Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Light Again

Ages ago, I said that all the holiday gifts this year would be handmade, but not many of them are after all. Driving home tonight I started to consider, for the first time this season, breaking down and doing that kind of holiday shopping where you just go, and walk around, looking at every thing there is to look at, trying to figure out if any of it could be something someone I feel I owe a present to would want. I wasn't quite to the mall stage, it would have been walking around the second smallest town nearby, but in the end I think I've decided against even that. 

I just want to hang out with my family, and then spend days in my pajamas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, 2011

There were things that needed to be made up for but we didn't talk about that. Part of what could have been bad was made into a story, and laughed at. I hoped for the ice to hold. Frog came to the table and showed us all how to make his kind of snowflake. We cut and bent paper, drew the edges together with little ribbons of tape, and all made something together. Jessica was wearing the hat I made for her last year. Two and a half years ago isn't far away, but so much has changed for so many of us. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Last Penpal

She wasn't the easiest person to get a photo of. I like this one, just candid, taken during dinner out, with the twins sitting at the end of the table she seems to be looking at. 

When our other grandmother passed away, suddenly there were all this photos. Black and white, little square prints, people in bathing suits and with dogs I never knew, wearing hats and heels, lanky and younger than I'd ever known them. It was this reveal that never happened in any of the visits or letters that had come in the years she was Grandma. It felt like another way to know her, and I've been glad for it. She's tacked up on the bulletin board in my office, wearing overalls, fishing from a rock. Always.

I hope for some of that with Grandma Ellen, too, now that she's gone. I used to write to her sometimes with questions, things that probably seemed maybe a little rude, about when she was younger. What things were like, what was she interested in, back then? She was never very interested in answering those. But she did always write anyway, just about other things, whatever was recent. 

I miss owing her a letter. Last year was the last year of Belle Fourche calendars for Christmas. Glad we were there not too long ago, wish she could have been here more. She was always good to us.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


The frost on the fields the other day was so thick it looked like snow from a distance. Someone at work was talking about Colorado the other day, how the high had been zero degrees somewhere there, balmy! and I remembered that and missed it. Coming home at night, the back porch hear is all glitter and treachery. Sunday morning was bad news, but later in town, David kept Tweets open late to feed us roast chicken and homemade noodles. It's what my dad would have made, if he were making my favorite thing, and even though he was the one who deserved comforting, it was the right thing.