… on winding through and past the holidays


New Year’s Tulips

Last night, after dinner, we sent Mac and Jack on their way.

Due to a nutty work schedule just before Christmas, they were able to be here for two full weeks and it was kind of great.

The house filled up with the two of them and Sam coming back from New Orleans.

Family Christmas happened, along with the final preparations for Christmas… and then of course Christmas.  A quiet week toward the next year after that.

Many little talks along the way. Some significant, some not so much.

But I was surprised, as we gathered at various times around this place – this place right here, Just Ponderin’ – that the kids were interested in what was happening here.  They were asking questions about different posts, suggesting new ones. They loved reading the comments that came in on the Facebook page, and picking up the cards and letters that came in the actual mail from you guys (Mac would get them, and read them out loud (thanks to all who sent one… or more than one in a few cases!). It was very, very cool.


Received from Mac this morning with caption: “When he gets a new camera and our lives suddenly shift to something out of National Geographic.”

Number One Son Sam and Half-Kid Jack got cameras (the same model as I have, their first ‘lens’ cameras) for Christmas and we explored how to use them and talked about tricks and thoughts on capturing emotion in photos. Sam talked about a blog maybe, and learning to photograph jazz artists down in New Orleans. Jack is all interested in photography in general. Has been for a very long time.

How cool is that?

And Mac and I, on a jaunt to get just the right meats and cheeses and nuts and apricots for a new year’s eve charcuterie board (Ya. I can’t even pronounce charcuterie. Hell, spellcheck made me go to Google to make sure I had it right. I just heard it on some chef show and wanted to type it.)  Anyway, on the ride there and back, we talked about her New Year’s eve resolution, which was all about adding more creativity to her life.

I’d gotten her Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, for Christmas, and she also got the audio version (read by Gilbert herself) and had been listening to it in the car. Like me, when I got it, she listens to it over and over. Noticing new things each time. Understanding that living a creative life doesn’t mean chucking the responsibilities in your life, quitting your job, and hitting the road, but finding ways to weave creative endeavors throughout what you do and who you are every day.

She had some great ideas by the end of the visit, and had even gotten some free software and was working with it doing various designs – for houses (she’s always loved designing environments… sure, it used to be monkey enclosures in Zoo Tycoon but still). She was having ball.

There was much hilarity during the visit too, for sure.

The night we turned off the DVD player after midnight and were greeted with some pretty hardcore porn was especially noteworthy.

JoHn fumbled with and dropped the remote twice as the gasps and moans filled the room.  Sam jumped up to cover his ‘little’ brother’s eyes (Gabe is 17 and 6’5) and, finally, when the room was dark and quiet, Gabe asked, “Am I ready to be a college student now?”

Ya. There ya go.

Injuries included a frayed Achilles tendon (mine), due to a horrific gym accident… okay, fine.  It wasn’t really a horrific gym accident. It was really me, in my most competitive form, trying to keep up with the other kids when Jack was my guest at the gym.


My ego killed my Achilles.

And today we have two boys down with a stomach something or other….

Picture two very tall slim man-boys draped across the sofa and big comfy chair, moaning. Then picture them changing their moans to Chewbacca sounds. Then yelling, “Moooooooommmmm,  Maaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh….. we wanna watch Star Warrrrrrrrrrrs!”  That was my morning.

But right now I’m hanging out in the ‘far room’ (a room we never use, but are today because JoHn is convinced there are microscopic critters roaming around the room the boys are in.  And that those critters could morph into something incurable, inoperable, fatal, mortal, deadly or otherwise terminal at any moment)… and JoHn is folding laundry and the fire is burning brightly and football is on the television.

Chewbacca is speaking for himself from the television in the other room and the holidays are past.

Life begins a new, as we begin another spin around our star.

Should take about a year.

Can’t wait to see what’s revealed along the way… adventure and wonder await!

Happy 2016.

And thanks for readin’.


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