An Unexpected Breakthrough

Photo Credit: Pexels by Magda Ehlers

“To make myself understood and to diminish the distance between us, I called out: “I am an evening cloud too.” They stopped still, evidently taking a good look at me. Then they stretched towards me their fine, transparent, rosy wings. That is how evening clouds greet each other. They had recognized me.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve lost the Christmas spirit.

Or maybe I’ve misplaced my rose-colored glasses. 

It’s as if my senses have been dulled, and this includes my ability to create, manifest, and thrive. For me, this diminishes the flavors of life, as if a bolognese sauce, it’s a reduction of feeling.

I think this is why I needed a break from writing, wondering, scouring my experiences for meaning because all things suddenly seemed meaningless. 

Maybe it’s common for folks to feel sadness this time of year, when we’re longing for deceased loved ones, lulled by the darkness, or hopelessly swept up in the nostalgia of Christmas past. And quite possibly, all those Hallmark movies are making us feel worse. Just a thought.

I believe the emotion is commonly referred to as depression, but I’m very leary of that word. I prefer to call it the blues. Back in the 18th century, they called it the blue devil, as in blue feelings bedeviled the sufferer.

For me, it’s a color that reminds me of the sky, and I believe that is vital.

The thing is, if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the sun is above the clouds, then according to the well-known therapist Dr. Phil Shutz, the trick is to focus on the positive, that’s how you penetrate the clouds.

Well, at least that’s the theory, and I agree, it’s corny.

There are days when I get so overshadowed by these clouds that I almost forget the existence of light is just a thought above the pall. 

I’m like a garbage can. I take in rubbish, but as if a landfill, I’m overrun by material that refuses to decompose. I hope that makes sense.

I feel the darkness overwhelm me (or maybe I allow it to). I imagine all these limitations. It feels very much like fear. 

Okay, I admit, I caught another cold, and I commonly associate that with being punished by some force of nature for failing to take my vitamins, for harboring primal resentments, or worse, TRAVELING.

Larry and I recently returned from a visit with Kelley and Tim in New York City. 

It was a fabulous, jam-packed week, and the weather was extraordinary. In four days’ time, we strolled central park, marveled at the holiday storefronts, walked through St. Patrick’s Cathedral, sipped mulled wine at the Chrismas market, admired the Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Center, saw Hadestown on Broadway, watched a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, hosted the family for a brunch at Kelley and Tim’s new apartment, viewed the entire city from the new World Trade Building where my daughter works, spent the day exploring the 9/11 memorial museum, strolled through Chelsea Market, walked the high rail, and enjoyed an incredible meal at Carbone to celebrate Kelly and Tim’s anniversary (which was months ago, but it was worth the wait). 

As we were landing in San Francisco, I could feel my energy waning, and by the time I was reunited with my beloved pillow, it had manifested into a full-blown cold. 

The realities of life currently seem as if they are a mixture of snot, congestion, and the constant work to relieve them. Not unlike life when dealing with pain and confusion.

Recently I heard something we’ve all heard before, but it’s worth repeating because just because I’m annoyed by the premise doesn’t make it false. 

It’s like the antidote to a snake bite. 

It goes something like this, when adversity comes, it’s an opportunity for you to grow. The idea is that we need negativity in order to bloom. 

I call bullshit.

I can grow in the manure of joy, as well as in the dung of hopelessness, and by the way, the first would be my preference. But apparently, not all growth stems from happiness. 

Sometimes we need to experience gloom, clumps of black-gray clouds, as if cotton balls after a night out, covered in mascara and eye shadow.

So apparently, I’m in the middle of a growth spurt. 

I’m spending my days surrounded by tissues, coffee, and vapor rub. It’s not a bad gig, but in the meantime, the Christmas tree is not erected, the decorations remain in the cupboards in the garage, and the gifts unwrapped. 

Maybe we can skip Christmas this year?

I ventured outside this morning, still in my pajamas, but at least I was in the backyard. The red cyclamen corralled in my dad’s old pickle barrel made me smile, the only flower that seems to thrive in darkness and cold. I admit I asked them how this was possible. They stood there strong, vibrant, glorious…in bunches, clustered, bound by an invisible alliance. Made me want to call my mom.

I found a corner of the patio that was splayed in sunlight, and I sat down on the stoop, my bare feet absorbing the warmth from the brick. I could feel the sun penetrating the material of my top, seeping into my vapor-rubbed chest, warming my soul, if you will. I don’t know how long I sat there on the step basking in the sun, not a cloud in the sky, just me admiring the light and for once, not censoring my humanity.

