Minding Our Spirits – Wintering

This is my fourth attempt at writing this post.

It’s frustrating, but each prior effort has quickly taken an unwelcome turn – far out of alignment with my vision for this space. In the wake of the horrific events of last week, climaxing an already challenging year, my frame of mind is out of sync with how I want to communicate here. I’ve been experiencing such strong negativity– deep sadness, intense anger, utter helplessness and crippling fear – and I can’t find the words.

I had planned on this post being about the process of “wintering”.  But try as I might, I just couldn’t get where I wanted to go without my emotions taking over. But now, on my fourth try, as I think about it, maybe I can still use this theme and maybe, just maybe, it is precisely the right topic to moderate all this personal angst I’m feeling. Maybe…

So now I force myself to think about how much I have always loved winter above all other seasons. I’m certain this atypical preference is rooted, in large part, in my introversion. Wrapped in winter’s solitude…silence…stillness…even its darkness – I am secure and at peace. Additionally, there’s the hardiness of winter foods, the bulky warmth of winter clothes, the invigorating impact of outdoor activities and the stinging bite […]

January 14th, 2021|Minding Our Spirits|6 Comments

Minding Our Time – Some MOL Favorites

I thought that I would pass on a few ideas I’ve come across that have helped me get through those seemingly endless “inside” days of winter.

First, let me tell you that I just finished re-reading an old favorite by Rosamunde Pilcher called, appropriately, Winter Solstice. It’s the tale of the serendipitous coming together of five individuals that couldn’t be more different from each other in every way. An uplifting narrative set in England and Scotland, Pilcher weaves into her story vivid descriptives of the homey, cozy cultures of those small villages often overlooked by tourists. It’s light reading that will keep you turning pages. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Then, before you sit down to read, how about putting up a big pot of my most favorite soup for a cold winter’s eve – Ribollita.  Here I’m linking you to the Ina Garten’s recipe because I think it’s the absolute best. I first had this on a chilly night in Siena and knew I had to make it for myself as soon as I returned home. And make it I did…many times. It takes some prepping but it’s oh, so worth it! Give it a try…you won’t be sorry.

Now this suggestion is one I’ve offered before but its one I’ve learned to appreciate even more the […]

January 14th, 2021|Minding Our Time|0 Comments

Minding Our Time


Earlier this week, on a day typical of late December, I took a long walk around our town with my constant canine companion, Maggie. On the way home, we walked up busy Germantown Avenue, stopping to talk with others enjoying the brisk weather, window shopping, and taking time for Mags to properly greet all her four-legged friends and her many two legged admirers.

The store windows along the avenue were still bedecked in their holiday trappings, making a last- ditch effort to lure today’s walkers into their shops for the post-holiday sales.

Our walk took much longer than usual…admittedly I’m a window-shopping rock star – and Maggie has a lot of friends. As we strolled by a little gift shop, the wording on a tiny notecard in the crowded shop window caused me to pause for a few minutes of reflection. Beautiful, I thought, and we continued on our way. But as we were almost home, I found myself still thinking about that card’s message, contemplating its unquestionable relevance as we bring this crazy year to its end.  I felt I had to have that card and I also felt I wanted to share its message with you.

So Mags and I retraced our steps back to Windfall…that lovely gift shop. Before going inside, I took the above photo of […]

December 31st, 2020|Minding Our Time|17 Comments

Minding Our Spirits – Christmas 2020

It’s funny how each year our Christmas trees reflected that particular time in our lives.

Way back when our kids were all living under our roof, they would call our Christmas tree the “chubba blubba” tree because Dad always somehow brought home the fattest tree he could find. To add to the comedy, we always made sure that every single branch of our cherished chubba blubber was adequately adorned with its fair share of trinkets from our motley collection we had somehow amassed over the years.  These trees did reflect who we were – we were chaotic, we were spontaneous, we were impulsive.

And each year, we loved our chaotic, spontaneous, impulsive tree!

After the kids left home, as our home life settled down, so did our trees. They became more “demure”, definitely more sedate, reserved…quieter; sometimes, even, they were themed – Victorian or Folk, one year it was French country. No longer hodge-podged.

And still, we loved those demure, sedated trees.

It’s a very different Christmas this year. And…it’s a very different Christmas tree this year.  But, again, our tree clearly defines the spirit of our home, our life. This year maybe more than ever before.

This year, we’ve adorned our tiny tree, not with the usual shimmering ornaments, but rather with photos…pictures of our most precious gifts – our four children, […]

December 23rd, 2020|Uncategorized|9 Comments
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