Between the rain, the freezing rain and more rain, the weather here in St. Louis has been pretty dreary. Even my dog (a 14-year-old Aussie) looks at me as if to ask “do I have to go out into that mess? Right now there is a misty fog hanging in the air which kind of reminds me of those old black and white detective movies with the trench coats and the lamp post – except that it is 8:30am, and I’m really missing the sun. I know I should be grateful – we could really need the rain – last summer was so hot and dry (although thankfully not as dry as other places) – but I still miss the sun.
My studio is in a complete mess! I decided I really needed to move things around in there so that the dozens of large plants (and small trees) from outside had a place to live and I could continue to create my art. Well, much got moved, but I discovered how much “stuff” had piled up on a table I was going to use for the plants, and this is all on my work table now waiting for me to separate into boxes for future use in my art… and I just haven’t gotten that far.
I stopped decorating for Christmas years ago. My only real Christmas activity is watching Christmas movies: The Bishop’s Wife, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas (even after having watched this dozens of times – I still cry at the end), Christmas in Connecticut (the old one), The Santa Clause, and Scrooged (really, the only re-telling of a Christmas Carol I enjoy – with Bill Murray, Carol Kane, Bobcat Goldthwait, Robert Mitchum, Alfre Woodard it is a hysterical adult movie).
I stopped giving store-bought gifts years ago as well. Some years I make donations to the food pantry, or a civil rights organization instead of shopping, and other years I make cards and gift certificates for such things as “helping you landscape your front yard” or “building a bed-frame” or “creating a special lamp” or “helping you paint your bedroom.” This year I plan on making pumpkin bread (I guess I’ll go to the store to buy the canned pumpkin for this). Really, this is the only think I cook or bake that is really pretty good. 🙂
I have friends who still buy gifts. One of them asked me what I wanted this year, and I told her “socks.” My socks have had a hard year – because I have been putting them on my dog’s paws (taped with duct tape) so she can’t get at them to chew. They have been worn outside in the mud, been chewed on, and had nails come through them. I really don’t want to make a trip to the store to buy socks, and getting socks reminds me of the types of useful, needed items people used to give as gifts before we would go out and purchase everything we wanted or needed when we wanted or needed them. Besides, I hate shopping for anything – and if I don’t have to fight the crowds for a bag or two of short sport socks – I’m thrilled. Her making the trip is the real gift!
Remember to enjoy the journey.