I took a month off from blogging. Many of you will not have noticed at all, but it was a big deal to me. I hadn’t taken a full day off of blogging in the four and a half years since I’d started. I wasn’t even really planning this hiatus, but I think it was destined. And necessary.
Since I last posted here, much has happened. The vast majority of it was at least semi-planned, and generally was wonderfully welcome, too. But it would take more time than it did to live it if I were to try to fully document it here, and that might take a little of the luster from the memory, something I would surely begrudge rather than delighting in the telling. So I shall give you a relatively brief recap and call it good.
You know from my last posts—if you were picking up on the heavy hints—that after our return from Portland (Oregon) where he was conducting one of his choirs at a wonderful conference and we were happily reunited with a number of dear friends and colleagues, my husbandly partner and I had a brief breath-catching, laundry-attacking, household-packing few days at home before jetting off again, the next time for Sweden. That trip, too, was for both work and play purposes. The original excuse for the trip to our beloved home-from-home turf in Stockholm was my husband’s invitation to be interviewed for a radio broadcast celebrating the history and future of Swedish choral music in general and the Swedish Radio Choir (Radiokören, or RK) in specific, as part of RK’s gala celebrations of its 90th birthday. After a literal false start to the trip, when bad weather in Chicago made our flight connection there impossible on the scheduled day and forced us to take a next-day pair of flights bringing us to Stockholm hours instead of a whole day ahead of the onstage interview, we tumbled happily into place at “our” fabulous accustomed apartment in the heart of the city and made a running start at the planned activities.
In all, there were three concerts, the radio interview, another radio interview for him with a second broadcaster on a different program, walks all over town, a day-trip out to Uppsala, and meetings and meals with dear, wonderful, longtime friends at pretty much every lunch and dinnertime throughout our stay. We even enjoyed a full-on, all-American Thanksgiving dinner on the official day, made by a beloved Swedish friend who lives much of the time in the US, served in her Swedish love’s warm and beautiful apartment, and shared with another pair of dear friends—an American expat conductor who is my spouse’s brother-from-another-mother, and his brainy and beautiful wife. And of course we still failed to see everyone (you’re not off the hook forever, Anna!) and do everything we wanted to do before we had to head back to Texas. Real life, and all that jazz.
Plenty of excitement in real life, too, for that matter. We got to bed just after 2 a.m. on the 28th of November after our journey back from Stockholm, and at 8 the same morning, the movers arrived to pack us up for our home relocation across town. Thank goodness it was just across town. Tight timing and a few hiccups in schedule-coordination along the way meant that although we had sold our house for one of the three solid offers within 48 hours of putting it on the market—and less than three weeks after seeing an apartment ad that convinced us we could be comfortable in a place half the size of the house—moving so immediately on our return from the second trip in a row was dicey at best.
But it all went smoothly enough, in the end. We’d hired a previously-used great company for the move itself, the friend who had been our realtor when we bought the house to re-sell it for us, and a terrific lady who managed a complete living-estate sale to reduce our belongings enough to fit us into the apartment. A scant couple of weeks after all of that, I am sitting in a very comfortable living space in a well-managed rental with nice, quiet neighbors, and I know that we did the right thing. Lighter housekeeping has its appeal, and it’s simply fun to reinvent the nest once in a while as well. Something so refreshing lies in the revised view of myself that comes from sorting through the tangible stuff of my life and deciding what to change, what to keep, what to eliminate, and what to add. We are still in the same town, barely a few miles from where we lived, but with a change of view in many ways after 6 and 1/2 years here.
Including, as it happens, that since the location of the apartment doesn’t offer any views other than of rather grungy local roads, parking areas, and a cement plant, the artificial views I’m making at the windows by having my scenic photos printed on curtains that let light through without making us look at the dullness outside. Never let it be said that I lack a rich fantasy world, no matter how excellent my real world happens to be. I’ve loved the rather fantastical life that our travel and change-of-venue adventures afford me, but I can find much to delight me in the everyday, too.
To make myself feel right at home when we returned to our current place of actual residence, I whipped up some good old skillet cornbread for tonight’s chili dinner at a friend’s house. This batch of cornbread was seasoned with salt and white pepper, smoked paprika, roasted coriander, mace, and powdered dried orange peel, and to confirm my devotion to Texan treats, I brought a ridiculously tasty spread to slather on it: about half butter and half sorghum-molasses, whipped together with a hefty splash of Texas bourbon and a sprinkling of coarse salt. I may not be a native Texan myself, but I can walk the walk.
Now that I’m back to the blog, I cannot say that I feel the need to post every single day again, as I go forward. I expect I’ll post often, most likely several times a week, but it’ll be when I have the time and the gumption and the wherewithal to create posts. Blogging is, after all, only my avocation. I don’t make a penny from it, and it takes a remarkably large quantity of my time and efforts and brain-power just to develop sufficient content for the images and words I post, never mind to keep up with the expansive correspondence shared with my readers and fellow bloggers and friends. I enjoy this blog greatly and am enriched by being the sort of diarist I am in this place, but it’s not the center of my life.
