Christmas, 2009…

It’s not a great year this year.  I was looking at pictures of old barns and then I found one:

This is sort of how I feel this Christmas about many things.

The barn symbolizes something to me.  I didn’t make cookies and I can’t get into the spirit.

In my family, Christmas was a huge and beautiful thing.  But, my family is gone.  For some reason this year it has really come home, emotionally for me.  I feel things are about to shift and I don’t know what is next.

I have this terrible sense of sadness, but, maybe that is because I feel so wasted right now.  Like my life is going to waste — what with the degrees and the work I did in the past.

I have a tree — a nice one.  The lights have been really beautiful.

Alone, I’d have a better Christmas with less sadness.  Here it is all memories.  All the structures have memories of our parents.  So, I don’t want to live here — but I am from here.  It’s about sense of place?  One’s place.

I have always loved old barns.  I almost got one once.  They remind me of a vanished Americana.  In a way.  Community barn raisings.  I want to move to a smaller more rural place.  I just do.

I’m working on the rooms.  Yesterday I did the kitchen.  I’m looking at all my books and trying to make sense of what to do next.  I really am.

Part of me wants to make a new home with a giant sofa.  Make a change.  I suppose this is this period in life?  In the midpoint where there is a shift?  I do not feel attached here any more — to this place.  I’m just not.

This is the first year I haven’t felt like Christmas in a long time.

I’m not even sure what would fix it right now.

Maybe tomorrow will be different — so Merry Christmas if you come by!


That barn.  That barn is in Maine.

The barns out west are different but they collapse in the same kinds of ways in the fields.

I was up early and it is dawn just now.

I did make some gingerbread yesterday.  I want something, or I have nostalgia for something but I can’t figure it out.  I really can’t.  Joie de vivre.  My mother would always arrive bearing Bailey’s.

A puppy would solve a little bit.  A pup.  Two pups.


It’s a mood this morning.  It really is.

I hope you are feeling better than I am.

16 thoughts on “Christmas, 2009…

  1. and I know 2010 is going to be wonderful for you. I mean that, I know it. I am glad you are still in touch with Song. Double Jointed is back too. I celebrate the Solstice. Celebration of the returning light. It is more real – actually connected to something happening to the earth. It is my new year beginning with the return of the Sun, and this year it was joyous for me. Now we just have to get through their New Year celebrations which are always so depressing for some reason. I wonder where you live – you have to be careful of too rural — gigantic factory farms polluting the water and air – drunken hunters shooting the dogs – serial killers. Be careful — but there are places between the worlds where, for a time, the world is a garden. Strange but safe, unlikely places sometimes near the railroad tracks or in back of a park or next to a field — depends. May you be guided to a place where you find satisfaction and beauty. Maybe it is right where you are under different circumstances. I have a fenced backyard in the city — organic gardening, a cat guard on top of the fence to keep the cats safe in a fenced back yard. Trees. A front yard for the birds and squirrels. I will make a fire in the fire pot in the back yard tomorrow. These are the small things that are enough for me. Wishing and Hoping you find what is enough for you.


    1. Well, I live in what used to be considered one of the best places in SoCal? I just read what you wrote — I know. We are very green in thought and land seems better than city. Water is going to be the biggest issue I feel. I would like to be able to have a horse, maybe — or just be near places I could ride?
      I would like to have room for a large garden. A few acres? This exists all over CA. What is happening here is that it is no longer a small town?
      It just isn’t. This particular solstice is a powerful one. 2010. I want to plant trees — have the room to plant them? A few acres. A barn! Dunno.
      Dogs and cats and maybe a chicken or two. 19th century, redux. We’ll see if it happens.


  2. Gardening is SSSOOOO GOOD! But start small unless you have money. If you have money and can buy a tiller Whoo Hoo the Sky’s the limit. Start drooling over the organic heirloom seed and plant books now in the winter months and draw pictures and plans of your garden – the herb section the veg section California you can have a fruit section. God i am thrilled just thinking about it.

    Obama is killing horses now. Goggle it. He is shooting wild horses from helicopters just as Sara Palin is shooting wolves. But of course she is condemned while the left ignores his bull shit.

    ANYWAY, if you could adopt a dog from a shelter and a horse from the wild horse roundups or from people who love their horse but cannot afford it anymore the angels will love you and help you find the perfect shelter. I love you already.


