“Hey, you didn’t send out a Christmas letter this year.”

Yes, I know, but . . .

“Why not?

It’s just that . . .

“Your family and friends will think you don’t care about them in this time of love and . . .”

Stop! I love my family and friends. I’m sorry. Will you just listen? Christmas letters are usually about what has happened over the course of the year, and I already wrote about anything interesting. I have no more stories to tell.

“You could have sent cards. Didn’t have to be a whole letter. Just sayin’.”

Okay. You’re right. Merry Christmas to everyone within the sound of my computer, and best wishes for an adventurous, rewarding, fun-filled 2019.

We’ve been enjoying a crisp, beautiful fall, apparently borrowed from some other, possibly New England, state, with sunshine, frosty mornings, blue skies. But the rains have come now, and we’re settling in for the winter. Not sure what that means. Settling in?

But the winds have knocked the flower pots off the porch, blown over another two trees that we know of. The rain has begun to fill the “vernal pool” dug by Fish and Wildlife and, we hope, the creeks that feed it. The pastures have begun to green up, offering the hope that the cows will soon be back. The rather astonishing burn piles can be set afire now, soon as we come back from the holidays.

I’m in Portland, but Larry has gone to the farm after our Christmas celebration with the Ederers in Sun Valley. Our friendly neighbor Carl, who volunteered to care for the chickens, reported that he’d collected 10 eggs during his tenure, and Larry has just called to inform me that he’s picked up 10 more. Whew. The egg-collecting apron that Jenny gave me for Christmas will apparently see some good action. Thought chickens were supposes to stop laying in the dark months.

We’ve become addicted to watching the Great British Baking Show, and as a result, Larry has begun to produce some gorgeous loaves of bread. Who knew? Thing is, two people can only eat so much bread, and it might be better if he developed an art form that used eggs instead. Of course, two people can only eat so many eggs, as well, so there we are.

Now we’re off to Black Butte for the traditional celebration with our friends, hoping for some serious snow, lots of good food, laughs, stories, everything that makes the holidays complete. Happy New Year!

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