Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010!

At the end of 2009, I reviewed my year in a blog post. That’s not happening this year. Some very good things happened in 2010, but for the most part, I’d rather not think too hard about the past year.

Last summer my pastor preached about times when you’re living in the belly of a big stinky fish. You’re alive, but you almost wish you had died, because living in that stinky fish belly is so miserable. That’s what 2010 felt like for parts of the year.

As the last hours of 2010 go by, I’m grateful to have survived this less than wonderful year. I’m grateful for my friends who stood by me and listened to me and comforted me. I’m grateful to my pastor, who sometimes tells me things I don’t want to hear, but that I need to acknowledge. And I’m grateful to Dr. Lobo, who lived with me in the stinky fish belly and loved me through it.


Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, and I am greeting it with enthusiasm and hope. I wish for all of us a very good 2011.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Woman Has a Few Nativity Sets on Display

Collecting is about passion.

Last week I spent a few days in Denver, where some of my favorite people live. I stayed with my friend Susan, who has collected several hundred nativity sets. Although she displays some of them throughout the year, during Advent they take over her home.

Susan’s Christmas tree holds only nativity ornaments.

Her nativities come from all over the world and are made of many different materials.

They come in various sizes. Some of her smallest ones are displayed in a glass case surrounded by mirrors, and I didn’t try to photograph them. She keeps a magnifying glass handy so that her visitors can examine them. While I was there, she dropped a seed that contained a nativity, and when I left two days later, we still hadn’t found it!

This armadillo was one of my favorites.

But my very favorite of Susan’s nativity sets is the one she sent home with me. It now sits on my mantle.

You probably remember that I have a rather extensive bear collection. I know, it doesn’t make sense. What can I say? Collecting is about passion.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Timing is Everything

For several weeks this fall I considered making a trip to eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. I wanted to drive the Talimena Scenic Drive between Talihina, Oklahoma and Mena, Arkansas and enjoy the autumn leaves. But fall came late this year, and once it showed up, I kept finding other things to do.


Last week Dr. Lobo and I finally made the trip. Although we found a few beautiful trees, we missed the big production. Repeatedly, we heard “You should have been here two weeks ago.”

We had reservations at the Queen Wilhemina Lodge near Mena, but driving up the mountain on a narrow road proved to be an adventure. Enveloped in a cloud, I felt like we had entered the Twilight Zone. I’m telling you, it was eerie.

When we arrived, the lodge looked like this.

I hear these are normally gorgeous views, but this is what we got.

Still, we had a good time. The lodge was nice, with a fireplace that burned brightly and comfortable chairs for reading.

The day we left, the weather cleared a bit.

Yeah, we should have been there two weeks earlier. Timing is everything.