It was good.

This is where miracles take place, this is how we penetrate the darkness, as Emily Bronte notes, from the midst of cheerless gloom, I passed to a bright unclouded day. We stay focused on the positives, we bundle with those who love us unconditionally, we silence the voices that call us unworthy and refuse to translate the language of our souls for those who will never understand.

So I actually got dressed yesterday. Met my dear friend for coffee (I warned her I was sick, but she didn’t care). Yes, there are people like that. We spent the better part of an hour catching up, tearing up, laughing at the precariousness of life. 

After our coffee, I walked over to the cleaners in the pouring rain with one of my favorite gloves that had a ripped seam. I showed the woman at the counter. She took the glove, examined it, and walked five feet to a sewing machine already set up with black thread. In two minutes, the gloves were beautifully repaired. She smiled and said, “no charge, Merry Christmas.” 

I said, “no, I have to pay something. This is like new.”

She shook her head, pushed the glove into my hand, and when our eyes met, I knew what to do. 

Accept the gift.

I walked straight to the bakery next store and bought her a bunt cake, ran it back to the cleaners, and she teared up. I think that was what she wanted all along. Someone to acknowledge her generosity, to see her, and appreciate what she does all day. Isn’t that what we all want?

Today I finally feel like writing again for the first time in weeks!

Miracles never cease. We just cease to see them.

I wanted to tie this up with a pretty red bow, but I can’t think of anything rare or unknown about the blues. This is life. We experience continual cycles of joy and gloom. So if I were to warrant a guess, I would say my growth is this; the vastness of the sky is all the reason I need to bloom insanely, to reach for something much deeper and much higher than my limited awareness, and maybe the clouds in the sky didn’t come to block the sunlight, maybe they came to allow me the privilege of breaking through. 

I’m Living in the Gap, feeling the blues, missing our engagement.

“Aren’t the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton… I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by… If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations… What do you think you see, Linus?”

“Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean… That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor… And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen… I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side…”

“Uh huh… That’s very good… What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?”

“Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!”

― Charles M. Schulz

My book is NOW available at Black Rose for preorder! If you are compelled to purchase a book or two prior to the publication date of February 23, 2023,  Grow Damn It!: The Feeding and Nurturing of Life, you get to use the promo code: PREORDER2022 to receive a 15% discount. Your pre-ordered copy will process and ship on or prior to the release date. So you get it first! Whoot! Hoot! This might be a proper occasion for champagne!

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  1. I remember my mom always saying “This too shall pass” and of course she was right. But it doesn’t help when you are in the middle of it all.
    I have been struggling to find some holiday cheer this year, with the loss of my sister. She was 11 years older and knew me since the day I was born. She also stayed with us three days out of each week, on the weekends, to get out of her madhouse with daughter, granddaughter, and very small great-grandson.
    Some of the people who knew me the best are suddenly gone. My friend since my early 20s who frequently had lunch with me, died in July, followed by my friend who I organized all the music concerts and events with, he died a month before my sister.
    Big gaping holes in those clouds.
    This too shall pass.
    Coffee with a friend certainly helps, as does no longer having a cold!!!

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    1. Your mother was a wise one Dorothy, and it is so true, this too shall pass. I’m am so sorry that you no longer have your sister to share this beautiful life with at least physically. The love never ends… My sister is my lifeblood too and I can totally relate to the heartache of such a loss. We’re entering into the stage of life when old friends move away, lose touch or sadly pass away. I remember my mother insisting we update her handwritten phone book because so many of her friends had passed, and it made her sad to see the names. If we lived closer I would love to grab a coffee with you. This is certainly a time of struggle for you especially during the holidays, my heart goes out to you, and I’m holding you ever so gently in my love and prayers. Big hugs to you Dorothy, C

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  2. And I love you, snotty nosed and coughing, or not. A coffee with you, or a walk, sharing a glass of wine, really… any time spent with you, is like inviting the sunshine into my day. You, and your writings, give me such beauty to reflect on.
    Thank you for being you. ❤️

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    1. My brave and courageous friend Nancy! You are so sweet, that you could actually see beyond the snotty nose and hacking, into the marrow of our conversation is rather profound! What a joy you are to so many, and by the way I am always inspired by your lifeforce, your honesty, bravery, and love! You rock! See you tomorrow at 7:30 am! Hugs, C

