A Pleasant Day

I had a very nice day yesterday, which just goes to show that a person doesn’t have to be with others to celebrate Christmas. Of course, it helped that I texted with my sister for a while as we opened our gifts from each other. (She got me gardening tools and a sun hat — so very thoughtful and fun.) The interesting thing is that we have her usual Pacific northwest December weather, and she has our usual Colorado weather. In other words, she was experiencing a rare Christmas snowstorm, and we experienced a rather mild and dry Christmas.

Mostly I watered my grass, read a novel, and played on the computer.

[I think I’ve mentioned a find and seek game that I’m sort of addicted to, the playing of which should make me feel silly except that I play the game during the times most people are lounging in front of a television and besides, there’s only so much reading a person can do.]

I also made a point of fixing a special meal for myself, though the “fixing” was mostly sticking the food in the oven and waiting for it to fix itself. Still, it was delicious, and a real treat. (Literally a treat since the dinner kit was a gift.) I even used my good china. Which makes me wonder: since the dishes were made in Japan, shouldn’t they be called my good japan? (You know I’m being silly, right?)

Today was more of the same, at least to a certain extent. It’s been very windy (it still is, actually) so I didn’t go outside at all, but I made sure to do my knee “therapy” and spent a couple of minutes on my elliptical. (It sounds rather pathetic, but more than that aggravates my knees right now.) Then I read and played on the computer. Come to think of it, I even fixed a nice meal, though I didn’t bother with a pretty layout or the stove. I just heated the meat and vegetables in the microwave and ate from the cooking dish.

I hope your days (yesterday and today) were as pleasant as mine, whether you celebrated or not.


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

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.

Walking in the Dark

Here I am again, scrambling to write a blog post before the day runs out, though this time it’s not because of laziness or procrastination but because I was working all day and just got home. Not much happens to inspire me on such days, though I did enjoy walking home in the dark. I so seldom get out in the dark any more — there’s generally no need to — so even though I am always offered a ride home (sometimes insistently), I refuse. It’s only two blocks, and the problematic dogs are gone — one moved away with the problematic neighbors and the other canine died. (That woman should never be allowed to own pets. She told me that if she were a dog, she’d rather run free even if she ended up getting hit by a car, and guess what. Since I’ve been here, she’s had three dogs, and all three were killed. Weirdly, I even know the person who killed her last dog. Even weirder, now that I think about it, he knew it was her dog, so her blasé attitude must be well known.)

What I’m getting at is that the walk is as safe as possible. (Obviously, nothing is completely safe, but there are relative matters of safety. For example, there are a heck of a lot of places I’ve lived that I’d never even set foot out of my door in a dark evening, let alone at night.) It’s also fun this time of year seeing the colored lights. There are nowhere near as many here as there were in my dad’s neighborhood — those people must have thought that the only way to offset a non-snowy desert Christmas was to flood the town with Christmas lights. The decorations are tepid here in comparison, but still enjoyable.

The past few years I’ve made a point of doing a bit of inside decorating for Christmas — putting up a small tree and my bowls of lights if nothing else — but I’m not sure I want to make the effort this year. I will be spending the day by myself, and it seems rather absurd to put in so much time digging out the decorations and setting them up just for me, but then, on the other hand, perhaps that’s when it’s most important to make the effort.

I still have time to decide. Or not. We’re already into December! Amazing how that happens — time passing in huge chunks when one isn’t paying attention.

I used to think all those folks who got ready for Christmas early were jumping the gun, but now that I am aware of how fast time goes, I’m surprised more people don’t start getting ready in September or August or July.

But I am digressing. I was talking about walking home in the dark. Not only are the artificial lights pleasing, so are the natural ones — the stars that make themselves seen. You’d think out here there would be more stars visible, but admittedly, the lack could be in me and my old eyes rather than the meager light pollution generated by the sparse street lights. Luckily, there are enough lights to brighten my way when walking home, so I really shouldn’t complain about light pollution.

I got home safely, and in the end, that’s what counts.


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.