Things that make me feel at home ::

Rain. The smell of rain, on concrete and dry earth. I walked out of the house today and felt so joyful. This was a present for me. It smelled like mint and Christmas outside today.

I stood in the doorway with June and just smelled the air. Rain in the desert is the best. I snapped this picture on the fly as I had only a few seconds before June was climbing my legs to be "up" again. I know it is not much of a photo, but it is my proof.

For the last few years in Tucson it has hardly felt like Christmas. Last year was all confusing because I went to Alaska in March, and that felt like Christmas. It was a mini-time warp. This year however, I have suddenly got the holiday spirit and I attribute it to a few small things that have pressed the Christmas switch in my brain: (1) the mandarin oranges we bought at Costco; (2) last week we had to turn on the heater. It went from 85 during the day to topping out at 65 practically overnight, and the evenings are downright cold. [I think this dramatic switch to cold is why Tucsonans are so afraid of winter.] And, (3) the nights are coming on so early now.

And that's it! Citrus + smell of heater + dark = Christmastime.

Suddenly I want a Christmas tree. And now that I am a Mom I want to buy things like this. I have been LOVING the Garnet Hill catalog. Though not the women's clothes - everything else. I have also been missing the way my mom always thoroughly transformed our house at Christmas. She created such beautiful Christmas trees. I really really wish I could be home for Christmas. [Though I do have some incredible plans coming up, I can't help missing the holidays.] I am really excited to start creating our own family traditions. Perhaps next year.

Lastly, thank you everyone for the comments on June and the Raccoon. It certainly encourages me to do more, but I cannot until I am done with finals, so two more weeks at least. I love this kind of stuff and I realize more and more that through this blog I am able to have an outlet for my creative side, and I believe it makes me a more satisfied person.

I hope everyone does something today that makes them feel right at home in their own skin. Bye!


  1. Just at the mall, with a handful of printouts and exact descriptions of items to be bought for the holidays (my kids know I am a bad, reluctant shopper and need help), texting my teens to make sure about the difference in boisenberry and purple....when I saw the mall Santa setting up for a session. Not a busy time, and I watched him yell, "Ho, ho, ho" --quite un-politically correct, I thought, while texting--up to the higher tier.

    Looking up, I saw a mom and a little girl. The girl yelled "Santa!" and blew him kisses and kisses.

    He blew them back with such sincerity. I cried.

    That joy between them, it made me ache.

    I long not to be jaded, especially at Christmas.

  2. I haven't been able to reply quickly, but I've thought about your comment all day. It has made me remember how I treated my mom when I was a teenager, and it wasn't pretty.

    I can remember my mom repeatedly saying that she just wanted a little bit of appreciation for something.

    And I can remember that I had to have the exact things I wanted, or I wanted nothing at all.

    Perhaps in these types of situations, the real Christmas joy is NOT from the gifts themselves, but from the family love. I have a good feeling you have that. And I like picturing you texting them in the mall! [Funny how I have a mental picture of you! My friend, anonymous. :)]

  3. I guess I envy you, with a little one, and so much wonder ahead.

    But I am trying to appreciate the inevitable wonder of teens trying to get their own identity. My kids are pretty good, we talk easily and honestly.

    Yes, you're right about the love.

    Part of my holiday malaise has always been that my husband and kids are Jewish, and I am not. I mean, we converted the kids, and raised them Jewishly. I was completely on board with that, btw, not bitter. (Oh, I say Christmas time, because it is still that to ME, but I was shopping for Hanukkah, which is next week, inexplicably!)

    Just makes me wistful, now that all real little kid holiday opportunities are gone and my heritage was ignored--sort of murdered, by my own hand. Felt this moreso since my parents both died a few years back.

    I try not to be too attached to, well, anything--I teach yoga, part-time, LOL--especially Currier and Ives type holiday images, but.....

    Well, I'm human.

    You're a sweet girl, to let me ramble on your blog! I will have to get my own, so you can visit.

  4. Yes please do get a blog. I will read it.

    I think of this one as a bit of the autobiography I always meant to write. As well as a way to honor the people who are important to me, and the activities.

    Yoga teacher! Very intriguing.
    I love yoga, but I haven't practiced since I was pregnant. I need to get back in shape. Sigh.

  5. I'm not sure if you will check this again, but I wish I knew something to say about your losing your parents.
    I can only imagine the depth of that feeling, and I watched my mom lose her dad a few years ago. I know it is rough, and I feel for you.

  6. Well, you're sweet! (Again!)

    It was complicated with my parents and me.

    My dad was SO quiet, so.....rural? That you just kinda felt like the goodbye conversation would go like, "Well, time to go."

    "K, see ya".

    And that'd be it.

    He was very sick at the end, and that made it easier.

    My mom.

    Well, I won't gum up your blog with mom stories. I have my own blog to spew out problems!

    But I found her difficult. Selfish, at times. Every now and then I see her in me, and I'm afraid. And I'm ashamed to write that about my own mom, as well.



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