The end of the year always strikes me as somewhat like the end of a marathon. Each new race begins with enthusiasm. You’re fresh and full of energy and ideas.
Then you reach the middle stages, where you’ve settled into a more consistent pace. You realize you’re not going to set a world record this year. Some days, it’s a struggle to get anything done. Your only hope is to do better than you did last year.
And then, all of a sudden, it’s Thanksgiving, and you say, “But I have to finish this before the year ends!” And so you sprint to the finish line, trying to wrap things up before you collapse in exhaustion and try to recoup enough to enjoy the holidays.
This year I had a pleasant surprise. It turned out that my grandson had all of Thanksgiving week off from school, and so my son and daughter-in-law decided it would be a great time to come visit everyone in Arizona and Texas. I got a little over twenty-four hours spread over two days with them before they had to get in the car to catch a plane to their next stop.
It’s been a while since we’ve gotten together, so I was amazed at how much my grandson had grown. He also was a little reticent until he got comfortable with me again.
One of the things we did was take a trip to the Titan Missile Museum. This remnant of the cold war is the only remaining Titan II missile site open to the public. If you’ve seen the opening to War Games, you’ve seen a fairly accurate representation of what the real thing looks like. Since I grew up during the time period, I’ve always found the museum fascinating.
While we were down there, we noticed we were passing through an orchard of some sort. My memory clicked in, and I realized we must be near the Green Valley Pecan Company. Of course, we had to stop at the store there and pick up some mini pecan pies and various kinds of packaged pecans. We had the pies for dessert at dinner.
It was a wonderful visit, even though it was short.
The next week, I attended a Christmas Tea at my church. One hundred and seventy ladies showed up for an evening of scripture readings, music, and tea with an assortment of dainty treats. The room had been decorated with Christmas trees and each hostess created centerpieces for their tables. It was the perfect way to start the Christmas season and something I needed. While generally I love living in Tucson, where no one has a winter coat and you have to hunt for a hat and gloves for the one or two days you really need them, it’s hard to feel like it’s Christmas when there’s no snow.
And then there’s always the writerly administrivia to take care of. Last year I redesigned my website in December. This year, I’ve decided to move my newsletter to a different service, which means learning how it works and designing new forms and the content of the series of emails a new subscriber gets when they join my list. And, of course, there’s continuing to let everyone know about Holly Green Murder, the latest release in my African Violet Club Mysteries.
It’s also time to start planning for next year. But that’s a topic for the next blog.