Wednesday, December 31, 2014


True confession
Come on... be honest. Have any of you
ever truly enjoyed a New Years Eve?
I find the very concept of this annually
enforced celebration ludicrous at best.
Depending on the year one can be either
happy, sad, resigned, or on the brink of
extinction. Hence few want to dress up,
leave the house, and join the hordes
welcoming the annum. Much like an
evening on Bourbon Street, the scent
of booze mixed with vomit holds little
appeal. Nor does watching Anderson
Cooper cavort with Kathy Griffin.
Limited engagement
While I occasionally enjoy a bit
of lubrication, I learned long ago
that extreme consumption is not
for me. Many the time I woke up
somewhere that I shouldn't have
been. Or was told I had uttered
things that shouldn't have been
said. Loose lips sink more than
ships given they often destroy any
sense of dignity. If one imbibes,
limit your sphere of influence to
those near and dear. There's safety
in numbers and less is more.
It takes all kinds
Alcohol brings out the best or worst
in most. Some are mean drunks -
vicious, angry, hostile souls ready
for a fight. Others quietly fade into
a corner for a snooze. Many can be
messy leaving a trail of boozy debris
wherever they go. And the smartest
abstain and watch the spectacle that
literally lays before them. Why view
the big ball descending when one
can see civilization crumble before
your bar stool? Winners take it all in
while losers forget what happened.
With regrets
Since meeting Frank I've abstained from
mass gatherings at the end of each year.
Early on, we traveled our separate ways
to be with our families for the holidays
only to reconvene before the thirty first.
That night was our Christmas and we
never shared it with others. Subsequently
we've welcomed the New Year with his
parents and family at an early dinner out.
And while I certainly had my share of
Manhattans, I never went over the edge
and hence was in bed before midnight.
To quote Piaf - "Non je ne regrette rien."
Dress for success
What are you doing New Years
Eve? As someone who cares,
may I make a few suggestions
on how to weather the big event?
First, wear something elegant yet
comfortable. Do NOT squeeze
into anything that may pop after
you've popped more than a bit of
bubbly. There's little worse than
a drunk with something hanging
out that isn't supposed to. Dress
appropriately in order to avoid
any wardrobe malfunctions.
Stay wet
Why anybody would purposefully
welcome the New Year with a bad
hangover is beyond me. So please,
HYDRATE. As you guzzle - be
sure that at least one large glass of
water is consumed every hour. Not
only will everyone view your new
frock as you trot back and forth to
the loo - your liver will thank you
in the morning. While I doubt
dehydration will kill you, it can be
murder when you awaken with a
headache due to a lack of H2o.
Ashes to ashes
If you must go out, try to be like
Cinderella and get out of Dodge
before the clock strikes twelve.
Listen my little pumpkins -
while I'm certain that none
of you drink and drive, I can
guarantee that almost everyone
else on the road has done just
that. So why risk starting 2015
in a body bag? Do us all a favor
and make sure you tuck in your
Buick before midnight. What's
better than celebrating in bed?
All's well that ends well
In the end even parties are all about self
control. Automobile accidents or ripped
hems aside, the only person you hurt by
over indulgence is yourself. And at this
point in life haven't most of us figured
out what truly makes us happy? Rarely
is spending the last night of a year on a
bender the key to bliss. Rather looking
back on the prior three hundred and
sixty five days is a learning experience.
Only you can gain from your mistakes.
So please do your best to try and not
make any tonight! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Flake off
Sometimes against all odds one
simply has to give in. In the case
of last Sunday, that was exactly
the situation here in Lewistown.
It snowed all day. And while it
actually was rather pretty - the
white stuff piled on and on - inch
by inch - until finally we had more
than a foot of new snow. Sparkling,
feather light frozen fluff covered
everything with a fairy dusting of
pixie dust.  And as long as one did
not go out - all was beautiful.

This is all beneath me
The problem is life goes on. Therefore
many had to be out and about. What
made our winter weather even more
challenging was that along with the
snowflakes, the thermometer fell. By
Monday evening - the low was well
into the double digits below zero.
Meanwhile underneath it all lurked
the most dreaded of evils - black ice.
Hence while all looked quite innocent,
I easily took a spill that fortunately did
not end up with any broken bones. Yet
I must admit I was more than rattled.

Walk this way
Here in Central Montana most live quite
long and happy lives. However once one
shifts from facile footsteps to a walker -
suddenly your world becomes a rather
scary place. You see, like it or not local
weather patterns warm then cool creating
the perfect environment for ominous ice
slicks. Thus many of advanced vintage
live in fear November through early May.
While all may seem quite safe and secure,
a walk around the block is life threatening.
So you either stay in or cautiously venture
out risking a broken hip or bruise at best.

