Thursday, December 24, 2015


Christmas Eve. It's sunny here today and warm. The river is up a bit from last night's heavy rains—the first rise in at least a couple of months. The ground is saturated, the brown leaves a soggy carpet. Nothing like the snowy scene above.

As a district manager, Myladylove had to go in for a half-day's work. After all, those desperate folks out doing last-minute gift and grocery shopping must be able to get into their bank and withdraw extra cash. She'll be home sometime after noon.

There are non-stop carols and Christmas classics on the stereo. I've been wrapping a couple of items and am getting ready to assemble a tricycle for Granddaughter Anya. She's 18 months old so this will be her first Christmas that she's big enough to enjoy—and of course I'm doing the grandpa thing and giving her a proper sackful! 

After trike assembly I'm making a quick run to the nearby grocery for two or three items. Then late this afternoon we'll head over to join the daughter, son-in-law, and Anya for a Christmas Eve service at their church—with a chicken-and-dumplin's supper back at their house to follow.

In spite of all this, I'm having a hard time mustering up any real Christmas spirit and don't know why. It isn't the mild weather. And not for lack of anything that I can discern. There's an abundance of gifts to go around. Great meals ahead. Family and friends to share everything. Everyone's health is good. I have love and loved ones. Nothing is amiss.

By any standards we're mightily blessed. I'm mightily blessed! Rich in life, and I don't mean monetarily. But I have all I need and more—way more. And I have nothing to complain about, and really, no complaints.

Yet…the usual seasonal excitement is missing. Which probably says something about me, about my lack of, well, whatever. God knows I'm grateful for all I have. I adore Christmas, for what it is and what it represents—a season of hope and joy and celebration of that long-ago birth which forms the basis of my faith. And I don't want to be this way, feel so uncharacteristically empty. Not depressed, just, um, flat, a bah-humbug sorta nagging, niggling mood.

Guess I need another cup or two—or six—of Christmas cheer!

Peace, joy, and blessings! Merry Christmas from Riverdaze!



Gail said...

HI GRIZZ - great picture fof you and your grand-daughter Anya. She is precious. And you, my good man look amazing - handsome and lean and all things manly-sexy wow!! Your Christmas Eve festivities sounnd wonderful and traditional, delicious and blessed. Now, about your feeling kinda flat - if I may add a slant to that feeling - perhaps, as time goes on, we sort of surrender to a simple truth that is not actually flat but 'normal' as in, a way of life, a constant that we rely upon - often, excitement comes from anticipation of unknowns - seems all the 'knowns' in your life bring you a calm, a peace, a surrender to your life - a flat acceptance - I hope your surrender to your world is always calm, peaceful,blessed, loving, even flat because the alternatives, well, let's just leave that be........enjoy the 'flat'
We are doing our traditional Italian foods and playing the final game of Yahtzee. There are still score cards in the box from over 30 years ago when my Dad was still alive. This is our last Christmas gathering together in Connecticut - so bittersweet. 2016 and on will begin new traditions, memories while honoring the old.
Then it's finish last minute details and packing, get the rental truck on Sunday and load it, everything but the bed - and head on out on Monday. A caravan of folks. Oh my...nothing 'flat' about the anticipation in this adventure, I can't wait for 'flat' again. :-)
Merry Christmas Jim - (did our card and contactinfo arrive?)
Love you big guy

Grizz………… said...


My dear friend, where would Christmas be without your warm, sweet letter. Though I must say I simply refuse to accept that Christmas has gone "flat" for me, to remain so from here on out! When it comes to Christmas, flat is not normal, and will never be normal. I'll surrender to a lot of things, but not that! Ever. I do, however, understand and agree in part with your point. Just not that it's applicable to Christmas personally.

What I think is going on here is something more mundane…simple exhaustion. I've been going at this remodel for months, every waking hour except for time needed to write and take care of the occasional chore or errand, or attend a necessary meeting. I haven't fished, taken photographs, rambled in the woods and fields—haven't done anything, basically, except try and get as much done on the cottage as possible. No weekend getaways. Only one or two backyard cookouts! Nothing frivolous and fun. Just dawn til dark working. Which IS NOT normal for me. And along the line, I've lost my grove, my capacity and zest for the magic and spirit and childlike delight I always find when mid-December begins to turn seriously Christmasy.

