The Days to Come

It snowed a bit yesterday, our first snow of the season, though it wasn’t much of a snowfall. Big flakes floated down for about five minutes, dusted the ground like powdered sugar, then disappeared. When I saw at the last minute that snow was forecast (before that, they said it would pass us by), I considered planting my wildflower seeds, but I knew there wouldn’t be much snow because the daytime temperature was in the high thirties. Since it’s going to warm up in the next couple of days, I didn’t want the seeds to think that winter had come and gone and now it was spring and time to sprout. I still have time to plant, either right before or right after Christmas, to give the seeds a good start. After all, it’s still fall. Winter won’t come for ten more days.

I am preparing for the solstice. I set up my bowls of light, ready to celebrate the end of the creeping darkness. I even set up my little Christmas tree. I didn’t really feel like doing the work, but I thought it important to make some attempt at a festive atmosphere even if it is just for me. And anyway, I do enjoy seeing the ornaments I’ve collected over the years.

It is amusing, though — I’d just cleaned up the last speck of glitter from last year, and now I am glitterizing my house again. (Yes, Spellcheck, I do know glitterizing isn’t a word, but no matter how much you redline me, I’m leaving it.)

In three weeks, we start a new year. If you thought 1984 an inauspicious year because of the book by that name, 2022 should really creep you out. That’s the year the story in the film Soylent Green took place. Yikes.

Just one more thing to think about in the days to come.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

The Stockings Were Hung by the Heating Unit with Care

A word of advice — if you don’t like the sun setting before 4:30 in the wintertime, be sure to move to the western end of a time zone. The sun sets at the western end of a time zone almost an hour later than the eastern end.

And I live close to the eastern edge of the mountain time zone.

Even worse, there are still three weeks until the end of the creeping darkness.

Usually I wait to put out my bowls of light until close to the winter solstice to celebrate the returning light, but this year, I need them early. Not only does the sun set at 4:30, the long twilights I remember from my previous years in Colorado seem to be missing (maybe because I am further south than where I used to live). So, full dark comes at 5:00. Yikes.

Yesterday I put out the bowls of light.

Today, I put up my Christmas trees. The red tree was a gift to cheer me up three years ago when I couldn’t go anywhere because of my destroyed arm, the green tree was my father’s. I hadn’t intended to bring it with me, but someone thought I needed it, because when my brother helped me move my stuff into a storage unit after my father’s death, there is was.

And now here it is.

One odd aspect of growing older is that everything has a story. Those trees, of course. The stocking that was hung above the heating unit with care was a gift from my sister about fifteen years ago that has been packed away. The bowls the lights are in used to be my mother’s. The table used to belong to an aunt, got handed down to my brother, and now it, too, is here. The red wreath started out as a hatband and will again become a hatband in another week or so.

Every ornament has a story, too. Quite frankly, I had no idea I had so many ornaments — I haven’t had a tree for decades. I put up my father’s tree for him but decorated it with the cute felt nativity set I’d made for my mother when I was young. (It seems to have disappeared. I know she gave it back to me before she died, which is why I had it to use for my father’s tree, but I must have gotten rid of it during one of my storage unit cleansings.) I did recently buy some ornaments from an artist friend — the arabesque (onion shaped) ones — but mostly what I have are things I was gifted. A couple of things I found in with my ornaments, I don’t remember ever seeing before.

It might sound as if I get too attached to things, but if you knew how much stuff that I liked that I’ve gotten rid of over the years, you’d see that some things attach themselves to me, and those are the things I still have.

In this case, it’s good I have the stuff. I mean, first Winter Solstice/Light Festival/Christmas in my new house? Of course, I’ll decorate!!

Besides, it makes the long dark nights on the eastern edge of the time zone a bit brighter.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.