Monday, December 31, 2007


Dear 2007:
Around the time we first met, I was inspired by a random stranger's blog post which was titled something like "My Resolution for 2007: Make it My B*tch."
I should have known that adopting such an aggressive approach to you from the get-go would backfire. And, suffice it to say (without going into too much detail) that backfire it did. Sometimes.
Other parts of life with you were quite lovely, however, such as the sunsets; the birthdays; the trip to Scottsdale to see all the pretty horsies; the trips to the Bay Area to see family and friends; the sailing...and the list goes on. So, it hasn't all been bad, 2007. We've had our good times, too.
Also, I did experience a nice summation, a nice pinnacle, a nice...culmination, if you will...of our time together just today, on the very last day of our relationship. It went like this: I'm in the Bay Area for a visit, and last week my mother discovered that she was missing a diamond earring. She knew she'd had both earrings together recently, so it wasn't like the missing one had been gone for too long. After a thorough sweep of the area in which the bauble had last been seen yielded nothing, however, my mom seemed resigned to the fact that it was time to just let it go: The earring, it seemed, was gone for good.
It occurred to me that perhaps she'd swept it up and thrown it out, not seeing it in the dust pan. She allowed that this might be a possibility, but she also warned that trying to sift through the trash would be a hazardous task, since there was a bunch of broken glass in there. So, we all let it go.
Today, however, was trash day. Driving down my mother's street I passed the garbage trucks, which hadn't yet reached her place. The lost earring gnawed at me, but my mother had already said, "It's too late" when I'd asked her this morning if we shouldn't seize our last chance and go through those yucky trash bags. So, I drove and thought, thought and drove. "Just drop it already," one half of my brain said. "No way, Jose," said the other half. "This is a diamond we're talking about!"
So, I sent up a little prayer, asking what I should do. Turn the Car Around, came the clear reply. Which was when I hung a U-ey and drove back to mom's place. I figured if the garbage truck had already collected her trash, then that would be my sign. But the trash was still there. So, I threw on an old t-shirt and rolled the garbage can into the garage so the neighbors wouldn't think I was some random dumpster diver and call the police. And it took some doing. It took some intrepid exploration through some fairly gross trash (some of it nearly unidentifiable), but when we finally got to the bag full of glass shards, there it was - the diamond that would have been lost forever in a matter of minutes if we hadn't been willing to sift through the nasty refuse.
There's a symbolic lesson in there somewhere, I'm sure of it. And whether it's Freudian, Jungian or some other -ian, I really don't know. All I know is that it struck me, picking my way through those glass shards and old coffee grounds in search of something precious and elusive, that I was experiencing the perfect summation of the past 364 days. And then I was able to hold up the diamond earring - that which was lost - with my grimy fingers and declare, "I found it!" And let me tell you, 2007: For my money a better ending to our association couldn't be bought.
Still, I've been thinking about how I should approach my relationship with your successor. I've been thinking that the aggressive attempt to make you my b*tch might not have been the best set-up for a good working relationship.
So, here it is, my resolution for 2008: "Try It." That doesn't sound too hostile, does it? Personally, I like the fact that it's sort of all-encompassing and doesn't lock me in to any particular attitude.
I guess I won't know whether I hit the mark - whether there will be another diamond to be found in the trash or not - until this time next year. But now that next year is just a few hours away, I can say for certainty that I'm ready to start finding out. So, Hello, 2008. Pleased to meet you. Feel free to kick your shoes off and make yourself at home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

snow day, part deux

The kids' Christmas break officially starts next week, but the skies have smiled on them this week, putting us at snow day #2 for the year (#1 was yesterday). What is there to do but graze on the 2 lb. batch of fudge I made Sunday, watch Pirates 3 and build a snowman? (Hard to make out, but those are my son's archery arrows forming the arms.)

I call the above photo "Grizzled Snow Guy with Naughty Cat and Propane Tank."

Friday, December 07, 2007

let's never, ever forget.


holiday rez rite

December is Christmas tree cutting time in Arizona, and since I was willing to jump through the flaming hoops set up by the Forest Service back in October, we ended up getting drawn for a permit via the statewide lottery. As in years past, the cutting area for which we were drawn was on the outskirts of a little Reservation town called Cameron, which is a couple of hours' drive from our place, across the Navajo Rez and the Painted Desert.

We found a perfect spot in the forest to park, and even though we spotted a nice tree right away, it was, of course, necessary to draw out the hunt a bit.

A few elements of the adventure were a bit more Tim Burton-esque/Stephen Kingesque than I had anticipated, such as the recent remains of an elk carcass right near where we'd parked...

...and our son carving "Noel" in the scant snow with the blade of his axe. Awwww, isn't that just the cutest thing?

There's something about the Arizona sky, though. Clears the mind. Anyone remember that hallucinogenic song from the 90's called Little Fluffy Clouds about the skies in Arizona? Well, there were no clouds last weekend, which was amazing, considering the gale-force winds that had blown rain sideways just the day before. It was a glorious day:

After chopping down the defenseless little pine tree we'd spotted (I'll admit it: My vegan, tree-hugging roots pop up at this time of the year) and with RezCred firmly established on the truck's lower half, it was time to head home:

Of course, we had to stop for some shopping along the drive back.

First, there was the local Wal-Mart:

Then the Super Wal-Mart (where the vendors were out in force, and where I got a really pretty pair of silver and turquoise earrings for $15):

Finally, we drew near home. The Peaks, with their blanket of fresh snow, looked so pretty from the overpass of our exit:

The sky treated us to its own holiday lights display as the sun went down...

And, before long, we had what we'd set out for earlier in the day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

happy birthday to blog, happy birthday to blog...

...Happy Birthday, dear Blooooooooog, Happy Birthday to blog!

I remember when you were just one post tall (*sniff*).
Seriously, it's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I decided to chronicle the story of our daughter's broken arm in blog form. Last December was a time of churning emotions anyway, since we were gearing up to head back to our home in Arizona after a year-long hiatus in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the arm incident pushed me sufficiently over-the-edge to a place where creating an online journal somehow seemed appropriate. Honestly, though, I didn't know how long it would last. I figured life would get in the way, and the blog would have to be one of the first things to go. I'm glad it didn't work out that way.

So, thanks for sticking around and reading my random thoughts. I remember being so excited when the stat counter hit 100. Now, I'm looking forward to the day when I see that my humble little blog has garnered 10,000 hits. (Small potatoes to some of you power bloggers out there, but, hey, I'm easily awed.)