Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 12 Boxes of Christmas

Yep, twelve.  Twelve boxes of Christmas stuff that I hauled out of the basement today, including the ginormous old tree, along with enough lights to put the Andromeda Galaxy to shame.  Or at least, a Ford Galaxy.

Stuff.  'Tis the season for stuff.  The orgy of consumption that begins right after Halloween these days is in full swing.  As a dedicated neo-Luddite and amateur Scrooge, I am bearing up remarkably well, in my opinion, and look forward to the stillness of January with (sweet) relish.  I am hoping for a couple pair of new Carhartt pants and/or overalls, and that's all, though Santa may bring me a bicycle to replace the one that got stolen a couple years ago.  I miss riding bikes with Belle.

The Angle is slipping into Winter with its usual grace.  One of our eight sycamores still has some leaves, but the rest are naked.  A gift of about ten pounds of Spanish moss from my in-laws is well-timed, since I can now drape it over the cypresses and other trees unimpeded.  Work on the garden has slowed, but I hope to put in the topsoil soon, followed in January by the cow manure, and give it a few months to settle before Spring planting season.  The chickens are fat on leftovers... but there have been no eggs, not yet.  One good thing:  the neighbors know about our flock, and are cool with it, even interested.  I'll have to bring them some eggs, if we ever have any.

Ten pages and a real, live, working plot are new fruits of my autumn artistic endeavors.  I hope to finish Chapter 1 this month, and post it to my companion blog.  It's a new story, told with a different voice than I am used to, and it may not become anything, but I am having fun with it; it only feels a little like work.

These days, my thoughts turn to my friends, those I've kept in touch with and those I haven't.  I miss them all the time.  I hope they know I am with them in spirit, even as I withdraw further and further from our society in decline.  We're all getting long in the tooth, and though there are hopefully decades more to come, I need to work to maintain the ties that are still strong, mend those that are fraying, and in some cases, repair those that have (not a few by my own actions) broken altogether.  To those friends reading this:  I sincerely hope you and yours are well.  I hope to still call you friend as the tale of our years goes on and on, down from the point where we began knowing one another. 

Wassail, friends, and have a merry Yuletide season. -- C.C.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"