A Very Long Holiday Greeting

I’ve been absent so long, I’m having to reacquaint myself with where to find and write a post and there’s snowflakes running across my screen. I’ve always like seeing them; and they’re always a surprise. Oh, yes. It’s December and the snowflakes have returned!

There’s no snow in Kansas City. I’m always grateful to see winter arrive. I hate being cold and my fingertips and toes complain, as do joints, but winter shuts me in and I stop doing. Well, that’s not entirely correct as we’ve decorated the house and tree and that’s always a huge To-Do, but it’s done. As is the chimney cleaned and wood in.

This has been a year of to-dos. It began in February with the city digging up a broken water main in the front which eventually morphed into a completely replaced sidewalk along the front of the house, desperately needed, followed by¬† back porch cleaning, continued with back porch repairs on screens and a porch roof leak, and repainting the back porch (which, I’m loath to say took until fall to complete), followed by a frustrating experience with the air conditioner spring check (which led to a huge fight for weeks and weeks because of an over-charge issue ((which I won!)), followed by second son’s back going out so I flew to Florida to help him, followed by new great-grandson being born two months premature and all that woo-ha (baby is fine and growing and laughing), followed by oldest son rolling his ankle on both sides, all in the same week, which meant me doctoring one son in Florida and husband doctoring other son here and flurries of email and photos (mostly of new baby) flying through the Ethernet. In the meantime, we had disastrous floods in Kansas City and while we didn’t flood, exactly, we discovered water in the basement from cracks in the old stone foundation (which we finally got cemented this past week as well as finally putting up a new light fixture on the porch). During all this, sometimes in fits and starts, I’ve revised the memoir still waiting for a publisher. And somewhere in there, I found an tree-trimmer who gave the old and mighty oak in our front yard a haircut, and we cleaned up the back and front yard from bags and bags of oak leaves (our street is lined in oaks, pretty on summer evenings when you drive home through an overhanging tunnel of green; not so pretty when they are brown and moldy on the ground).

I’m no doubt forgetting something….oh, yes, we went to the farm for the eclipse because it was in the path of totality-which was pretty amazing, and while there, cleaned up accumulated weeds and trash. And in early November, we flew to Las Vegas, where grandson is in nursing school, to meet new great-grandson.

Ergo. I’m ready for winter. I’ll wear the house gloves my son bought me last Christmas (with leather tips so I can still use them on keyboard and phone) and the rabbit hair socks my sister gave me that keep my toes moderately warm. And God-willing and the creeks don’t rise, as my farmer Grandpa used to say, often, as I remember, I will stop.


Fall Changes

willow in winterA weekly photo challenge from Terri Webster Schrandt announced Fall Changes. She has lovely reds and oranges and shining light. She lives in California..

Here’s today’s Fall Change at our house, a rather abrupt change.A cold front from the west met a very wet front from another hurricane off the lower Pacific coast, and we have water droplets coated firm enough they don’t fall.

Not really frozen hard, just stopped from moving.

This is the willow I often write about as I sit at my upstairs window, that window on the upper left, and look out on the day. I pretty much do that winter, summer…. well, all year.

Nothing is quite as colorless as it appears in the shot, but the starkness seemed to fit the topic.

iced branchesHere’s what the backyard looks like with color, which as you can tell isn’t much. Those are rose bushes against the fence. The roses lasted until a couple of weeks ago.

table (2)Right before Thanksgiving, we had roses and pumpkins on the table at the same time. But now, they, too, are gone.

I really really hate being cold in the winter. At the moment, with the outdoor temperature just at freezing, I already have wool socks over silk liners on my feet. My fingernails have quit growing and begun to crack. The humidifier is going.

There are compensations.

Cliff’s building a fire. We’re putting up Christmas decorations. The table you can’t see on the right side of the above photo will move into the dining room by the window you also can’t see on the left so the tree can go in front of the window. The sculpture piece with the strange little doors has a red bulb in the right hand … well, whatever that is. Holder. All winter, we turn it on for dinner.

It’s time to hunker in for a season of light and promise and home.