One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

In The New Year

I returned from the Christmas travels to find that silly Christmas cactus merrily beginning to bloom for the third time in 2009.

At first, I thought it was just the pair of blossoms you see above, perhaps a couple of stragglers leftover from the blooming of this plant at December’s start.   I’ve since discovered there are more flower buds all over this eager little plant, a little reminder that the more I know, the less I know.   Always a good lesson.  And of course, more blooming is exactly the sort of inconvenience I live for.

On the same window sill, my pink Reiger Begonia is joining in the festivities, sporting so many flowers it can barely keep itself upright.

What a treat to bring the garden in to windowsills this time of year.  Outside, winds roar as they silver our neighborhood with arctic temperatures and cull all the trees for the weakest branches we find lying on the ground in the morning.   But in the living room, it’s a festival du printemps, complete with a small colony of ladybugs making the southern windows their homeland as they patrol the potted plants who live there.

The two feet of snow the Solstice Blizzard brought our way was all but vanished by my return from the Christmas revels on the 26th, so we welcomed in the New Year with a bit of rain instead, as temperatures rose briefly for us.   That we saw in the new year under cloud cover was a little disappointing, as it might’ve been nice to revel in the brilliant light of December’s Blue Moon but ah, well, that we said farewell to 2009 was enough.

*        *        *

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year.

It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.

Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions.

Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.”

G.K. Chesterton

The first weekend of 2010 brought us a fresh blanket of snow, falling peacefully on and off throughout the weekend and leaving us a crisp and glittering world to explore.

With cold temperatures and wet snowing falling, though, there often is little enticement to get out there and explore that marshmallow world, especially when the recent Christmas festivities have brought new toys to play with, and  while I was focussed on the new printer/scanner/copier, my roommate  has been tearing around playing with his new stuff, too.

I know you’re probably jones-ing for a little Catsby Action, since the last post actually featured the Cousin Kitties instead of my Purry Pal, so here he is having fun with one of his new toys, an impressionistic sort of catnip mousey on an elastic.   A tether mousey, if you will.

I’ve installed it here between the door frames, where Badum has to bound back and forth over the different levels, a sort of stair-master for kitties, I figure.   He has great fun with the whole set up and the toy really wings about once he gets going.

Apologies for the quality of the photos.   Like any of us at the end of the holiday season, the Gray Catsby is a little loathe to have his photo taken again, so I had to sneakily shoot these from the next room.   He’s great fun to watch, though.   There are, perhaps, few joys which compare with watching your kid have a good time.

We even had a momentary visit out of doors, he and I, this past week, when we wandered about a little on the snowy deck.   I’m not sure he’s really up for too much outdoor exploring this time of year, but on the next reasonably nice day, I think we’ll give it a try.

Of course when we do, the camera will come along, so you can share in the fun.

Monday morning brought us our first sunshine of the new year.   The weekend’s snow had finally abated and our newly-flocked landscape was made even more beautiful with a blue winter sky and golden rays that turned ice crystals to diamond.  And this natural beauty was a comforting backdrop for the day itself.

You’ll no doubt recall there were an assortment of unnamed reasons keeping me from feeling especially merry last month, one of which was my stress about the workplace.

Like many places, the restaurant has been feeling the pinch of recent economic troubles and as business has flagged, I’ve also found myself looking toward new horizons and hoping to make changes later in the coming year.  My plans regarding what those changes might entail are still coming together, but a variety of possibilities had been identified by the year’s end.

So it wasn’t especially a surprise (and possibly a blessing) to learn on Monday that my position there had been terminated.  Typically (for me), I find my glass on this occasion to be half full.  I’m grateful to have worked with many wonderful people during my eight years there and am proud of the accomplishment of having helped them create and host some truly special and memorable occasions.   And I’m happy to carry forward many friendships from this era of my life into that silly unknown future.

Despite my positive take on it all, Monday was sort of uncertain feeling day, so I was grateful for the lovely weather and the chance to get out for at least a short walk to clear my head and begin looking to the future.