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  3. I can relate to your post, Cheryl. I get the Winter blues, which is weird because I happen to love this season. I think it helps sometimes to embrace the blues. The sun is there, it will come out when it wants to.😅 I sometimes get the “mean reds” as well like Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s,
    “The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”
    I love your insightful and inspiring post. The Rilke’s quote is beautiful. I hope you’ll be successful in chasing the blues away in no time.🌸😊

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    1. Hi Aaysid! I’m wondering if the winter blues is more common than I realized. And I love your advice, “sometimes it helps to embrace the blues.” I totally agree. What a perfect quote from Breakfast at Tiffany’s! One of my all time favorite movies! I’m going to have to watch that one again this year. Thank you Aaysid for your engaging comment. Wrapping you in hugs and love, C

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  4. I too came down with a cold. Funny how a minor thing like that completely changes your outlook, and not in a good way. I was planning on getting my few decorations out over the weekend but was in bed. We lost three friends around this time last year. Two to illness, one of my daughter’s close friends to suicide. I keep finding myself with tears in my eyes.

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    1. Oh no, just about everyone I know has a cold, the flu, or COVID. I hope you recover soon or at least in time to enjoy Christmas. I can relate with the tears and seasonal grief, my dad died in December (many years ago) and it’s never an easy time for me and my sister. The emotional fallout can be powerful. I say we give ourselves a few more days of rest, tea, and dayquill and then we can start a todo list! Wishing you all the best, wrapping you in love and hugs, C

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  5. Your book is published! 🎉🥳 Congratulations, what an amazing accomplishment!

    I relate to the post as well, as some other people have who commented. There is no Christmas here at all although my mom has bought some presents for the kids. None of us are in a festive spirit here… We’re each individually drowning in our own stress and drama and I feel like I can barely hang on. I decided to add more stress with Christmas is not going to be worth it so we never even took out the decorations. And guess what…

    The sky didn’t fall. 🙄

    Here’s to a much better, healthier and happier New Year. I for one am excited to turn the page and start a new chapter. 🥂💟

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    1. This does seem to be a difficult Christmas for so many this year. I realize as a whole we’ve all been dealing with a lot but stress levels are definitely elevated across the board. My son helped me put up our beloved Christmas village and that’s about all I’ve done. And you’re right, the sky didn’t fall. So I will clink your glass, and concur, “Here’s to a much better, healthier, and happier New Year.” I look forward to reading your new chapter as it unfolds! Hugs my friend, C

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  6. “Miracles never cease. We just cease to see them.” – Such a true statement and what always gets me, is that we have to discover how to see them over and over again. So bless you for writing such a beautiful post about how you endured that cycle from fun, sickness, blues and back to joy. Beautiful, Cheryl!

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    1. You nailed it Wynne, the fact that we have to discover how to see them over and over again is indeed a mystery to me, but I suppose that is part of the miracle. Your kind words mean the world to me. Thank you, hugs, C

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  7. Speaking of gifts, your writing, Cheryl! The part where you venture outside to the patio—the red cyclamen and their alliance, your dad’s pickle barrel, a wish for your mother, and the sunlight—it all warmed my soul. ❤️

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  8. I have the winter blues as soon as the clock go back. Dark at 3:30 pm, and months of icy weather to anticipate. This was my main takeaway from reading your post.
    ‘I found a corner of the patio that was splayed in sunlight, and I sat down on the stoop, my bare feet absorbing the warmth from the brick. I could feel the sun penetrating the material of my top, seeping into my vapor-rubbed chest, warming my soul, if you will.’
    It was below freezing here all day yesterday, and -8C overnight. Still below freezing at 9:20am, and the heating failed to work once again.
    Enjoy the warmth of that sunshine, Cheryl.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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    1. I remember you talking about how much the darkness effects your moods Pete and I think that is somewhat true for everyone. When I saw the sun breaking through the clouds, even though it was only 40 degrees outside, I jumped up, and went outside. The real sun does wonders for my mood. Then the clouds moved in again and we had an entire day of rain. I’m thankful. We needed the rain so badly and I marveled over ever drop but it is dulling to the senses. The guys are still working on our heater. This is day two. I have the fire going in my room with the door closed. The only warm room in the house. They should finish up today and fingers crossed, we’ll have our central heating back by tonight. I woke up this morning breathing frost the room was so cold (it was 30 degrees outside)! We are experiencing a severe cold front right now and of course this is when our old heater decided to give out! Life! Hugs, C

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  9. I’m sending lots of love and hugs your way, Cheryl. I’m nowhere near feeling Christmassy, either. Too much pain and lack of energy. I won’t be putting up decorations this year … it’s too much work. I’m taking my pleasures and solace in the simple things … a hot cup of coffee, for example, and the kindness of strangers, like the lady in the cleaners!

