Friday, December 12, 2014

Season

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We got some good old-fashioned christmastime snow, and the whole world looks like a birthday cake, and Andy Williams songs play on an endless loop in my head (and everywhere else, too, now that I come to think of it.)  It is quiet here, muffled in snow.  The house feels like it is sleeping.  We [try to] play cribbage, which we don’t really know how to play, and watch birds outside the window.  I bake things.  The last load of laundry tumbles in the dryer.  He chooses a book he thinks I might like, and reads it to me while I wash dishes in the sink, or soak in the bathtub, or knit a sock.  I am forced to admit there is some melancholy in this season now, with the little children all grown up and gone away to their own lives, taking their happy noise and their midnight pans of nachos and their friends with them, and I try to fill the gaping holes left behind with knitting and books and chicken noodle soup, and I cry now and then, sitting in the car wash with holiday songs playing on the radio, or in the evenings with a grown-up eggnog or steaming hot toddy.  I look for new ways to make the season bright.  I hang a silk scarf in the window, which casts color beams like stained glass.  I make things for people, late late into the night, and I light candles, and walk in the snow. 

28 comments:

  1. I love how a blanket of snow makes everything so quiet.
    Your Christmas season sounds lovely, and cozy (except for the part about missing the kids, boo), opposite of the hustle and bustle and stress of the holiday.
    We had a big storm yesterday, so I baked and ate 5 cookies in a row as soon as they came out of the oven. If I don't slow down I'm going to look like Mrs. Claus.
    Have a great weekend!

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  2. Your house looks cozy and perfect for Christmas. Our son is home from University for the holidays and can't understand why I put so much time into crochet and blogging. I totally get what you mean. It's great to have a quiet organized house but I do miss his company, clutter and late night snack noises when he's gone. Have a Happy Cozy Christmas.

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  3. This is our first empty-nest Christmas too. They'll all come over and eat at some point, but its not the same. have a great Holiday!

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  4. It looks like you're having a nice holiday season so far, even if a bit melancholic... wish you lots of happiness for the days to come! xx

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  5. It gets easier as time goes by, my own 3 daughters have left home and now have families of their own. The snow looks idyllic but easy to say when I am not living with it. Have a great weekend.

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  6. I felt a little pang when I read your post. Christmas always feels a little sad without our boy at home. We won't see him Christmas Day but we will see him at some point. I do wish you a merry Christmas.
    Jean x

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  7. Your words hit it spot on! My kids too are grown and I miss the little things. I love your blog!

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  8. This made me cry:( I am somewhat in the same boat except that my kids have left home a few times, coming and going to university or work. Soon it will be just my husband and I again. The oldest will start her teaching career in January and I doubt she will live with us again, but I've learned never to say never. On the bright side, my house will stay much tidier and the youngest will probably be back home in April. Thank goodness for Facetime as it sooths my heart to be able to see and talk to them so easily. Your husband is so sweet to read to you:) Wishing you a Merry Chistmas!
    Bestest,
    Mary Lynne

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  9. A beautiful, bittersweet post--you really capture the tension between wanting a happy, perfect holiday and the reality that holidays, like everything, change as time goes by. It sounds like you have a lot of fine times, still.

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  10. I, too, have a very quiet house now. And I'm doing the same thing- filling the void by making things :) Love, love, love your blog. It feels like we have a lot in common :)
    Happy holidays!

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  11. Very bittersweet post. Such beautiful peaceful moment - yet the melancholy is there...I feel it through your words. I think we forget how much this time of year isn't always joyous, but painful for others at times. I think you're doing the right thing by trying to find new ways to fill the void and bring some light into the dark moments. Found your blog through Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

    God bless ;)

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  12. I really enjoyed your post. Beauty and peacefulness of it but I also felt the sadness and melancholy. You said it all so beautifully, thank you for it. I am a mother of three, two teenagers and one almost a teenager. I often wish to have some peace and quiet but when I think of them all gone I know it will be very difficult to survive. Do try and enjoy the beauty of the season as much as you can. We have no snow where I live and probably will not have any or just some. My thoughts are with you.

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  13. My children have been gone for some time now. I grieved when they left as you are doing. I want to hold out some hope to you that it does get better. You get used to a new normal. (Then they move back home!!) But it really hurts at first, I know. Blessings to you.

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  14. Some life transitions are especially challenging like living in the "empty nest" you are rattling around in now, Kristen, and I appreciate your feelings of loss since I have lived through that season in my life...but while this will in all likelihood not happen to you, I encourage you not to despair because you empty nest might refill before you know it! Currently my youngest daughter and her husband their Cocker Spaniel and I are buying a house together. My oldest daughter, her four adorable little daughters, her husband, his parents, their little dog and my youngest son are living here as well! We are in transition with eight of us and one dog in the process of moving out and three hours away. Believe it or not, yours truly is dreading the separation and has shed a few tears as I try to brace myself for it. Meanwhile like you I am stitching, lighting candles, etc. but my snow is up on Mount Hood near Portland, Oregon, not beautifully decorating my house :) Blessings to you and yours.

