Year: 2020 (page 1 of 5)

Happy New Year’s Eve

We are ready to ring in the New Year, hoping that it brings better tidings than this last one did. However, there is a silver lining to all things. This past year, Mr. Michie and I have been blessed to spend a lot of quality time with one another and for that I am forever grateful. In all the ups and downs that occurred in 2020, we have, as we always do, faced them together. I am blessed that I have a partner by my side who is truly a ‘partner’ in every sense of the word. We leave this year behind with a renewed sense of gratitude for each other. We will shepherd in that appreciation to the New Year.

I come from a family that makes the best of every situation and tries to find the humour in things. And I know that so many people have joked this year that they are “surviving, one glass of wine at a time” and I do see the funny side to that. But, I don’t want to be just “surviving”, I want to be thriving! And that is what we did in 2020 and that is what we will continue to do in 2021.

Wishing love and light to you all as we close the book on this past year and open a new one tomorrow. 

{Image: Arthur Sarnoff “Happy New Year!”, The Progressive Farmer Magazine Cover 1958 // Pinned HERE}

Merry Christmas Eve

One more sleep…

{Ralph Hulett (1915-1974), is an artist mainly known for his work at Disney, but he also did a number of Christmas card designs as well as commercial work for major agencies, such as Swiss-Air and NBC. The “Christmas Mouse” above is from a card design created in the 1960s}

The Christmas Waltz

As I write this post, the sky has already darkened, and with the window slightly cracked I can hear the rain falling outside. Lights are twinkling and ‘The Christmas Waltz’ is playing on the stereo.

I love Christmas music. I don’t say that lightly. I listen to it throughout the year not just from Thanksgiving through Epiphany. There are particular holiday songs that fill my heart with so much emotion. They wash over me like a wave of nostalgia; surfacing many happy memories. This year, with no end to the pandemic in sight, that list of songs has grown.

I don’t know why ‘The Christmas Waltz’ in particular brings me to tears? 

Maybe it’s the song itself? The smooth and enchanting way it begins, the arrangement, the words of magic, hope and love, or the simple and endearing way that Frank Sinatra signs off with “Merry Christmas.” It stirs something deep within me. 

Maybe, it’s because my Nana loved Frank Sinatra? I’ll never forget the sound of her voice and the twinkle in her eye, the first time she told me about skipping school to go hear him sing; and how the man who ran the candy store hid her books behind the counter for her.   I loved that story. To me, it was part of our bond – a special secret she had shared with me.

Maybe, it’s because when Frank croons about the “the time of year when the world falls in love” it reminds me of the power of the season. Whatever the reason, and whatever I may be doing, if ‘The Christmas Waltz’ comes on I often find myself in tears. They’re not tears of sadness. They’re tears of hope; of sweet memories; of knowing that better days lie ahead. 

This holiday season will look very different for so many people. 

I have lived an ocean away from my family for far too long to ever take getting to see them (in person) for granted. And because of the current state of things, we have now passed the year mark since we saw them last. As hard as that is, there are blessings in the times we live in. Unlike the intrepid adventurers of the past, who set sail across unknown seas, or traveled through mountain passes in covered wagons, or journeyed through deserts on the backs of camels, never knowing when or if they would see their families again, we have the luxury of Skype, Zoom and FaceTime. At the click of a button, I can hear their voices and see their beautiful faces. 

Being apart from those you love is never easy. The strain that the pandemic is putting on people’s livelihoods, their families and their general well-being is immense and that’s an understatement. But, in times of uncertainty, I feel it is important to hold on to the rituals that we cherish. Even, if it is on a much smaller scale than we are used too. Maybe this season will bring so many back to what is truly important. It’s not about the presents and the mountains of food, it’s about being surrounded by those that you love. And I pray that next year brings us closer to all those we hold so tightly in our hearts. 

