In the dark of the moon with the Winter Solstice only days away…
The first frost arrived this week.
Spit forth from the infinite stars like a sneeze leaving sprinkles of sugary ice on the landscape.
The remaining blades and leafs gave way and withered at daybreak leaving nothing but the scattered evergreens to give us hope… no blooms worthy of expectancy.
However there is hardly anything more beautiful than a berry laden Juniper dotted with Cardinals; the Christmas tree with all of her ornaments pales in comparison.
Oh Christmas, we have that to look forward to – with the Santa Claus fable, the forgotten Jesus and colorful lights draped over bare limbs and the cherished red-nosed reindeer standing pretentiously on brown turf.
And New Year’s Eve – ah, the kissing; corks and fireworks detonate in unison to commemorate the failed promises yet to come. Eagerly we gorge on black-eyed peas and cabbage not earnestly expecting anything more than flatulence.
❤ Let us not forget Valentine’s Day – the heart shaped occasion when romance blossoms, proven with sentimental cards and candy and flowers; V-day — a cruel day for a lonely or broken heart; dinner date and obligatory sex.
Gaudy clumps of snow — bulky and shaped as if they had been intended for hail tumble down like chopped feathers. Alas, a reason to utilize the fireplace and marvel at the pansies.
Next week’s forecast is warm and dry. We will take it, we have no choice.
We will ride the weather-coaster, counting the birthdays of dead leaders and full moons and scattered days of sunny and seventy-five while we wait for the ides of March to come marching in.
In an earlier post, I mentioned making Christmas cards from older shots I had found in my digital library.
Well, here you go. I made this one for you.
I snapped this photo of the pond at dawn in February 2009 with a little Olympus pocket camera.
There was a power outage (due to the heavy ice) so we boiled coffee on the stove.
The air was still and thin, painted in pale shades of blue as far as the eye could see. The world lay silent, other than the cracking of limbs all around us.
It was absolutely enchanting.
Here’s wishing you all, each and everyone, a very Merry Christmas.
Cotton, peas, your friends, your seat, your nose… There are a lot of things you can pick. Family isn’t one of them. Disclaimer: Life is crazy, people are crazier and my family… well they get the crazy award if there is one. This is a work of ‘true fiction’ inspired by family. The names have been changed to protect the guilty
Bea: Did you get anything nice for Christmas?
Me: I’m fine thank you. How are you?
Bea: I didn’t ask how you were doing. Did you have a good Christmas?
Me: Yes I did. Did you?
Bea: I got the same old junk I get every year. Why do people ask you what you want if they are not going to give it to you?
Me: Did everyone make it home this year?
Bea: I have house shoes stacked waist high in my closet and enough gels and lotions to open my own Bath & Body Works.
Me: Hey that’s an idea. Maybe you could open a little shop and call it Foot & Body or Bea’s Bath & Slippers.
Bea: Don’t be absurd!
Me: It was just a thought.
Bea: Well it was a tacky little thought and besides they make perfectly good gifts for friends and in-laws.
Me: By the way thank you for the foaming cranberry soap. I love the smell and-
Bea: How is your dog? Did you get the dog anything for Christmas?
Me: Which dog? I have three.
Bea: The Chihuahua! I am not concerned about the ones that live outside.
Me: The dogs are all fine and they each got a bone for Christmas. The kids are fine too.
Bea: A bone?! That’s not a decent gift.
Me: They were happy with it.
Bea: Who – the children or the dogs?
Bea: Well the dogs don’t know any better. You should get a cat. My Kitty would never settle for a lousy bone. Isn’t that right Kitty Kitty? Yes it is. You’re mommy’s wittle princess; her itty-bitty baby. Mommy wuvs her sweet Kitty Kitty yes she does.
Me: Did you ever consider naming her something other than Kitty Kitty?
Bea: That would be ridiculous. Her name has been Kitty Kitty for six years. Her won’t answer to anything else will you baby? No her won’t. She wuvs her name and she wuvs her mommy. She’s not like mommy’s other babies – no she’s not. She’s a good girl. Aren’t you a good girl?
Me: Should I let you go so you can talk to the cat?
Bea: Why don’t you get a cat? They are a lot smarter than dogs and they don’t stink.
Me: You know I am allergic to ninety percent of the domestic feline population.
Bea: Well you need a cat. Real writers have cats. Surely you could find one in the ten percent of the populace you are not allergic to. Have you ever tried?
Me: The other ten percent smell worse than dogs.
Bea: Malarkey! Cats do not stink.
Me: Dead cats do.
Bea: That was a cruel thing to say. She was just being facetious Kitty Kitty. She’s jealous, that what she is. Dog people are mean aren’t they? Yes they are. They are meannie weenies but mommy will protect her pretty Kitty oh yes she will. Do you want mommy to make her apologize? You do? Okay I’ll tell her –
Me: Put the cat on the phone.
Bea: Here she is.
Me: Kitty Kitty are you there?
Bea: She can hear you, go ahead.
Me: Did you ever watch a sitcom called Friends?
Bea: She has watched every single rerun at least once.
Me: Kitty Kitty do you know the song Phoebe sang?
Bea: ‘Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat what are they feeding you?’ We laugh at that every time we hear it.
Me: Well Kitty that song was written about your mother.
Bea: Don’t tell her that! Now you really need to apologize.
Me: Forgive me Smelly Jr. – I mean Kitty Kitty. I’m sorry you’re a cat – it’s not your fault.
Bea: Ignore her baby; she’s just a nasty ole dog hugger. So did you get a lot for Christmas?
Me: Are you talking to me?
Bea: Of course I am talking to you! Who else would I be talking to?
Me: I got everything I wanted.
Bea: That’s good. Listen dear, I’m already working on next year’s list and I have you down as a size 8/9 in house slippers. Do you have a color preference? I’m thinking red, blue or leopard print.
Me: The red or blue either one would be nice.
Bea: Hmm. I thought you would prefer the leopard print?
Me: I would but isn’t that what I gave you last Christmas?
Bea: Hello? Hello? The reception here is terrible. I haven’t heard a word you’ve said since your apology to Kitty. I’m sorry sweetie I’m going to hang up now – call me back in a day or two. Oh and Merry Christmas.
Me: Merry Christmas Bea.
The shot I used for our Christmas card happens to fit nicely with this weeks photo challenge. It’s also an excellent chance to wish all of you at WordPress a Merry Christmas. If you can’t be merry at least have a happy one. 😉
Surprise surprise surprise! The infamous words of Gomer Pyle echo in my memory but to my own surprise they don’t annoy me like they did some forty years ago. That is probably because I have matured just a little. I am no longer burdened with the need to be cool and now find myself longing for a simpler time, an era where trust and naivety could walk freely among crowds, if there ever was such a time. Maybe there was and it rests on a reel of black and white film stored somewhere in sunny California?
Or in a box of old photographs in Texas…
Or under a live oak tree with a tire swing…
Or maybe, just maybe in a little dog’s dreams of Christmas.
I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the above are true.
This weeks photo challenge is (you guessed it) SURPRISE.