There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

25 December 2016

Family Christmas 2016

2017 will mark the ten year anniversary of this little blog of my life, thoughts and adventures. Many different events have been shared over that time, but looking back at the times with my family are probably my most favorite.

As I travel back home for Christmas this year, I recall past holidays...
My 2015 Christmas was full of melancholy as I was moving to Arizona a couple of months later.  Christmas Eve 2012 was the night before I left on Christmas morning to Prague. 2010 was the year I made a time capsule for my newest niece Flooey.  My post in 2009 was all about trying to reconcile sadness of the past with hope of the future.

This Christmas Eve I was at my brother's house, and I talked the family into watching "Christmas Vacation", as the kids had never seen it before. The scene where Sparky gets trapped in the attic and ends up watching old Christmas movies touched me deeply, as it reminded me of how important it is to capture and remember these moments of time.
Before you know it, years have passed by. So I make another treasured video to remember 2016.

Merry Christmas.

23 December 2016

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

Limited tickets available.

This type of marketing usually doesn't work on me, but for whatever reason, seeing the words "Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker" drew me inexplicably towards purchasing a ticket.

And as a grand finale to the Christmas season, it was quite the pinnacle.
The familiar music became altogether something new under the direction and artistry of it's Russian themes.
Each scene held it's own magical power, and the wonderment of a child captured me into a spell of wonderment. A perfect night in the Valley of the Sun to lead me into the Christmas weekend as I ready to return home.

22 December 2016

The art of the Southwest with a dash of Catholicism

Santa Fe blends Art and Religion into a beautiful frappe better than most places. Native American pottery next to Catholic Saints and houses of worship. Sparkly Christmas lights adorn the town hall square, and across the street you'll find painted sculptures that will take your breath away.
I wander from store window to church and back again. It's a peaceful juxtaposition that sets my mood in that perfect frame of mind.
I find a homeless man sleeping behind the church, a tattered blanket thrown over him. It's below 40 degrees outside. I find it ironic to see this, and my heart immediately wants to do something. A group of church goer's are drinking hot cocoa in the adjacent parking lot, talking and laughing.

I go over to them, and point to the man on the ground. We get something warm food and blankets from inside the building for him. I give them some money for him as well.
It just seemed like the right thing to do, and the Saint statues around the church look happier as I pass them on my way home.

17 December 2016

Santa Fe's Canyon Road

As the winter solstice nears, I aimlessly walk the dark night of Santa Fe. Holiday cheer and luminaries light up the empty streets. It's only 7pm, but most people are already snuggled inside, enjoying wine with loved ones, hot cocoa for the littles.

I find Canyon Road, a street full of artists from around the world that make Santa Fe their home. 
I stumble into a Tibetan art garden, decked out with a Holiday theme among the Buddhist statues and spinning metal wind chimes.
I find the perfect Christmas spirit here as I walk alone up the street, peering into the window displays, gazing for an indeterminate amount of time at the beauty within.
At the top of the street I cut across a small bridge and follow the Santa Fe river back to town. Along the way, I spot something in one of the trees, and slowly make my way for a closer look.

The virgin Mary has been painted onto a stump of a tree branch....
which fittingly signifies everything that was right about this evening.

15 December 2016

The Loretto Chapel

A few years ago I found myself in Santa Fe during the start of the Holiday season. Twinkling lights and good cheer mixed in with the art of the Southwest. I didn't have the time then to explore and savor the season like I would have wanted, but upon my recent return, I made the most of this special place.

I start with the Loretto Chapel, completed in 1878, with a truly miraculous staircase to be found within it's sacred walls.
Located at the end of the Old Santa Fe trail, wind chimes slowly turn in the December morning air as I approach the historic church. I pay the three dollar donation fee and enter. The staircase immediately calls to me.

Many believe that it was either built or inspired by St. Joseph the Carpenter between 1877 and 1881 (but no one knows for certain), the staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. It's smooth wood and craftsmanship are divine, for lack of a better word.