Let us enter this season with a renewed sense of gratitude for one another. To bloom where we are planted and as the song says:

Merry Christmas

May your New Year dreams come true

And this song of mine in three quarter time

Wishes you and yours the same thing too

Frank Sinatra

Winter Solstice

Today, marks the “winter solstice”. Today, also marks the “great conjunction” where Saturn and Jupiter will appear to be the closest they have been together from our vantage point since the middle ages. I think there is something auspicious in that.

Now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rain and overcast sky blows out to sea later and we have a chance of spotting the planets tonight, aligned close enough to kiss.

There is magic in the air today, you can feel it humming.

{Interior illustration from The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper, illustration by Carson Ellis // Image taken from an article on the Art of The Picture Book Blog // Carson Ellis website HERE}

Santa Lucia

Happy Santa Lucia day. We feasted on iced cinnamon and orange buns this morning and listened to Christmas music by candlelight.

We’re making the most of the magic that these season brings!

{Image Studio Quirk}

HELLO, December

Hello, December. We’re ready for the frost that you bring and the bite in the air that chills are cheeks. We’re ready for quiet moments as evening closes in, cups of cocoa in hand while we stare at the Christmas tree lights and let our souls take a slow deep breath.

We’re ready for cold hikes through the nature reserve and the smell of fresh pine in the air. We’re ready for iced gingerbread and frosted sugar cookies cut out into holidays shapes and stored in tins at the ready to be devoured next to a hot cup of tea. We’re ready for Christmas music to be playing nonstop, working on jigsaw puzzles and for stealing kisses under the mistletoe hung above our bedroom door.

We’re ready for sparkle and glitter and the possibility of snow. But, most of all, I think we’re ready for this season to work it’s restorative magic in the quiet moments, that we find peace and a collective calm, as this has been a year that has ploughed forward almost unceasingly in a whirlwind.

Welcome, December, fill our hearts with good cheer.

{Josef Lada, from the 1953 Czech collection Detem HERE // Pinned HERE}

Goodbye, November

We cast off the last day of November with a full moon overhead, sprinkling moonbeams down upon us on this crisp and clear night.

And we leave November with a fresh wreath hung on the door as we ready ourselves for a season of magic.

Life Lately

It’s Friday. The sun is glowing and the air is nippy. The shadows have been changing throughout the house on a daily basis. As I write this now a golden hued beam is dancing across the floor towards my feet. Two week ago at this time, that beam would have been in a different place. It feels like a beautiful autumn day, the kind of day my parents would pack up the car with a picnic and take us up to the mountains to feast and hike.

Christmas music is playing. It’s been playing since November 1st! The house is clean and ready for the weekend to begin. I’m working on a final plan of attack for Thanksgiving, so I can ensure that the bread I’ll use for stuffing and the loaf we’ll use for sandwiches and the pumpkin pie are all baked on time. I’m also working on a final grocery store list for the week ahead to ensure I have all the little odds and ends I need.

Thanksgiving will look very different for many this year. It will be as it has always been for us. It’s just us around our Thanksgiving table. Because of school schedules we have yet to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family overseas. But, one year that just might happen!

This year has found me very quiet in this little place of mine. I have felt at times that I did not have a voice. I’ve still been working on my own writing projects, but this has not been a place that I’ve wanted to come to. I’m not truly sure why? The time I have been spending here has been with the help of Mr. Michie, who has aided me in making changes to the overall visual look of my blog. It’s been awhile since I have written code, so this project was a good refresher! There are still a few things left to tick off the list before I get it close to how I would like it. It is a very different, more streamlined look for me and I have enjoyed that, although it was a hard design decision to come to. I narrowed it down in the end and decided what would work best for me.

Our days are moving one into the next. Life is still happening in the midst of all the chaos. There are lots of games of Scrabble being played and books being read and albums being listened too. There has been a steady rhythm that we have continued to beat out through this storm we are all weathering. And that rhythm will continue to carry us through.

I hope wherever you are today that my ramblings find you safe and well.

{Cranberries, Andrew Wyeth, 1966}