    Huge congratulations on publishing your book!!! Yay! 🎉😁🎉

    There can be so much pressure at Christmas to be cheerful and sociable. I say let’s be ourselves. That’s such an important gift.

    Hugs and love 💕🙂🤗💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your comment is so refreshing Harmony, “I say let’s be ourselves. That’s such an important gift.” I totally agree. There’s so much pressure to put on a strong cheerful front when you’re not feeling up to it or attend a social gathering when you would rather stay snuggled in bed with a good book. I am so sorry you are suffering and I am in awe how you still manage to find solace in the simple kindnesses we bestow on each other. Thanks for the congrats on the book, I’m very excited. Wrapping you in love and hugs, hoping you find some relief from the pain, C

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  10. “So apparently, I’m in the middle of a growth spurt.”
    I loved that line and blurted a laugh, but I guess that’s where you were. Life is weird like that, isn’t it? If we just pause and breathe and be where we are for a few minutes, sometimes we make space for that growth. Nature provides free therapy if we make the effort to show up.

    I went to preorder your book, Cheryl, and am wondering if it will be on kindle at some point. I’d be delighted to read it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diana, yes, I’m might be in the middle of a growth spurt, but I have yet to bloom! The combination of all the crap that has found its way onto my plate is overwhelming and I have to admit I’m not meeting my own expectations. And I so agree with you, when I take the time to pause, breath, and listen it’s as if I become a new person. Good reminder to get outside today and just be today. I think that’s the plan. And thank you for considering my book. It will be available on kindle in February. My release date is 2/23/23 and at that time it will be available in several forms on Amazon. So wait! I have a lot of friends who only read on their kindles and they’re waiting for that to happen. Very exciting as you know! Hugs my friend, C

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      1. I won’t remember the date it’s available, so be sure to share it on your blog (I know you will, but just saying. Ha ha). I’ve also been feeling crushed by life’s pressure these days, but I know I need to take time to breathe and rest. Easier said than done, right? I hope you enjoy your time outside, taking in some peace. 🙂

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  11. I enjoy reading your posts, and you seem to enjoy your exciting life, but do you ever crave quiet time? Winter has always been a quiet season for me. When we had gifts to send to relatives we, including my daughter, sent them off by Thanksgiving weekend so we could forget the Christmas pressure and have a low key Christmas Day. She still remembers them fondly. Not everyone’s cup of tea I cheerfully admit!

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello my Cheerful Monk! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I definitely enjoy my life, but it is extraordinarily quiet in comparison to previous years. We have four grown kids, two are married (one lives across the street, one in New York), one has a long time girlfriend (lives in Portugal), and the youngest has a room in the house that he occupies only a few times a month (as he travels for work). When the kids moved out, life became too quiet, with just Larry and I rattling around the old house. So I do get a lot of down time, I just rarely write about it. We have a huge extended family, most of the relatives are coming in to celebrate Christmas and it will be a lot of commotion for the next three weeks, especially now with three grandkids. January is my return to quiet and I will need it by then. I sort of envy your quiet Christmas with few pressures but I love every minute I can get with my kids and we cherish our time together. It’s a lot of cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, preparing, late nights, early mornings, long walks, and treasured conversations. I suppose that’s why we had so many kids! Enjoy the restoration of a peaceful and calm Christmas, I’ll join you in January! Hugs, C

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  12. I’m still getting over a cold and it’s really zapped my energy. For the first two weeks I was mostly in bad feeling like crap. So I very much understand how you feel. But I’m glad this post has a happy ending. Is your book on Amazon yet? I would love to preorder it there. And sending lots of hugs and hoping you feel even better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no Pooja, you got a cold too! It does zap the energy for sure. I’m on the mend now, my Christmas tree is finally decorated, and a few gifts have been wrapped! I’m feeling like I can manage the holiday. And yes, my book will be available on Amazon in early February of 2023. Just a few months! Hugs, C