At least that's my theory. I've not stumbled onto reality, I've lost it! Christmas is the light of the world, the year's hinge point; for me there's no more wonderful season.

Ha! I'll stop preaching now! Sounds like you have your Christmas well in hand—family, food, fun. I've assembled Anya's trike and when Myladylove gets here we'll have lunch and then…well, who knows. It's Christmas Eve and I'm going to whip my own butt and make me get into the swing of things and enjoy myself! I might even put out food for tonight's reindeer!

Gail said...

Hi again- a well understood distinction my friend - flat is NOT a word or feeling or a way to be during the magic of Christmas - I 100% agree - funny, when I wrote about 'flat' I wasn't (in my mind) including Christmas. Rather other parts of our lives at which we have arrived, gracefully or not :-)

And certainly, the hard pace at which you have been working was bound to leave you trodden. You must plan time to play and have fun too.

I bet Anya will love her new trike - nothing better than kids and grandkids to lift one's spirit!!

Peace and love to you

(and our card, it arrived? just a quick yay or nay, k?

Moonmuser said...


Seeing that photo again, I think I told you that that has to be the most adorable face I've ever seen .. Anya's I mean. I think I failed to tell you that I agree with your friend Gail's description of how you look. LuckyYourLadylove! Besides handsome and sexy, you also look distinguished, as in "distinguished writer" and font of knowledge!

As for your flat, missing-the-magic feeling, I agree with the both of you and your speculations, but I can't help but think that not having your darling doggie companion Moon with you this past year has to be a big part of it..After all, she was always by your side and doing everything with you..part of your very heart and soul. What do you think? Also, you didn't get to socialize as much with all the work.

I am home tonight by choice..could have gone to a movie (The Heart of the Sea") or to the church where two of my office companions go, but I am starting a 10 or 11 day vacation and beginning a toothache and feel the need to be quiet and enjoy the kids they evening, Tomorrow I am most likely going to have dinner with our office manager and his wife and family, cat and dog etc.

Wait a are putting food out for the reindeer? I thought YOU were Santa and you would be with them! I am going to interview Santa Claus for next week's paper .. should be fun. BTW...Did you see our Merry Christmas ad in the paper yesterday? If you did, then you know that I am Rudolph ...antlers, red nose and all!

Hope to see you at the Brain Trust Monday...then i have to go to the office for half a day.
My tooth-work is going be so expensive that I won't able to get to New York after all. Got to save the I will come in for our office party Wednesday. We had a lot of RSVPs, so it should be interesting. See you there.

Please tell lady love I wish you both a peaceful Christmas and holiday season.

Grizz………… said...


Didn't have a chance to answer back last night. We attended a lovely Christmas Eve service with my daughter, son-in-law, and Anya at their church. Then back to their house for chicken and dumplin's (my mother's recipe) and homemade red velvet chocolate chip cookies. Both absolutely wonderful! Lacy (my daughter) gave us a jar of of apple butter she'd made recently; I took them a cheese ball along with a bowl of fruit salad I prepared the day before yesterday. We all played with Anya until well past everyone's bedtime…then Myladylove and I came home, stopping for peppermint stick ice cream from United Dairy Farmers along the way.

A fine time all around! I'm in good spirits, just not my usual Christmas mood—though I am feeling better, a little bit anyway. And looking forward to today. But you're right, I needed more balance in my life these past months. I tried to do what had to be done, as much as I could, but at the expense of everything else. A mistake. I set aside too much of my life trying to accomplish what I could (will) eventually manage anyway. I should have opted for time to play and doing other, equally important—to me—things. I'm too frivolous and fun loving to be so seriously focused for too long!

Yep, grandkids are a gift, a big dose of the healthiest medicine. And yes, we did receive your nice card—thank you!—and you should have gotten one from us, though I believe it went to your new address.

