, not the holidays…..

I know it’s getting close to Christmas because the stepkids finally got their lists to us. Really, a week before the big day. In their defense, their dad tells me that he was not in the habit of actually buying them gifts, just wrote checks, so the request for a list took them by surprise. This is not our first Christmas but it is the first Christmas for two of the grandkids, so I guess we all need to adjust to the new reality. For the next five years or so, shopping for the little critters will actually be fun: I don’t want to miss a bit of it.

I’m not actually Christian, haven’t ever been, though I was sent to Christian schools, so it’s not such a big day for me. It will be nice to have everyone over, of course, but it always is. They are good eaters, not too picky. That organic, free range, humanely raised capon that I got from The Curtises will be a hit.  I’m not the kind of pagan that does a Solstice ritual, either, so for me these short, cold days are more about the end of the year. I think about what has happened and what is to come.

About a month ago, a friend died. She had been fighting cancer for decades and it finally took her out. I may have just a couple of good friends left from the time before I knew Robert. The rest fell away, one way or another. Usually I don’t think about it but this year, with Margaret’s passing, I have. It will be fine. My life has been marked by radical changes in direction but my real friends manage to tag along and new friends appear — some through this blog.

So what about next year? Well, more of the same. In my case that’s a good thing. I am fortunate to have a comfortable life. 

Now that the house is basically done, I have been wondering what to do with this blog. I have been buying time, in effect, by posting about whatever else catches my attention, mostly the refugees. My gift to you is that I will not post about refugees or other social injustice again. Well, unless something really horrible happens, or really great, like a family moves to the apartment. But I’ll keep things on a personal, “this happened to me,” level. My hunch is that anyone who wants to be is as well informed as I am. You have read the Huff Post article about refugee profiteers. Maybe you subscribe to The New York Times or another good newspaper. You don’t need my Greek chorus crying “Oh no, oh no.” The journalists do it better. I’ll leave them to it.

With Trump coming in, we will all need the occasional, maybe daily, escape. I hope that will sometimes be me. I’ll focus on Jacques and on the house. There is more work to be done here and a garden to be revived. All politics will be local. This corner of the French countryside is lovely, quite unspoiled. I’ll see what I can do about sharing more about it.

If you get a minute, light a candle for Margaret. She was Tibetan Buddhist, actually, in the tradition that does the throat singing. Very cool. But she was raised Catholic and she’ll be okay with a candle.

11 thoughts on “No, not the holidays…..

    1. Well, that’s for sure. Two things happen. First, the more you do, the more you see that needs to be done. Second, things break. Actually I love doing all this. As long as the money holds out I’ll keep at it.

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  1. Wishing you a peaceful end of 2016 with the opportunity to look ahead to a marvelous 2017!

    We will be thrilled to continue to read the informative (and beautifully illustrated) blog; including seeing more of the finishes to the house.

    Keep well, stay warm!



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    1. Thanks. The heat is on, Gerard. I was tearing my hair out with frustration. Then the guys showed up, spent a day fiddling in the basement and hey presto, not an hour later, I realized all the money I dropped on heating and insulation was worth it. It’s heaven. You and Linda will have to come see.


  2. I have a beautiful set of Tibetan singing bowls. I will ring them for your Margaret. And I look forward to your updates from house and garden and Vendée- they will surely be a tonic not a trial and mostly I wish you a peaceful and joyous festive season and the best of all things yet to come in 2017.

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  3. You’re best is writing what you know, and wise to leave the thrust of international politics to the journalists who best cover these matters – The Times, Reuters, and so forth. You have an interesting life where you are, and it stirs the voyeur in many who read your accounts of it. Keep up the fine work, tell us about you, your surroundings, why and how they stimulate and even inspire you. Let the readers climb aboard for that journey and you’ll have a lot of “friends” before you know it.

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    1. Thank you. I worry, sometimes. I started this blog as a way to stay in touch with friends in the States. I had no clue anyone else would be interested. With the world getting scarier by the minute, it feels a little trivial to natter on about my comfortable life. If you voyeurs are up for it, though, so am I. Thanks again.


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