Dear Everybody,

Greetings from the unmapped land of Winter Holidays. You may be here too, somewhere, lost among the to-do lists, shopping lists, half-completed presents and wreath wire. (Pardon me if I trip over you.) Such chaos– with baking traditions to uphold, projects to finish, dust bunnies to cage.

Will the woman find the self-discipline to do these things during this time of semi-unemployment, or will she look around and maybe say to the dog, “Seize the day!”

Christmas westie

Still, there might be an hour of writing letters, an hour of baking — a glass of beer and supper, a knitting project begun, then maybe a present wrapped and a room dusted.

skeins of yarn

Or the dusting skipped for a sit by the woodstove with a book. But life is so full of every sort of distraction–the fire needs wood, the bills need money, the laundry accumulates like snow…

Then there arrives a morning when the national news is so horrific as to leave me breathless and in tears, staring and prayerful, and the holiday wreaths darken into funeral wreaths, and I am just so deeply sorry…  Such incomprehensible loss. It has washed over us all now like the wave of an immense and deadly storm, bleak and cold and numbing.

Finally today the hole in my heart has begun to be a little more quiet. I continue on my various paths, including writing here.


I find I’m loving the cold rain of winter and the big old dusty house and the little basil plant that feeds my salads from its place by the kitchen window. I enjoy that I am fit enough to carry firewood and capable enough to make gifts for the people I love and I see that my life is hugely rich in every single important way.

Here are some chilly bright white Hellebore blooms, just for you, looking like they look right this minute in my rainy garden.

hellebore in December

I also send you my wishes for love and for winter good times–and for deep healing too, and great good luck in the new year.



About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual plants, Max the Westie and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Dear Everybody,

  1. Katie says:

    Thank You.
    Every dear little angel in heaven reminds us of things we should never take for granted.

  2. Susan says:

    I feel like a very sensible and kind person has given me a hug and some encouraging words.
    I needed something to steady me and feel much better now.

    • linniew says:

      Thanks Susan.

      I saw a little homemade movie once of two people who went into a city with signs on their bodies that said “free hugs.” Appreciative strangers would go right into their arms for a hug and then thank them and smile and look so happy from the experience…

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Beautiful post that reminded me to be thankful for every day and for how much I’m able to do instead of complaining about having to do it. The last two pictues are so full of hope. The innocence of the hellebores blooming when all around has given up and the golden sun reminding us that even in these darkest days we can still see the light, however distant, and hope for healing and rebirth of spring. Thank you for this!

    • linniew says:

      Aren’t those hellebore blooms amazing? Promise of spring for certain. And here in our dark Pacific Northwest a ray of winter sun is always appreciated. Pouring rain and wind today. I guess that’s why we have evening candles… Happy Christmas Peter!

  4. Roberta says:

    It seems like sadness can just swallow you up sometimes. It does take time to process this kind of senseless loss. All of the little innocents, just budding. But they were beautiful while they were here, they were beautiful while they lasted. The day after I heard the news about Newtown I was out with the chickens and I’d think to myself, “Oh, the kids would have liked this.” There was a sadness for all of the things they would never know, from the simple to the exhilarating.

  5. Alberto says:

    Beautiful pics, Linnie! You just remind me that I have a bunch of wild dust bunnies to cage too… (we call them dust cats, so I use milk to trap them, I guess you use carrots to dust in US). Anyway whatever they are, I need to get rid of those dust mammals before my parents arrive! Your hellebore looks fantastic, here they are far from flowering this year, even in the wilderness, I guess I has to be colder for them to flower, or maybe the summer was too hot and hard on them this year….
    Merry Christmas to you, your family, Max, Tillie and your bunnies.

    • linniew says:

      I love ‘dust mammals’ Alberto! And yes what I do is wave a bunch of carrots around under the furniture, the bunnies grab on and then I box them up and send them to Italy. I’m glad your parents are coming for the holidays. Eat drink and be merry! -L

  6. kininvie says:

    Hi Linnie,
    We had a very similar tragedy here in 1996 – so I know how you have been feeling:

    The Dunblane massacre led directly to massively tightened controls over firearms. I hope you in the US manage to do something sensible to make this kind of horror less likely to happen in future.



    • linniew says:

      I read the link– so sad. I truly don’t understand the point of these things. And I agree 100% about controls on guns. I was raised in a household of hunter/sharpshooter types, Olympic competitors in some cases. I have no interest in any of it but I can see a huge difference between sports and automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Thankfully the horror of this massacre has resulted in (finally) an open discussion in this country about these issues, and it appears that the majority of people want change and that change is coming.
      Well I tried to add an image of a bottle of “Cupcake” chardonnay but I can’t seem to accomplish it. Anyway I will drink it for you. Merry Christmas~


  7. Ricki Grady says:

    Thank you for your words, the flowers and the sunrise (sunset?).
    Wishing you warm,cozy evenings by the fire and all of the other things you enjoy for the holidays.

  8. Hi Linnie Girl, You have such a wonderful way with words. Max looks like he just got a bath, all warm and cuddly by the Christmas tree.

    It sounds like you’re in throes of holiday-making. I hope you’re enjoying the time. Did you get snow on Tuesday? We got about an inch or so but it quickly melted. I’m ready for spring now. 🙂

    Your hellebore is gorgeous–almost too pretty to be a winter flower isn’t it? I’ll have to venture out to the garden and see if mine are popping up.


    • linniew says:

      Hi Gracie
      We had snowflakes in the air but nothing on the earth. I would like a tiny blizzard, maybe right AFTER Christmas. I bet your hellebore blooms are out and looking for you. Happy holidays!

  9. b-a-g says:

    Dear Linnie … God bless the little flowers.

  10. Alistair says:

    Linnie, It was an atrocity which affected me more than any since the Dunblane massacre which Kininvie mentions. I look out of the window to my left and although it is only two in the afternoon, the cloud is so heavy and along with the drizzle darkness is almost upon us. I am not complaining of such things in fact I just feel a kind of peace. Have a very good Christmas and I will look forward to the goings on at Linnies place in 2013. Alistair

    • linniew says:

      I know you are much farther north than I am, but your dark rainy days sound very similar. Still the lamps and fires are bright, and the plants outside are napping (or growing roots in the secret earth) and we gardeners are saving up our strength for spring! But doesn’t “2013” sound terribly futuristic? (Really I think it seems a more fun number than the one before…) So cheers! Alistair my friend. Have a lovely Christmas!

  11. If I stop to think on the evil I lose sight of the good. That being said, I went to work the following Monday wondering how many science tables it would take to barricade my classroom door. My greatest wish is that next year is so much better. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • linniew says:

      Tammy I think I hear a disturbance in the Force– probably your wish being granted! In the meantime I must thank you for that image on your blog of Sheldon Cooper with the best quote ever. It gave me a very welcome laugh today!

  12. I think my newest latest post will make you smile. 🙂 Check out my Garden Love column!

  13. Cy says:

    Your Christmas season sounds like mine – so many distractions, so many worthy activities. When all you really want to do is sit by the woodstove and read a book. Today it is gray and drizzly, and probably feels a little like Oregon. Hope your Christmas was lovely.

    • Cynthia says:

      Hit the return button a bit too prematurely! This is your Texas blogging friend . . .

      • linniew says:

        Don’t these machines drive you crazy? Still, they are my essential brain extensions.
        And yes, we have to muster all our adult self-discipline (it’s around here someplace…) to get through the season. On the other hand, we survived! and probably only a few people noticed what we forgot to do and fortunately those people probably love us anyway 🙂 I hope you are celebrating cozily tonight Cynthia!

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