Grizz………… said...


I'll tell you quite honestly, Anya is every bit as much the fun-loving, high-energy Irish imp as she looks in most photos, and then some! A real joy and constant delight.

I'm certainly aware of Moon's absence. We both are. And not a day goes by that I don't miss her and the company she provided. And maybe that is part of what's bothering me this year, though I don't think so. I'm sure it's partly to do with too much single-minded labor and worrying over this house, as much as I actually do enjoy the work. But there's also a sort of pervasive malaise which seems to be affecting everyone and everything—at least I keep hearing that over and over.

Sorry to hear you're having tooth problems. That's not the way to spend Christmas or a vacation. I may make it Monday, though probably not if I can work on my firewood. I have about 4-5 hours of splitting and I should then be in pretty good shape for the rest of the winter. But I only have until New Year's Eve to get it done—after that, I won't be able to do much of anything until March. Too late for woodpile work to do me any good.

Nope, I'm not Santa. (Was that a fat joke, geezer joke, or are you implying I have a proclivity to hang around with elves?)

BTW, I'm arguably a "fount of wisdom," (more a repository of useless information) but not, oh-typographically-challenged-editor, a "font of wisdom"…though I'll admit that does have a certain publishing racket cachet.

See you Wednesday, if not Monday. Merry Christmas!

Moonmuser said...

With your with weight loss, no fat jokes...(not that I made any before, lol.)...we are all geezers, it's a given! so it must be the elf thing!! The Santa I am going to interview plays Santa and his wife plays Mrs. Claus at the elementary school every year, so he should know his stuff!

I believe you will ultimately be fine...your crazy, Irish Druid nature will take over, as well as your former, partially red hair. LOL Holidays bother so many people in a malaise-al kind of way...that's why we run holiday blues stories in the paper and shrinks are so busy through January! Now if I can work on me.. I'm fine one moment, then that feeling you describe meanders by. I am going to have to seek a Sugar Daddy to pay for the teeth work! Just kidding, you know. I'll pray for a blessing instead. and blessings for everyone!

you do know that if you don't come Monday, we probably won't see you till March at the group ... I want to invite two people to come see if they want to be a part of it, but not until we have the full complement. John and I need your commanding presence to impress them! LOL

Enjoy...I am going to cal Carol now and we will open our gifts over the phone... always fun, then off to dinner at 4:30.

giggles said...

Merry Holidays to all and to all a good night. I'll be thinking of you and will look forward to posts when you're feeling up to it when you get back from your eye procedure! Best wishes. Warm wishes to you and all the family! Anya is GOR. Geous!!

Grizz………… said...


Just got my desktop Mac set back up on its temporary home atop the greatroom table, from which I'd removed it during Christmas.

We had a lovely Christmas Day of family, food and fun. Lots of great gifts all around. Plenty of laughter. Anya was delighted and delightful. Just wonderful. Couldn't ask for more.

Grizz………… said...


Thank you. I hope you had a lovely, magical Christmas too, and that the new year brings much joy and delight. I'll certainly be out of commission for awhile with the eye deal, but should be able to get back into posting in 6-8 weeks.

KGMom said...

Scribe--it gives me comfort to see that your near daily missives on your blog have slowed down. And, seeing the photo of your most adorable granddaughter makes it all understandable.
If you are spending more time with her, and less time with "us" (your readers) it is time well spent.
Happy New Year.

Grizz………… said...


This is the first time I've been on my Mac—and on the blog—since New Years. I'm getting ready for eye surgery in a few days and had to do all sorts of prep stuff, every hour on the hour for four weeks—couldn't write, read, or watch TV. No going over to visit the granddaughter, either. Basically relegated to listening to audio books, music, and sitting/thinking. Which explains my blog absence. But I just got back in from the final pre-surgery exam and eye measurements at the surgeon's. And everything looks good and I'll start with left eye on the 8th and right two weeks later. With luck, I'll be go to go by wildflower season. And I can post on the blog again from here on out…one-eyed, perhaps, but hey, I'm kind of a scraggly ol' pirate, anyway.