In my junior year of College I met Gail Widner. We glanced at each other in Anna Katona’s lit class and bonded over a poem written by Wilfred Owen. Tears streamed down our faces as we listened to the atrocities of WWI; she wearing black heels and a Mondrian inspired dress and me wearing black leather pants and a red sweatshirt. Within a short time Gail and I became besties and that’s how I met Gretchen, her sister who was studying Dentistry at MUSC. Gretchen was loving, kind and generous. She gave always… to everyone.
We read aloud to each other as girls do; books like The Moon in the Water and The Chains of Fate and we grew up dreaming of living in English Country Houses and Scottish Castles. We had great imaginations and filled all those rooms with countless furnishings. And then we grew up.
Gretchen loved history and she loved genealogy. She embraced her Huguenot roots as well as others from other parts. She was the grande dame of the Dames of the Magna Carta in South Carolina and was involved in so many things. She even figured out the patchwork quilt of my father’s ancestry for me. She loved her family, cats, dogs and she loved children. Before having her amazing son George, she took her nieces and nephew on many adventures to the magic kingdom and beyond. She loved to laugh and she loved to be happy. She was so excited when Gail and I traveled to Italy in 2008. She was exuberant that we would just see it all. She was a great reader too and I was thrilled when she read my busy tome and liked it.
I’m looking at a vase right now that Gretchen gave me about ten years ago.It is made of glass and filled with a kaleidoscope of colors.I remember when it arrived; the day was cold and my heart was bleak. I used it once when it was almost knocked over and broken. I loved it so that I chose to put it in the bookcase so nothing could happen to it. So tomorrow in her honor I will buy flowers and dang that vase will be in a place of honor with wildflowers. Good night dear friend, good night. You are missed by so many…
It’s Christmas Eve ~ I’ve munched enough lebkuchen to the point that I am on a sugar high. I’ve revisited five years of journals about Christmas… and I have listened to a host of carols… waiting and wishing for something, I know not what…
At 12:30 my borrowed twins came to me and we walked Winniedeer with her antlers on. She was not shy or unhappy; because her girls kissed her and hugged her and said with genuine laughter “You are Winniedeer” as they pushed that made from china headdress on her head! We met people in the park who wanted to pet the dog who pulls the sleigh…They stayed for hours and made me laugh and realize that yet again, I have been ungrateful. The high voices of children teach me that I need to take it up a notch. Thank you my sweet angels!
Finally I’m writing, working on a book that is too big for me.. too complex and complicated and I am grateful for my sad characters to be in the Eternal City at Christmas.. I look at my tree and hope next year Winnie and I will have finished it and be working on another! Happy Christmas!!!!
Every year I take two weeks off at Christmas for several reasons. I love, love Christmas!!! I usually write 40 or so pages during the break and I feel that I have accomplished a lot. I take quiet walks and spend quality time with family and friends. Did I mention I love Christmas?
I have not written word one, paragraph one or page one… it is ok! Instead I have decided to mindlessly let things happen, take Winnie on long walks and enjoy the city by the sea, the crown jewel in the crown of America. I have munched lebkuchen, gone to bed early and slept in late… It feels grand!
I have humiliated poor Winnie with too many embarrassing photos and I have laughed out loud..
Things I have or have not done
Christmas cards nope, not happening this year
working on the novel maybe or maybe not
tree and decorations up and lights Yes
watching movies not yet
What responsibilities are you ditching to just enjoy the holidays???