The small chapel also has several different depictions of Christ during his time on the cross, each with a simple message in scripted on the marble. I take the time to read and ponder each one.
I spend perhaps half an hour here, first thing on a Saturday morning, and my Personal Jesus time sets the tone for a perfect day exploring the beauty of Santa Fe during the Holiday season.

25 December 2015

this Christmas...

The last Christmas before the big move away.

I hold her just a little tighter than normal, listening to her form words, blow me kisses, wave bye bye.
Always making me laugh, full of curiosity and a scientific mind. He delights his weird uncle with a magic show.
So full of sassy goodness, her personality bursting, I will miss seeing her imagination grow.
Crazylegs....From the moment I held you at the hospital when you were born, we have been connected. You have my sister in you, making your own awesome self so much more.

I learn from you, am amazed by you, and it pains me to leave you, especially now when I think you may need me most.

You are at the age of not wanting your picture taken, you want independence, and life for a few years may not make sense. Know I will always listen, I'm here if you need me.
Yes we are.

12 December 2015

Old Timey Christmas

It's that Christmas time of year, and a somewhat traditional day of building a Holiday gingerbread house.
The kids decide to follow their own unique styles, creating a sugary spectacle of the highest order.
We use every last piece of candy available, squeeze out the last drop of frosting, piling everything up until I'm sure something will give way....

Gingerbread chimney down!
Instead of making repairs, we decide to devour our newly built tastiness, and why not? 

It's our old timey Christmas.

24 December 2012

Christmas Eve

With spirits in my veins, and a belly full of lobster, I sit in the glow of a fire on the Eve of Christmas.
Family and friends among me, content as little ones beg to open a gift or two before the big day.

I smile as their excitement grows. Thankful for what I have, hopeful for the future.

29 December 2010

the time capsule

When I first heard the idea come out of my sister in law's mouth over a month ago, I thought to myself  " this idea is a joke " and waited for someone, anyone else, to agree with me and vocally squash the idea of our family making homemade gifts for Christmas this year. Other than her, ( and maybe Mum) none of us boys are the crafty sort, nor do we really have the time or energy to do this.

But no one spoke. In fact, everyone thought it was a good idea. We each picked out names of the person we were to make our gift for. I picked Flooey, my youngest niece at a mere 15 months old. I knew I was screwed.

As the days passed and Christmas drew near, I still had nothing. No ideas. I briefly thought that maybe I could buy something that looked homemade, and that I might be able to pass this off. Flooey would have no idea, but I didn't want to cheat, not on Christmas.

Like a good swift kick in the arse, it came to me. I gathered some small possessions that mean a great deal to me. I wrote a letter to Flooey, the contents of which will not be divulged here. I put the letter and the possessions into a box, sealed it up with ribbons, and attached a Christmas card.

I made her a little time capsule, not to be opened until she is eighteen. One wonders if it will have the impact I hope for after all that time has passed, or if she will still have the box. I hope so.

In retrospect, the idea of making our own gifts was probably the best idea ever.

25 December 2010

all days this week lead me to you...

It's Monday and I'm driving through the vast expanse of the Arizona desert. Usually I would already be regretting the long week I have ahead of myself, but this week is different. It is the week that ends with Christmas.

I can feel the thunderstorms on my back as I head further North, the landscape taking in the water like a dry sponge.

Most people slow down production during this time, and I am no different. Work will always be waiting for me. But I feel lucky to be able to see the Christmas spirit in nature, and the beauty around every turn.

As the week winds down, I realize that I haven't seen you in awhile. I ask our friend a question :
Question, why do Jewish people put small stones on the graves of the dead?

  I get the following response :

"different Jews will have different ways to make sense of the custom. i like to think the idea is that it serves as a sign that the dead is remembered/respected and that a person visited that particular grave. also, before tomb stones were common, people would just pile stones together to mark a burial, and then whenever a person would come to visit the grave, they'd adjust the stones. it could be that the custom evolved from that."