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  13. Hi Cheryl,
    I was halfway through a poorly written response to your previous post, when I read your latest. I just had to jump in.
    Sounds like you have a pretty serious case of the blues. No doubt about it. What is the cause? Let’s see. Just had a fabulous visit to one of the most exciting cities in the world. Great food, great family, wonderful tours and Madison Square Garden (Just a few blocks from Rachel!) Returned to lousy weather in the Bay Area (pray for more rain just gradually spread out.) And on top of it all, you have a dreaded cold. It seems like 2 years of the Covid lock down/mask thing have led to a backlog of colds that must be caught. Bummer. The question becomes how do you deal with them? I am not sure what the right answer is. Gail does not seem to catch them, I on the other hand seem to cough and sneeze with a runny nose for 2 weeks. Do you treat the symptoms, get lots of rest, OJ, chicken soup and then pretty much ignore them? If you are around kids, they are pretty much human Petrie dishes, guaranteeing exposure to everything so you may as well tough it out.
    “The idea is that we need negativity in order to bloom.” I agree that this does have a touch of BS to it, but also a kernel of truth. In the classic movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, they sing “from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success.” They may have a point.
    Your writing makes me laugh. “Sometimes we need to experience gloom to grow…..I’m in the middle of a growth spurt.” I continue to be amazed by your creativity.
    So, you tried to rally, meeting a friend for coffee, after warning her of your ill state. She is either Clara Barton, Mother Theresa, or Typhoid Mary. She fits the category of person who does not worry about colds and would likely not let one interfere with her day. We all need friends like that.
    I confess I pathetically shed a tear after reading about your encounter with the seamstress. It’s the little things that show you care which make all the difference.
    Lastly a few thoughts on the season and the blues. Christmas is a time of great joy, but it is laced with potential sorrow. It brings families together but can also highlight the absence of some loved ones, who are either away or deceased (miss you mom.) The daylight hours are incredibly short, and often overcast and dreary. Christmas has indeed become commercialized; however, I believe you don’t have to give gifts, you get to give gifts, and they can be an expression of gratitude and love. Christmas is a time to reflect and be thankful for what you have. I just heard of the passing of a schoolmate, and it hit pretty hard. Life is short, fleeting and you have to take nothing for granted. I do think your song choice was brilliant. A great song about depression, combined with an early death from a mental disorder. Truly both sad and tragic.
    The following is my favorite Christmas song (played by a dead guy from a dead band.) It features a moving video, along with expressive lines such as “the Christmas we get we deserve,” and “they sold me a dream of Christmas, they sold me a silent night.” As I think about mankind (ok, womankind,) and tragic and unnecessary deaths in Ukraine, it makes we feel like we (humanity) reap what we sow.

    On a more upbeat note, loved getting your Christmas Card. You have a beautiful family. We miss you all and send our best. Looking forward to seeing you in the next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike! I always enjoy your responses to my blogs, but this particular one seems to have struck a chord with you. The wintertime blues are so unexpected, and often unexplainable but nevertheless real. As you note, Christmas can be laced with both incredible joy and “potential sorrow.” It is so true. Nancy and I miss our parents, something awful during the holidays. It was, of course, mom’s favorite time of year, while dad simply enjoyed spending time with the grandkids and all the spectacular food. This year I admit, I was dealing with some additional stresses, which are neither here nor there, but they contributed to the blues. I suppose that’s true for everyone, and as you mention, we’re starting to experience the loss of friends, lifestyle changes, and the scarcity of time. It’s easy to take this life for granted. The days pass, and inexplicably, we arrive at what I’ve heard people refer to as the “unexpected last third,” as if life is a hockey game, and we somehow managed to score in the last period! Reminds me of the soccer game we all watched this morning. I do think we create our own reality, and we can make this last period as spectacular as we are able to envision. Right? But first, you have to retire! Anyway, you were right. Getting out of the rut was easy. Get out of bed, meet a friend for coffee, and open my eyes to all the kind people in the world. Great song, by the way, but maybe we weren’t sold a dream of Christmas, or a silent night, maybe it’s something each of us has to recreate for ourselves? No disguises! Merry Christmas, Mike. Miss you all, and very much looking forward to seeing you next year. Hugs, Cheryl

