December Thoughts

Let’s let holiday sparkle scatter into ordinary life this whole month – finding extra time for friends and family, successful shopping (limited) and making (more), and gathering by the fire!

And let the season’s music play! I’m listening to a recording by the New York Harp Ensemble that takes me instantly back to my old workroom in Anchorage. I’m looking though large windows into the back garden, it’s a particular (and rare) sort of winter day, a gentle snow-falling day.

Dusk comes early. The light hesitates at blue before going black. Windows glow in nearby houses. The work lights in my room shine on large tables, littered with Christmas card makings. Something smells good from the kitchen, spices simmering or dinner underway.

Preparation and anticipation create a lot of the flavor of this season. I’m focused, in this memory, working hard because soon we go to the airport and pick up a returning son (he’ll be in the house for five minutes before heading off with friends). And that’s cheerful, too.

Winter here in Washington sometimes surprises me. Pure blue sky, sunshine, and big waves thrilled local surfers on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (the visiting California surfer said he looked at the place “through new eyes”).

But mostly the darkness just is. Some days stay dim and drear, calling for light. Candles on the lunchtime table made the bridal shower at my clever friend’s house extra festive. A city day in Seattle meant midday lights in the art museum’s cheery restaurant, wreaths and greenery at the Pike Street Market, and the brightness of reindeer and Santas near houses by the highway on the twilight drive home.

My workroom is different here – so small – barely eight feet across, a nook off our bedroom. But it works fine, and this time of year things that inspire and things in progress pile up on my tables. And Frances helps – cats love piles of paper and bits of stars and ribbons.

The whole month is a sort of Workroom space – maybe that’s why I love it – imagining food, gatherings, or presents. Time for travel in bustling airports, time to watch “Love, Actually” again.

And busy, so busy. I hope you can savor the things you love about it – December comes just once a year!

Printed Pears

5 thoughts on “December Thoughts

  1. Wonderful pears! And my own memory was jolted by your recollection of December in your former studio. One of my favorite memories of those past Christmases is the one where you and the surfer son walked to our house in the snow to join the rest of your family here for Christmas dinner. We may have snow here this weekend, and I will tuck that visual memory away to bring it out when I am in Portland this Christmas in the rain.

    • Thank you Carol! – and remember the surfer son and I also once rode our mountain bikes to your house through the snow to Christmas dinner! (Those were the days.) But I also remember the Christmas eve your husband rented a tuxedo to wear to Christmas Eve dinner (held in my just completed and very empty workroom), because the then four-year old surfer son adored any kind of suit – he was wowed!

  2. What a beautiful thoughts you have, Katy. And you have reminded me to turn my Christmas music on. Have a very Merry Christmas! Love, Barbara

  3. Katy, I love those words sparkle scatter into our holiday – I also love the way there are snowflakes falling all around me…. I actually have on the Messiah at school…. what fun… . Happy loving season to you. Your daughter in law says they wish to come to MT – can not wait for them to arrive – anytime…. love, N

  4. I love your idea of scattering holiday sparkle around all season and playing music while working. And I love the pear prints. Are they woodcut or linoleum prints? It’s supposed to snow here in Boulder this weekend, too, just in time for the solstice next week. Happy Solstice!

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