Winter Solstice offers a time to look back on the past year to acknowledge my challenges and the things I chose to do to solve those problems. This recent past year was a very hard one for me with the death of my oldest son, Cary, a victim of cancer at the young age of 53 years and one month. This loss turned out to be harder on me than I imagined. Thankfully, Craig and Laura and their families walked these dark days with me.
After wallowing in that pain I turn my attention to the coming year. I settled peacefully into my now permanent home at Laura and Larry on what I call "L&L Paradise Acres". I rented my home to Larry's son and his wife, making me grateful that the house will remain in the family, hopefully until my death.
L & L will go south for the coldest part of the winter and I will stay in my home and bedroom in Spokane. Books and the internet will fill part of that time, and as spring approaches I will start some early seeds to be transplanted to my garden in Spokane and my garden on L&L Paradise Acres. I planted far too many tomato plants in the greenhouse at L&L's last summer. They grew to fill the space from growing boxes to the top. The greenhouse was chuck full of tomatoes of all kinds and cabbages, onions, carrots, and the hardy kale.
My family and their friends of the Pend Oreille Co Dist 8 Fire volunteers, and their neighbors provide all the external stimulation I want. Settling in also offers me a lovely view into the forest. The deer don't come to this elevation during the winter months. There are not deer tracks anywhere around the place. Most birds have flown south, leaving behind the raucous crows and busy sparrow. Snow covers the ground and dresses Spruce, Pines, and Cedars with lovely garments of snow.
Our Yule party and Yule Log will burn on New Year's Eve, with invited friend and family. This party always remains in the memories, even of the very young.
I think of you, dear friends, scattered all around the Earth. My wish for you is good health, a tranquil mind, and peace.