I come to see you on Christmas Eve, like I do every year, and leave my own small remembrance on your headstone. I know that you'll love the sentiment.

10 December 2010

pay it forward

Dear Anonymous,

I know that we don't know each other, but I am here for you.

When I heard about your loss, we became connected.

For I also have loss in my heart.

And although nothing in this world can change what has happened,

I know that a simple gesture, a kind deed, a thoughtful word

can make all the difference.

I want you to know that I care for you. that I will pray for you. that I love you.

So I bring to you a little something to help you through the day,

the season,

and, with a little luck, it will bring you a little joy.

Take care Anonymous. You aren't alone.

04 December 2010

African Nativity Scene

According to the African Culture, when a baby is born the father and the mother shave off all their hair as a symbol to show that they have conquered or have been relieved of a heavy burden.
 There are three wild animals signifying that the African live in the bush with these animals. The three Wiseman are represented by African seers, they wear headdresses and each is carrying a club and a spear.
The two shepherds are represented by the warriors of the African village. Each is carrying a shield and a spear. They protect the village and herds from predators.

 The beautiful lady is Mary who apart from wearing a beautiful necklace is also carrying a gourd filled with milk to feed the baby Jesus.
Joseph also carries a club and spear as a symbol of his duty to protect his sacred family.

The angel is represented by a African messenger who wears a feather on his head.
 May the season bring peace and comfort to you and the ones you love.

25 December 2009

So another Holiday is now in our memories

Christmas 2009. For this holiday I had two nieces and a nephew, all my brothers, two wonderful sister in law's, and my parents as well as Emily's parents and friends ( all of whom I consider either additional parents/great friends). A good group to spend the day with. Admittedly though, this day does make me melancholy, soberly thoughtful, pensive....
As this day progresses, I catch glimpes of Dad looking distant, with a sad look in his eye. Trudi. It happens to all of us at random moments in time, but on this day it is particularly poignant. So I write this in hopes of alleviating some sadness, and possibly creating a little smile on someone's face...and nothing does that like seeing a response note left by Santa from little ones letters written and their questions answered.....

I must ask C-bug what he left for old St. Nick....
And to showcase the whole Christmas shebang, here you go....
P.S. I make a killer Sweet 'tater pie.

24 December 2009

Christmas Karma

So here it is, Christmas Eve. As I sit typing this eve in the soft glow of holiday lights, I reflect on the past couple of days...

Tuesday night I head over to the 'rents to watch the BYU bowl game. Although a Utah fan, I like to support our local teams. But I wonder if karma does not like me to be so supportive and wants me to choose a side. Wednesday morning, driving to work at the unearthly hour of 6 something AM, I pull into my work parking lot. There is a slight, slight incline, but for some strange reason I decide to hit the gas, just to make sure I don't get stuck. Instead, I plowed my little Honda right into a snow bank.

Could it be that I should stick with my Utes, and not try to make everyone in my life happy by supporting their sports teams as well? Luckily, karma was not too harsh on me, and the Utah team that played Wednesday night was also victorious.

But in all seriousness, karma was on my side as nothing more serious came out of my blunder other than minor damage, and a good story. First car wreck since 1996.
Christmas Eve tonight consisted of the two singles and the 'rents playing games, eating bad pizza, traditions.
I will now finish up my sweet potato pie for tomorrow, and snuggle in the comfort of a warm bed, and watch my christmas eve movie......Do YOU know the story behind snowflakes?

05 December 2009

Feelin' Christmasy

So the weather here in northern Utah had been downright chilly lately, but the cold finally brought a little snow, and for that I am very smiley :)....So much so that today I finished my Christmas tasks : lighting and decorating the house, trimming the tree, getting Trudi's grave ready for the holidays, making some most excellent corn chowder to warm my bones ( with a nice garlic loaf) and to wash it all down, eggnog topped with cinnamon.
If you would like to get a sense of my Christmas spirit, enjoy this little diddy I made ( with my favorite xmas song of all time )

Merry Christmas sis - Scottums