Belated Happy New Year

January 3, 2007 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Christmas, country living, dating, faith, family, food, Holidays, knitting, relationships, romance | 20 Comments

Hello again, and Happy New Year.

The Underpass Firefly Used to Find the LA RiverOne year ago I was still living in the foothills, north of Los Angeles. I was taking four-mile walks several times a week, and one path I followed took me under a freeway underpass, past a few sleeping homeless men, and across the Los Angeles “River”. January in Los Angeles last year was unseasonably warm — unreasonably warm.  The weather was so “nice” I was able to work on my paintings outdoors at a nearby park or in my sister’s backyard. There were days when the temperature was in excess of 90 degrees … in January. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the normal six-months of summer is more than enough.  What was up with having it all year long?

One year ago I was alone, and it sucked. I painted at the park alone; I walked alone, I worked alone in the lovely furnished room I was renting, I bought groceries alone, cooked alone, sang to myself alone, and watched movies or television comedies at the end of my days alone. It was a quiet and contemplative time.

The Los Angeles River in All Its GloryI wasn’t miserable by any means. I can find and create happiness in any situation, that is my nature. Sometimes that’s all you’ve got and it is a an important skill to develop and call up at will. If I were still alone in Los Angeles today I would create happy. But, I wouldn’t know you, and I wouldn’t know my barn … or my husband.

Now it is early January 2007; I find myself in western New York. I live on a farm. I can look out of my kitchen, living room, or bedroom windoes and see and hear our fast-moving abundantly wet river flowing past as it bends in a long lazy “U” right across from our farm. From the windows on the other side of the house I can see our barn and the corn field, only partially plowed … and lots of lawn and trees. And, I see space. Plenty of space, open and free space.

Firefly Paintings in the Yard in January in Los AngelesOh, I’m still creating happy. Yes, I am creating happy. And it doesn’t require so much imagination as the happy I created in Los Angeles.

The Christmas holidays were sweet, then bitter sweet. My parents and my son and daughter were here with us. My husband had a house full of guests for the first time. It was quite different for him, and he was a down-right good host I thought. The last day my son was here it snowed all day long. I made a large batch of my blue ribbon biscuits and we all sat in the dinning room eating biscuits with various jams and jellies and maple syrup and molasses and cheese. It was beautiful to sit there around the big table with the snow falling on the barn and the fields outside and to see how much a life, or a handful of lives, can change in one short year.

Now the house is quiet and still, my husband has gone back to work and I return to mine.

Sweet and bittersweet … that’s life. The sweet parts should be the focus, the bittersweet moments should be used only as accents to make the sweet bits stand out in greater detail.

I wish you and yours a sweet 2007. May your bittersweets taste a bit like chocolate. May you feel gratitude deep within yourself for new and unexpected landscapes revealed as you continue your journey along the River You.

Thank you for being a part of my life, and my new landscapes.



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  1. In case you don’t realize, your nature of creating happy spreads like ripples on a pond. I, too, find that it’s all good. That is a sort of motto of mine, but you have inspired me to strive deeper into this for the new year. Mindfulness shall be ever present as I endeavor to consciously make my contribution to the universe better.

    Thanks for blogging on, Firefly!

  2. There you are! Happy New Year! Changes do occur like them or not. The first photo doesn’t seem like “you”. More me, LOL. I’m ready for a whole set of newness the year has to bring. Here’s wishing yours to be one of the best you’ll remember!

  3. SOOO glad to have you back among us! You are such a bright spirit out there! Firefly is an apt name because you illuminate both the light and the dark. (reminding me to be fully present)

    I am curious about your change of lifestyle that you mentioned where you started exercising and eating healthy. What made you make the final decision to become more healthy and anything help in that endeavor? Perhaps a topic for a later blog?

    Thanks for being so authentic! I’ll take my role models wherever I can find them!!

  4. Thank you so much Cindy, and yes I will be glad to share my experiences in choosing and following a healthier lifestyle and the results of doing so in future blogs.