    1. I was very into all that heirloom stuff in the late 80’s? Have you ever read John Jeavons? I didn’t know about the horses. God. Unbelievable. So sad. I have always rescued dogs? Always. Right now seems to be a place of in-between. That is what is the strangest. I would love to adopt a horse like the wild mustangs. I love stuff like that — but that is me. Very difficult to understand the mindset of those who would shoot wolves and horses — for people from CA, like me. Just read this:,0,5429559.story


  3. First this is better than shooting them which I heard was the first plan
    and second;

    What do you think about heirlooms? I like Aunt Virginia or Granny Ginny or whatever it is but a lot of them do not produce many tomatoes. And I also think the small production is not always worth the flavor. I still plant Big Boys and Beefsteak because they are good tasting, juicy, dependable and give me a high production rate. I love dill and fennel with tomatoes in an olive oil and vinegar drizzle – also basil and oregano. My mouth is watering.

    And you can raise all your lettuces early in the season with a cold frame. Say, in CA can you plant all year long?

    You said it exactly. Now is a place of in between for you me and the whole world. We really have to enjoy and be happy – carve out a safe space because life is at its peak and real endings are now in sight – enjoy the grace and beauty now. I am living in the now regardless of how the fools behave. I cannot stop them and I cannot be in misery because of other people’s choices. We are on our own and it feels good to me. Love to you and your new beginnings.


    1. I used to really garden but Jeavons (if you have land) does the double dig method — you can do it in raised beds also — double dug. Here you can plant year round? Fall and spring. I was looking at my gardening books — whew. So many. I had a corporate job back then. I used to really love this guy’s ideas too: John Seymour “The Self-Sufficient Gardener” — you would love that book! My yard is shaded mostly now. I was really into this book called The Heirloom Gardener — and saving the open pollinated seeds. Kent Whealy is the guy that was doing that. He had theories about seeds — they grow stronger in the areas where you save them year after year. (you will love this, I think, too!)

      ps: I would love that tiller, I swear. I would love to plant a bunch of things.

      This is just a time of transition, in a way. Trying to decide what to do now. Before 2012. I have all these books on how to do things like preserves and so forth and I have my whole potters set- up. I just need a bigger chunk of ground than this is. All of CA is about gardens except for the desert areas — we are pretty much zone 24 here — a very good climate for all kinds of things.


  4. I know seed savers but none of those authors and i will check out every one of them- oh yes i will — but double dig?? my whole approach to gardening is no effort — there was an old lady who teaches my method — i forget her name — little holes surrounded by heavy hay — I hardly dig once although it took three years to get the earth just right. I am old – she was old — low energy — sitting around in the garden with the cats – turning over the earth near the plants — watering – oh yes, but i like to see how the other gardeners do it — as for the rest of it I plant native — perennials for the pollinators == bee balm and milk weed, angelica and bergamont – and then they are on their own.


    1. Someone was telling me about that hay style you are talking about — not long ago? The double digging would be too hard — but the theory is that you have 2 spades full — like 24 inches deep and then you mix with manure and so forth to get a light mounded soil — that you never walk on again. You can plant very close together when you double dig — huge harvests in small spaces –. If it works, have it just be hay! This woman I know gardens like that — she called it the layering method? As little disturbance to the soil as possible. My old cat Ace — he is all that is left of all the animals I’ve had. He is so funny out there in the back yard. He has gotten rather stiff in his old age and he stumps around with this giant portly belly — comic. Pure black with green eyes! I wonder what Song is up to? Hope she is okay. This has been the strangest holiday I can remember — miss my family a lot. I really do. Miss cooking for many.


  5. It cannot just be the cooking because every animal rights group and homeless group is screaming for cooks for their holiday pot lucks and you could slave over a stove for billions if you really crave it. It probably has to do with your rituals with family — Hey, what happened to your family? (I thought they were mean to you anyway – am I wrong)?I am so glad to be free of the dysfunction – I am blissfully happy to be alone with the cats. No stress, no compromise, no phoniness and pacifying. Your cat sounds like a delight.


  6. You know I don’t think that double dip the way you describe it is so different – I throw compost in the hole and sometimes cow manure from across the street and i sure don’t walk on the hole after i turn it over. But i cannot plant too close together because I really cannot seem to prune them so they stay small and they need air in-between them.


    1. Well, the last decade has been one in which all the elders passed away of old age on both sides. He didn’t want kids, so? There are no children and the transitional space is because I am no longer in the two careers i planned? So, it’s just a big transition. As in what next?

      Sounds like you garden as I have! In the past. I used to have so many cats — and my two old dogs, and then Blue my last dog but she passed away over the summer. I miss working? But, at what? Want to move, but where? Like that. Transit.


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