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  15. The snow is beautiful. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy the children's exuberance for the season while they are young.
    Sheree xo

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  16. Hi - some lovely views from your windows at the moment - just stay warm and snug inside. Yes, it's strange (and hard) when kids first leave home. So lovely that you and DH are close, though, and have each other. I love the thought of him choosing a book, and reading to you. Hugs and blessings, Chris xx

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  17. The snow looks beautiful - but for me the novelty wears off very quickly! I hope you can enjoy a different build up to Christmas. I think there is too much pressure on us to "enjoy a perfect Christmas" .

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  18. No snow here in Norfolk on the east coast of the UK, but very cold with thick frost. People walking past wrapped up against the cold, their breath making clouds ahead of them. Time to snuggle down with some crochet work, and a mug of hot tea. We haven't had children at home for twenty years now, and I have to say, life is quieter in a good way. Our relationships are fractured*, never to mend. I try and try but in the end, it is easier to stop banging your head against a brick wall and accept they have their lives to lead, and perhaps be pleased in a weird way, that I raised them to be independent thinkers!
    *not of my doing

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  19. Not easy with the children away doing their thing. I miss my son everyday although I can only imagine he is not missing me near as much. Maybe missing my fussing over him and doing his laundry. Sending you a hug,
    Meredith

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  20. Dear Kristen, It's nice to hear of others who are feeling the same these Holiday Seasons. I'm an empty nester of 10 years, no spouse, just little old me and my cat, Bella, who is not the most loving. I like many don't see my children this time of year in fact don't see them often. In this crazy world of both spouses having to work it leaves little time for family. I understand it although it's hard to wrap my mind around how we got her as a society. For me with all the time I have being a Germaphobic, like Howie Mandel, I don't get out a lot in the winter. I am of an older age nearing 60 as of next year, although I don't feel it at all, it's an age that isn't quite appealing to folks it seems. I know understand how my parents felt. The Holidays are tough as are the winter months even though they lend time to knit and crochet, the house feels like the chill in the air on a cold winters night, silent most of the time. I live sorta in the country surrounded by woods which I love, nature is my solace. Although sitting on a cold limb of a tree isn't as appealing as in the spring, summer months. I am very lucky to have my health, very grateful to get around as I do, most I know struggle. Yet somehow it doesn't change the way I feel in these Holidays, winter months, the loneliness creeps in even though I do my best to keep it at bay. It squeezes into my heart. I miss the old days, I watched I Love Lucy's Christmas special, and found myself longing for days gone by. The simple ways, the home cooked and baked food not from a box, or premixed, just all from scratch. It seems a lot of that is gone too. I miss the way neighbors were back then, so inviting, gave the elders a reason to keep moving forward after the children left home. The knitting circles, and such, which is what I love about the internet. I am so very grateful for this post, I often feel I am the only one out here with a heart that's missing someone. Living alone, most of my friends gone, or passed on...doesn't seem to be much human contact anymore. I miss that a lot, I was hoping to find some new friends in blogging, but, sadly I am not good at patterns, good at following them I do knit and crochet to try and fill my days. My children aren't much on receiving handmade things. It seems to we are society of wanting it right away. I'm not quite as fast at knitting and such as you and living on a budget yarn isn't as cheap to come by anymore. Thank you for blogging, thank you for tapping in to this topic, I remember well when I my children left, I cried too. I still do sometimes, it never really leaves the heart. Not like those in nature who push there children to leave and stay gone, bird, squirrels, rabbits, deer, and such, funny how human's are the only ones with the ability to hang on by a heart string. It does get somewhat easier yet it doesn't leave as I mentioned...we just continue to do what we do and move into the next phase of life. Be grateful you are not entirely alone. Merry Christmas dear blogger, have a safe and blessed Holiday Season.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Pamela. It is good to be able to commiserate with others who have been there. :)

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  21. empty nesting is really bittersweet, isn't it? memories and new routines and new 'traditions' are often in conflict around here, too! (grandchildren help a lot!!!)

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  22. The holidays are difficult for a lot of people, we just don't feel like we can share! It's like being a bah humbug for something. I try to clutter my time with projects and avoid Christmas music or anything else that can tip me over the edge to sadness. I then focus on the real meaning of Christmas and it makes me feel better!.

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  23. My daughter graduates this coming June 2015 and I'm trying to not get too emotional as she is staying in the same state ( we hope). We will see where life will take her. I. Excited for her and a bit anxious for us ... We will miss her and all the Hapiness she brings to our house ... I better start getting more yarn and starting new projects to help fill my days .,. I do love the peacefulness that snow brings to you ... Everything looks to merry and bring :)

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  24. Gosh, that is a wonderful amount of snow. It looks so peaceful.

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  25. Oh dear. I've been trying so hard to keep it together this year, but you've made me cry. Thanks for putting it so beautifully.

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  26. gosh, this post made me misty eyed and also very grateful that my kids are still home. My daughter is edging out with her 3rd year of university. Every time she comes home and then leaves again I walk into her room and have a little cry. I'm really going to miss her when she does eventually leave. She has a long-time boyfriend and things look good there, so you know ... My husband and I put up the Christmas tree alone this year, and it was kind of sad. I said "this is what it'll be like when we're empty nesters". Doing stuff just the two of us. I hope you're not feeling blue for too much longer. It's really nice that your husband reads to you ... really nice. Your house looks awfully cozy of course, and that must give you some comfort. Take care, Wendy x

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