    Best wishes,

  5. Thanks for the sweet memories and the better days!

    Love, Mom

  6. I’ve been an avid reader of your blog since it started but have never commented before. You are such a lovely, warm person and I would like to wish you all the very best for 2007!

  7. Happy New Year to you! Know that you’ve had a profound impact on my life, and how I look at things. Specifically in what comes at me as I make my way in this life. If you have a chance, please read my journal entry today; I’d be interested to hear your take on it. If not, that’s cool, too. 🙂 I hope this year is filled with happiness for you and yours! 🙂

  8. hello! glad to have you back, but happy you put your nomral blogging time towards making memories with your loved ones! your entries are so inspirational to me, i just love them. i too am in a phase of my life where i am alone a great deal of time, in a city of millions, yet alone. i eat alone, sleep alone, watch movies and tv alone, exercise alone, walk the dog alone, go to museums and stuff alone…you get the idea! i am unable to change that part of my life until a year from now when i will move back home with friends and family…but strive all the time to create happiness in the smallest ways even in my life! thank you for reassuring me i am not alone! (no pun intended!)

  9. Beautiful words and thoughts to sustain me as I meet the adventures this new year will bring me. Like you, I make my own happy, alone now, but hope that the end of the year will find me still making my own happy, but with a companion to add some spice to it.

  10. Bittersweet – Ah yes! Our DS and DIL left today and you are right. I will certainly cherish the wonderful memories we created and know that my DS is extremely happy and what more could a Mom ask for. I, like you, look for the positive/happy! Next month, I am having a party – 10, yes 10, years since my last breast cancer treatment on 7 Feb. Dessert, coffee, bubbles and good friends – now that is HAPPY!
    So glad you are back and now have someone to share your daily happiness!

  11. Happy New Year! Glad you could spend your holidays with your family :o)

  12. Happy New Year, so glad to have you back, you are such an inspiration. We spent Christmas with my family and it was wonderful, a fabulous memory. I, too, would be interested in the your change to a healthier lifestyle.

  13. P.S. also the gracious parcels, were blankets made and distributed?

  14. Happy New Year! I’m glad your back but also glad you made wonderful memories with your family, that is sooo important!

    Can’t wait to see what the year holds for all of us!


  15. A note about the Gracious Parcels project:

    I received the final squares I needed for one complete blanket a day or so before Christmas. There wasn’t enough time to sew the squares together to present the blanket as a Christmas gift, on Christmas Day.

    However, while my family was here we all participated in planning where the various squares should be, which was very nice. Now my family is an indelible part of the project as well.

    I am still in the process of sewing the squares together and will finish in a day or so.

    There is a lady who Habitat has worked with, and who is already a home owner via Habitat. She has had a very rough time the past few months due to a medical problem and then losing her job. She is a very good person, and I have asked the other board members if we could give this first blanket to her to cheer her up. They have agreed. So, by next week she should have it, with all of your lovely words on the tags giving her comfort, along with the warmth of the blanket itself.

    Sorry I couldn’t get it done by Christmas, but I think we should all still be very happy with our first go at this.

    I’ll post photos of the blanket as soon as it is done.

    Best to you all,

  16. Firefly! Happy New Year!

    You always have such a nice way of putting things into perspective. I envy. 😉

  17. I think you know me. I too am a happy person, no matter what the circumstances in my life. Life is a roller coster, the lows are there to make you realize how high the highs really are and how sweet and good life is. I also married and moved to the country and though I don’t live on a farm, I have beautiful nature all around and it centers me like nothing else has in my life, but my children.

  18. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I’ll soon be sharing pictures of my little world. I hope my pics are half as beautiful as yours!

  19. Happy New Year. I’m glad you had a good Christmas with your family.

  20. Glad you had such a nice holiday and that you got to enjoy a white Christmas and New Years.

    Painting outdoors in shirtsleeves in January sounds so foreign and exotic to me.

    I could happily give up the extreme cold, but I need some winter to get into the spirit and to feel more balanced.

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