It was a beautiful afternoon and I’d have enjoyed a much longer walk, but by then I was starting to feel a little irritation in my right foot, which I didn’t yet realized I’d managed to bang up pretty well whilst carelessly kicking a build-up of snow and ice out of the fender of my car on Sunday.   (Whew.  I haven’t had a run-on sentence like that in ages.  I think I’m ready for a nap.)

I was a bit worried I’d actually broken something in my foot as it grew more painful across the week and was a bit swollen by last night…and so today included x-rays at the emergency room (mercifully almost empty!) and the news that I was just badly contused, was outfitted with a bit of painkiller and some crutches and sent on my way.  Oy, what a week I’m having.

Actually, I kid.  In many ways, I’m having a pretty great week.   Monday’s news brought to me an outpouring of love and friendship and support that was a little overwhelming.  Not surprising, because I have some pretty terrific friends.    So many blessings to count.

I’m not sharing any details just yet, but I am happy to advise you that, on the work front, things are looking up.  I’ll only say just now (so as not to jinx things) that it’s true what they say, about how when a door closes, somewhere a window opens.  I’ve had a few lovely windows open for me this week and I am looking forward to this new year stretching out before us, full of new opportunities and bright promise.

Happy New Year!


Comments on: "In The New Year" (6)

  1. You have a delightful way of handling change. It’s no wonder you have so many good friends. Nonetheless, I wish you great success in your new venture, whatever it may turn out to be.

    My toe is hurting a little too from kicking off the ice from the car. I should use my long-handled ice scraper. But you really do need to get those things off: my new tires smelled of burning rubber yesterday, and it was the ice in the wheel well that was doing it.

    Thanks for your good wishes, Birdie! I’m excited about the year to come.

    I’m sure there’s a sniglet for those clumps of snow and ice and I’m surprised I don’t know it. Usually I use the heel of my winter boot to knock those free. I’m not sure why I thought using my toe was a good idea the other day. Ah, well.

  2. WHOOSH. I have NOT been paying attention, since I assume the outpouring of support was probably in response to a FB announcement, but yes, like Birdie said, your glass-half-full response continues to impress. Having your ankle enforce a little downtime in the wake of this news may be an odd benefit too, though it doesn’t sound like you needed any reminding to take it slow, easy and contemplative. I’m glad there are windows opening, and the potential for others in the offing. Maybe it’s even a comfort, now that home life has reached a certain level of stability, to be able to shake off the last remnant of your old life. Sending you many good thoughts and well wishes, my friend.

    Heh heh. “Whoosh” Are you running at me like Fang? :D Thanks for all your good thoughts and wishes, my friend. I expect this 2010 will be a most excellent year for each of us!

  3. Your Christmas Cactus must be very happy, Greg. I see that, together with the ladybugs, as a good omen. A sign of prosperity sustained.

    I like Badum’s impressionistic catnip mouse. It’s a bit like a fishing lure. Maybe next summer, after Badum has exhausted it’s allure (that’s what I said), you can take it out for a dip in the ocean. Does Cape Cod have catfish?

    I do like the way you interpret omens, Mister Jeaux. Don’t mind a good pun, either (and this was NOTHING like a good pun…)!

  4. Well, um, congratulations I suppose. Cheerio and good for you for getting canned, my dear. I am excited for (and VERY curious about) your new opportunities. I wish you all the best and none of the worst.

  5. badum looks like he’s got the world on a string (so to speak). i look forward to details of the job as time allows you to.

    bloom on.

  6. Greg, I’m sad to hear about the job, even if you’re saying I shouldn’t be. I hope those new directions offer you some terrific choices. You deserve it. More time with Badum should be a good start.

    I grew up with a family of cats that must have missed the catnip gene. I thought it was some weirdly hyped substance with no basis in truth. But all the cats I’ve had since have been pretty taken with the stuff, as Badum seems to be. Oh what fun. (The world would be a lovelier place if humans somehow got the catnip gene. Time for some genetic engineering…)

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