December 1, 2020


It’s going to take some vigilance, some intention, to keep spirits bright in these December days with dim light and long dark nights.Findinghomeinmontana 12.01.2019

Did I really write that here, one year ago today? I thought things were that troublesome, even before the pandemic? I did not have a clue about how bad it would get. As Carol wrote in a text last night, “The world is spinning way too quickly, as it spirals sideways and downward…”. My Covid nightmares are back, and at 3:00 am this morning, all I could think about is where and how will I get parsley for the turkey soup I plan to make today. Sigh.

Thanksgiving turned out to be a lovely day, all day long, just the two of us, as the house filled with the smell of pumpkin pie and turkey. The champagne was popped at 2:00 in the afternoon and we listened to a cheery Spotify Thanksgiving playlist while we cooked away together in the kitchen. Late in the afternoon, just before it was time to pull the turkey out of the oven, we took a walk through our forest, across neighbor’s meadows, up their empty roads, down to water’s edge, in stunning golden light. We talked to our families and got to see those California kids via FaceTime. And we finished off the day watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles, laughing through the scenes we know so well.

I had planned to decorate the Christmas tree the next day, but just couldn’t get into it. So many loved ones in our lives are in a world of hurt right now, and Trump is burning down the house, with 50 days to go. I cannot even read the dire predictions about the pandemic’s explosion, after people gathered together for Thanksgiving. The director of our local health department just resigned after months of conflict with a no-mask county commissioner board. As Carol said, it feels like we are spiraling sideways and downward.

The weather outside is hardly frightful, for this first day of December. The temperatures are supposed to get below freezing, but no precipitation is predicted all this week. There is nothing worse for a meteorologist than a stagnant high pressure system, and you can tell our NOAA forecasters who write the weather discussions are getting bored. With no cold fronts or arctic blasts or jet stream changes to talk about, there is but a brief, bland paragraph on the discussion page. I’ve taken to reading the national forecast on NOAA’s website each morning. It’s quite interesting to read about the lake effect snow in the Great Lakes, the freeze in Appalachia, the power outages in Maine. There’s something weirdly comforting to me to have a handle on what the weather is like across the country. It must make me feel like I have control over something.

Well, it’s December now, and time to get after that tree, bring up some twinkling and sparkling ornaments from the basement, and add a little cheer to the house. If I can locate that parsley, it will smell like turkey soup. There’s a sky-blue sky out my window, just a skiff of breeze, 38 degrees, and a great morning for a crisp walk.

“Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room.” Nora Roberts

2 thoughts on “December 1, 2020

  1. sue phillipson

    Hi there, this is our first winter in Montana. We are very busy with our 3 month old puppy. He makes us laugh all the time. It’s 23 up here on the mountain with thick hore frost on the fence and trees. It really is beautiful. We drove up to Big Mountain yesterday and they are having to make snow.


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