So I will see you, often I hope, and when I am not fully occupied with other things. I will, in a literal sense, keep you posted. And I salute you for your kind visitations and the warm and wonderful companionship you’ve shared with me along the way! May the year ahead be a grand one, kind and generous to us all and filled with the wonder that brings me here to visit with you in the first place. Happy 2016, everyone!
My phantasy. You had moved to Sweden for life! Never to blog again…..
Sent from my iPad
Would that we were so spoiled! But I suspect that even in Sweden I’d find blogging a useful nudge to DO some writing and art-making, so wherever we go, it’ll probably remain on my long-term docket even when I’ve slowed down at it.
Hope your Christmas/New Year times were lovely and love-filled! Many joys to you in 2016!
Interesting post, happy 2016 for you too!
Thank you kindly! I hope the year brings *all* of us greater peace, good health, and lots of love.
I trust you are now settled in. Welcome back
Thank you! I just now spent an hour or two rearranging kitchen cupboards and drawers, one of those areas that take such perpetual tweaking to really work just so. But other than similar action around the house, all is in fairly good order, and we’ve felt quite at home here since Day 1, so I’m content! Hope your whole year will be equally comfortable and happy!
Welcome back to blogging! I haven’t visited you in a while to it’s great to have a catch-up! I also made the decision to post less frequently, although I never reached the dizzy heights of daily efforts! In the summer when things are particularly busy around the place, I find it hard to make the time and then I feel guilty! It’s supposed to be a pleasurable occupation I think so now I’m aiming for quality rather than quantity – hopefully!!
Happy New Year, when it arrives!
My dear Christine, I am always impressed by the quality of your photos, the engaging and rich stories you share about your life at Garybuie and among your menagerie, and the welcoming spirit of each post. So post when you will, and we fans will happily follow you around like your household ducklings!
xoxo, and all best in 2016,
SO interesting to read about your exciting trip to Sweden. Appreciated all the news in your blog!
May the New Year be another great one for you both.
Many thanks, dear Suzie, and may 2016 be blessed and joyful for you!!
Whew! Even the encapsulated version was chock full of twists and turns around every corner. It would be fair to say that you’ve obviously managed to scrunch quite a bit of LIVING into all those many days during the holidays. Love how you tie it up neatly with a bow by conjuring up something in the kitchen – a natural way to punctuate any story, especially by someone who loves to create in every sort of capacity. Also love the idea of creating your own private window accoutrements to splash a bit of color and pizzazz against a rather plain view of your surroundings. Why not create a bit of fantasy against the stolid view? Anything that brings your heart a bit of happiness and music is well worth the effort.
Many blessings to you and yours in 2016. A new chapter is underway!
Thanks for the delightful greetings and well-wishing! I am so glad to be past the most intense portion of this year’s planned adventures, but every one of them did bring amazing and welcome benefits, so I can’t even complain about the passing chaos. I hope I can incorporate a little of your practice-of-silence into my days, going forward, whether it’s as a homemaker in a peaceful house with my partner off at work or as a better listener when in company, and I know that it’ll enrich all that is to come.
Happy 2016 to you and is that a pan of cornbread?
Yes’m, it most certainly is cornbread. A fairly frequent visitor at our table, because it’s so easy, it’s GF, it can be seasoned (or not) to go with practically anything, and, um…because we like it so much! If you should happen to be a visitor at our table, I could always whip some up, too, you know!
A very happy and HEALTHY 2016 to you, my sweet! 😀
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm cornbread. Happy and healthy 2016 to you too 🙂
Congratulations on your new rental, and Happy New Year!
Thank you, thank you! We’re already appreciating the sense of freedom that downsizing always brings, along with the pleasant coziness of our new digs. And as 2016 has begun racing along before I could even stop for a breath, I can say that it at least has had a lovely beginning, and I look forward to more. Much happiness to you, too!!
I’d noticed your absence. You were the other person I knew who’d posted daily for about the same four-and-a-half years I had. On my third blog-iversary and again on my fourth I’d contemplated no longer feeling obligated to do it every—as you say, it’s a lot of work. You seem happy to have slowed down. I may follow your example.
Welcome to 2016, which is a leap year.
How is it that I completely missed the memo that this is a leap year? Must’ve been too engrossed in just surviving the wacky-tude of the last couple of months of the last one. Hope you find the right balance, leaping or not, for your blogging. While I savor every one of your posts, I know that even *one* daily post is incredibly demanding, never mind keeping up more than one blog and doing all of the other stuff you do, so I would never begrudge you some actual breathing room!
Whatever else it hands you, may 2016 be exceedingly open-handed with happiness for you and Eve!
Thanks for your good wishes.
For our entire lives, every year that has been or will be evenly divisible by 4 is a leap year (but 1900 wasn’t and 2100 won’t be). Leap years have also coincided with presidential election years. Many’s the time I’ve wished we could leap over an election and just go four years without any president at all.
Wow, you have been one busy lady, amazing. Glad you are back. the best for the new year! Michelle
Thank you, sweet Michelle! A fabulous 2016 to you as well: may it hold every good thing you can wish for, and a few extras you haven’t even yet imagined!!
Thank you Kathryn! You are so kind and lovely, the best to you as well 🙂