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      1. Hi!
        The best part of me writing a comment on your blog is the fact that you always answer (and I mean always.) Your comments usually provide me with a quick pick me up and frankly make me glad that I wrote something.
        Now, “may the wind blow your troubles away.”
        I did watch the world cup finals, and what a game it was. I believe it turned out the way it should have. I was riveted. Best soccer game I have ever seen.
        I like your thoughts on whether we were sold a dream of Christmas. Life is what you make of it, and we don’t have to accept someone else’s interpretation, we can create our own.
        I agree that I need to retire. At this point I am such a coward that I feel it is 2 years away. Seeing you write that made me think, what would I do?
        Let’s see…..
        Weekends at Clear Lake, Niner game, hike the Mist trail, then the John Muir trail. Then cruise the Douro in Portugal, hike around Mount Blanc, Safari in Kenya, Iguazu Falls, Dalmation coast, Galapagos trip, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany then Scandanavia and Iceland. The list goes on and on. Of course, I would end up in the poor house, but what a ride it would be.
        Looking forward to your book,
        M

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  14. You touched on so much here Cheryl. Hubby and I used to love Christmas together, that’s all gone now. For me, I just wish the days away and move on to a another new year. Here’s to hoping you feel better and find your Christmas spirit soon. Congrats on the book! You know I loved it. I will feature my review for your book on my blog some time in January, before I take my winter escape from the cold and from blogland. Holiday hugs to you my friend. ❤ xx

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    1. My sweet sister, Nancy, lost her husband a few years ago and I know from walking this path with her how difficult the holidays have become for her, and how some of her most cherished memories end up being a source of pain during Christmas. I wish I could take that pain away from you and my sister. But I remind her frequently that a love like hers, something that was the source of such joy, would of course leave an enormous legacy, and we are ever so grateful for all the laughter and love that David left in this world. Hold onto the sweetness and remember the kind of love you experienced was rare indeed. I love you Debby, thanks for all your kindness and support this year, I look forward to the New Year and the treasures we will find! Hugs, C

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      1. Thank you so much Cheryl for your beautiful words and sentiment. I hold on tight to the sweetness for sure, it helps on those ‘dark’ days. Yes, let us look forward to a new year, with good health and new adventures. Merry Christmas my lovely friend. Holiday hugs sent your way. ❤ ❤ xx

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  15. You are the most wonderful person!!!! You have found away to write what so many of us are feeling. All I can do is nod and smile and I read your posts.
    It sounds like y’all had a great time with your daughter and son in law. I love going to visit my son in New York so we can venture out.
    I hope you feel better soon and put up some lights so you can just stare into the glow. That always makes me feel better. Giving you huge hugs my beautiful friend!

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    1. Hi Bella, sorry for the delayed response, Christmas, family, glowing lights, and celebrations got in the way. Thank you for your kind words, you have no idea how much I appreciate you jumping in and joining me in this relentlessly challenging life. I’m feeling the hugs and sending a few back your way. Much love to you and your, xxoo, C

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  16. I cannot wait for your book! So exciting! I also felt a little blues-y, and not in a cool, musical way, this Advent and into Christmas. My aunt passed away earlier this month, and while she was old and maybe it was her time, it was still sad. And then I also got a cold, just in time for Christmas, and so I cantored Christmas Eve Mass through a lot of glop, ugh. Then, last night a pipe burst in our living room ceiling. It’s the kind of gift a 100 year old house gives you for Xmas when it’s super cold. I’m trying to summon my Midwestern pollyanna-ish spirit, and say, OK that’s three bad things. Now, we’re in for only good in 2023. Fingers crossed. Does it help to moan about the blues–for me, yes. Thank you for sharing yours–I like to know others are in the same blues-y boat this time of year.

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    1. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your aunt Rebecca, it is never easy, especially during the holidays when we tend to miss family members who are no longer with us physically. No wonder you caught a cold, it’s how we manifest grief in our bodies, it demands us to rest, retire from the craziness, and just grieve. And then your house starts grieving, bursting a pipe, flooding the house. Oh my Rebecca, this is too much! Okay, I admit, I’m feeling better knowing I’m not the only one. Here’s to 2023, a year filled with moments of unexpected joy, peace, and calm. Hugs, C

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  17. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your aunt Rebecca, it is never easy, especially during the holidays when we tend to miss family members who are no longer with us physically. No wonder you caught a cold, it’s how we manifest grief in our bodies, it demands us to rest, retire from the craziness, and just grieve. And then your house starts grieving, bursting a pipe, flooding the house. Oh my Rebecca, this is too much! Okay, I admit, I’m feeling better knowing I’m not the only one. Here’s to 2023, a year filled with moments of unexpected joy, peace, and calm. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

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