25 November, 2010

Goodbye autumn.

The bleached light has distinctly sharpened in the face of winter.  The last of the clinging leaves are giving up their paper selves as the cold goes from being an incoming 'front' to something that settles in around the fields, the villages, the houses, our bodies.  You find yourself straining to find the last bits of color, natural or not.  You tell the children, you tell yourself: there is so much to love about winter--the snap of wind that pinks the cheek; the damp give of the browning leaves underfoot; the clear rush and babble of the full-again brook just beyond the green sway in the field; the Christmas lights twinkling in neighbor's windows; the glittering, shimmering frost in the early morning; the lacy trees stretched bowl-like in the empty sky; the embracing glow of the banked fire in the kitchen corner.  What's not to love?

Sometimes, it's a hard sell.  That's when you say to yourself: next year, I'm doing it differently.  At any rate, this is what I told myself last winter, when I was a.) snowed in with 40 cm of snow outside (with our steep driveway in the middle of unplowed nowhere, it might as well have been 40 meters), and b.) simultaneously bronchitis'ed in with a steadily 40C temperature.  Doing it differently

So now, just as a sleek new winter unsheathes her claws, I'm leaving, for more than a month.  Kids pulled out of school, dog at the neighbor's place, the whole kit and caboodle.  Between making lists of lists and de-virusing my computer (...) I've also been spending way too much mental energy trying to figure out how I could continue to blog while traveling.  I finally realized I can perhaps better spend that time with, y'know, my family, rather than scrambling to find a nearby internet cafe then sitting hunched and closed as a parenthesis, tapping out my missive while trying not to be distracted by the clackety fan.  (Oh, the notion of the fan's because we'll be in Vietnam...)

I really think of those extra few hours of non-blogging as a Christmas presents to yours truly. 

Because, man alive, these kids, I really have to enjoy them this very moment: they absolutely insist upon growing, and at a speed that leaves me slightly dazed.  The little one's plaid flannel pyjama sleeves?  Midway up his forearms.  My sweet eldest (her face lengthening into something frighteningly close to maturity)? She does things on a horse that make me blanch--circus tricks kind of stuff.  Sigh.  I'd just like for this time, during which their open faces are still small enough to cup in my hands, to last a wee bit extra.  Is asking for time to stretch asking for too much?

So yes, I'm off for a big long month with the family. Cross your fingers that we, all of us, are too thrilled to notice the slight time difference between Alpha and Golf

Please look for me again in the beginning of January, a few short days after the hangovers wane and the New Year's resolutions to lose weight are declared, after the friends and family have straggled home and you're just beginning to evaluate the possibility of maybe perhaps taking down the decorations.
In the meantime, I didn't want to leave you sitting there empty-handed, so I made you something.  Like all things handmade, if it's pretty, it's only the roughest kind of pretty, an assemblage of little moments that caught my eye while I was in New York.  The exact hue of a certain sort of daydream, it is the product of wanting something and being lucky enough for it to happen. 

I think of you in kind of this way, out there in the ether, my own New York--only in human form.

Maybe you are someone who smiles and laughs at some of the same things I do, and maybe, just maybe, you are also someone who wants to spend a little time with the ones they love, somewhere warm.   I wish you loads of smiles, laughs, warmth and more.  Happy Thanksgiving, if there's a turkey in your near future.  And Merry Christmas, too.  (Bet I'm the first this year to say that!)  I promise I'll bring along a little bit of Vietnam to show and tell in the new year.


  1. Wishing you a wonderful holiday, too. And I agree kids grow up way. too. fast. I love that you can just take your kids out of school for a month to go travel. Never in the states could you do that.

    Loved this post.

    Bon voyage!

  2. Fantastic! Have a great time and 'see' you when you get back. You'll pick up some great cooking ideas in Vietnam.

  3. Tammy, How lovely. I love the New York montage and ma fille was grooving to the song as we watched.
    I hope you all have the most wonderful, warm and memorable time away together. And I know there will be fantastic photos and stories when you return. Enjoy the peace and time away. All the best.
    Aidan x

  4. The Indians got it right; They would go South in winter. I am so glad you are able to take more than 1 month off. Have a wonderful time!

  5. Hi Tammy. What a nice reflection on fall. And thank you for your comments on my blog - really appreciate it. I subscribed to your site so I can keep up with your comings and goings en France. Enjoy your time away. A toute a l'heure!

  6. Have a safe and wonderful trip. Kids are definitely way more important than blogging! We'll always be here.

  7. Have a great time and enjoy every minute; I hear it is a beautiful land over there, my cousin visited when it was starting to open up to the world and loved it.


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