Best wishes.

December 19, 2011 § 7 Comments

Another year is about to be folded into memory like a flower pressed between the pages of a book.

Except for a very painful hand surgery my husband had in September, 2011 has been a straight stretch of river that flowed smoothly, allowing us to go on about our usual business of growing vegetables, singing, building fires in our wood stove, writing stories, talking to our dog Moo, watching our grandson acquire language—and opinions.

And each week I have posted to this blog, often wondering what I would write about–until I noticed a spider or remembered some long-gone uncle and found a place to begin.

My husband, Ray, saw each of these essays first, sometimes questioning my premise, always holding me accountable for making sense. When a post passed that test I’d take a deep breath and click “Publish.”

And then it was your turn.

All of you who have read this blog and commented have enriched my year immeasurably with thoughtful conversation. When I started Slow Dance  Journal I never anticipated the wealth of stories I would hear, the philosophical wonderings the posts would elicit, or the fact that a community built in the air could feel so real, so present.

Thank you. You have given me new things to think about and confirmed my belief that telling the story of what it means to be human and alive is a collective venture.

May this holiday season bring visits from those we love, if only in memory. I know my grandmother, Nana, will be at my elbow when I make the traditional Christmas pound cake. The Swedish aunts and uncles will once again argue over the right time to put the lid on the pot of flaming glogg (the aunts enjoying the beauty of the flames, the uncles wanting to preserve the alcohol).

May this season bring us closer to friends almost forgotten, lonely neighbors, strangers encountered on the road. May we slow down enough to let the spirit of the holidays overtake us.

May we hang our hearts with the same abandon and generosity we hang ornaments, putting them within easy reach, accessible to chance encounter.

May we face the future with open arms and an understanding that even the most ordinary day is a gift.

Best wishes fellow travelers.


Note: The homemade wooden cat, circa 1925, was my dad’s, probably made by an uncle. If I were to speculate, I’d say that uncle was Teddy, the carpenter in a trio of brothers who all went into “the trades.” The cat was the kind of Christmas gift you could find a pattern for in a magazine. The eyes are thumbtacks, the nose, is the head of a nail. The nail itself is the fulcrum which allows the cat to cock its head and wag its tail–as if a cat were undignified enough to wag.

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§ 7 Responses to Best wishes.

  • Richard Dempsey says:

    I’ve always enjoyed your blog, even when I leave no reply. Time sometimes feels so jammed up that there isn’t room for one more thing to do. But Ellen and I are also grateful that we took the time to go and hear you and Craig sing at the mall. What a delight that was! Merry Christmas!!! Richard


  • craig reeder says:

    Although this is the only blog i’ve ever read or subscribed to, it is undoubtedly the BEST blog i’ve ever read or subscribed to. thanks, adrian, for reminding everyone of the beauty of simplicity, the need to slow down and observe the wonders of life, and by the way, thanks also to ray, for making sure it always made sense, AND supplying some wonderful photos.
    PS: loved the wooden cat. what a wonderful symbol of the simplicity and sincerity of the long gone past


  • Wooden cats that cock their heads and wag their tails are the stuff of folk art and to be cherished. Thanks for sharing your life with us this year, and Ray’s photos, and your beloved “cats”. I look forward to more in 2012!



  • Adrian,

    Your blog is the only one that I always open, and I’m never disappointed. Thank you for taking the time to write them and I hope you and Ray have a wonderful holiday season.


  • Dear Adrian,
    The 2011 blogs tasted great.
    Please send more in the same vein next year!
    Your many fans, especially Jan


  • Amy Schoch says:

    Adrian, thank you so much for a year of inspired company.


  • Thank you all for your wonderful comments now and throughout the year–I look forward to more in 2012.

    I hope you all had a great holiday with friends and family, that you cooked the old recipes, told familiar stories and stepped out of the rushing stream of day-to-day life for long enough to draw a good deep breath.


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