Deferred maintenance
One must remember that this is
the wild west. A place where a
four wheel drive is the only way
to get anywhere. It can take days
to dig out. Thus the plows wait
until it's all over rather than even
attempt to battle Mother Nature's
output. Having lived in civilized
climes before, I find abstinence
confusing at best. Is it strategic
deferral, a lack of funds, or just
pure and simple laziness? Why
must I wait to get plowed?

Ebb tide
I get that trying to stem the tide can be
futile at best. Yet one must argue that
keeping the roads free should be a top
priority rather than necessary evil. All
sense of responsibility fades away with
the holidays. That means that any serfs
who should be shoveling are probably
off surfing somewhere. Everybody's
priorities are a bit off and hence one
wonders if it wouldn't be better to dive
in and join those who escape to warmer
climes. Isn't that better than sitting and
shivering as one weathers the storm?!

Chill out
The problem is I really don't like the
idea of becoming a snow bird. Most
locals of a certain vintage escape to
Arizona. I could warm up to that idea,
yet I don't relish the thought of having
to maintain dual manses. Instead a
brief respite at a posh resort appeals
rather than several months sitting in
some cardboard condo furnished with
cast offs. For now Frank and I plan to
escape to a nearby hot spring for a few
days post New Years. We'll eat, drink,
sleep, and soak. LET IT SNOW!

Monday, December 29, 2014


Neither here nor there
While some find this rather odd respite between Christmas and New Years enjoyable, I don't. Suddenly the house is a veritable jet stream of flotsam and jetsam. Forlorn boxes and bits of discarded wrapping paper hide in ever corner. I can't wait to purify. To take down all of the petrified pine and clean out the joint. And yet, for whatever reason one must wait a proper amount of time. Hence I'm stuck with almost dead narcissus and wilted amaryllis. Talk about depressing.
Dirty laundry
On top of all of that, all of our house
guests have departed after a week's
stay. Suddenly the house echoes and
one can't help but miss them. Like
most things - we crave whatever we
don't have. Fortunately they will be
gone but not forgotten given they
left a mound of linen to deal with.
I'll take pleasure in remembering all
of the good times as I soak, rinse,
dry, starch, press, and fold what's
left behind. What better way to end
this year than cleaning up one's act!
Home alone
Kind friends have invited us out but
honestly, I must suffer through my
post holiday stress syndrome quietly
at home. After weeks of frenzy it's
finally ended. Soon another year will
begin. Suddenly you're older, fatter,
and wiser. And while the benefit of
experience is well worth the journey,
wouldn't it be nice if we got smarter
without all of that wear and tear?
Why do wrinkles always accompany
wisdom? I guess the older one gets,
the closer they get to heaven.
Am I blue?
Please don't assume I'm a curmudgeon.
Actually I'm rather an optimist. Hence
I know that soon my outlook will be
positive. Maybe I'm suffering from
light deprivation but about this time
every year I shift into my blue period.
Much like everything in life, my moods
are cyclical. Hence I'm fully aware that
soon the days will grow longer and my
outlook will become brighter. Whether
it's a chemical imbalance or I'm bored
doesn't really matter. Soon I'll find my
way out of this post holiday limbo!
Love is in the air
One must question whether one seminal day is worth all of the before and after. That very thought causes me to step back and think about my daily existence. Living in a small hamlet in Montana is all about the simple things in life. My better half truly fulfills me. Our family's love enriches. Friends affirm and enhance. And solitude enables me to step back and reflect. Ultimately the answer to the question is that I AM BLESSED. And that is rather humbling.
Please take note
Am I truly better off than anybody else?
I doubt it. My competitive advantage is
that holiday mania aside, I now have the
time and space to enjoy all that God has
given me. After years of chasing many
rainbows I've finally settled in a place
that allows me to be me. Where is your
nirvana? When is the last time that you
focused on what matters... TO YOU?!
Give yourself a late holiday gift - make
a list of all the things that truly make you
happy. You'll be surprised at the result.
What better way to end and start a year?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

7th Day Surprise - DOG DAYS

Post the holidays it can get a little depressing.
Especially if whatever you really wanted never made it under the tree.
As my dearest bestie "T" said, 
"If you didn't get one, just buy a damned dog!"
And so, I have a feeling that within a few weeks
there may be a new member in our household.
I may be barking up the wrong tree but
I'm just saying... let it go...