On Holiday

My stocking this year consisted of this: wool socks (I used to be “whatever” about socks until I started wearing the fine wicking Merino ones and now I’m a hardliner about them), goat’s milk soap and a wee tin of lip balm, deodorant (you laugh—but this was actually on my list!), broad-spectrum sunscreen, and (obviously) chocolate. This is a very grown-ass woman set of gifts, and I’m not even ashamed about that. And I love my mom for knowing this about me.


Despite the natural seismic tremors of tensions that every family feels (I think?) when compressed together into one house and timeframe, I get to know my parents better every time I go home on holiday. My very favorite thing is when they tell some previously un-recounted anecdote from their pre-“me” life. Like, who ARE these people who gave birth to me?


I got up before sunrise one morning and caught a ride into town with mom and dad on their way to work. I was alone, sitting on a swiftly moving chairlift by 8:30 a.m. The sun was still behind the mountain and all was blue, ’cept for a little pink puff of cold-fog effervescing in the minus-3 degree air. It was a deeply cold, deeply pure moment that I immediately stuck in my cap of fine, pure moments from this year.

I don’t know what’s up with this guy’s jacket but I’d gladly take these chubby Bernese pups off his hands, immediately.


Nephew Patrick—whom I played with extensively—making his bed like a good boy. Now can he come do mine?


Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning.  

My parents’ dog Fergus. He wears diapers to bed at night—I shit you not!