Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

This is the eighth Christmas we have spent in this house…in this place to which I fled when my family imploded after my dad's death. And, truly, we couldn't have picked a more perfect place. I've come to love my home here, come to think of this town as my town. It's as much as I could possibly have hoped for.

For the first six years of my "new life," I expended all the emotional energy I had on reworking my relationships with the people that were already in my life; re-building from ground zero those ties that were incinerated when my father passed away. I was emotionally battered and bruised…I didn't have anything left with which to seek out new friendships.

And then we bought the café, and the fun really started! All my energy, emotional and otherwise, has gone into that place. I'm only now starting to feel human again…starting to feel like I've got a handle on all this and that I can go forward with a plan and a hope for some kind of success. But friends? Who has had time for that? I have customers…I have employees. I have pleasant relationships with these people; they brighten my life, and I hope I add something positive to theirs. But they are not my friends.

My only friends have been ethereal ones…

In 2003, I began my journey into journal land. And it was always a paradox. Simply by virtue of the depth of emotion I shared with the people I encountered there, they were the best friends I had ever had in my entire life. My personal (skewed) definition of friendship has always included a depth of connection that I have never actually had with any friend in my "real" life. I felt so much closer to this "community" of people I had never met than to anyone I had ever known. So that was the community upon which I came to depend—heavily—as I wallowed through the emotional mine-field of rebuilding my life.

But internet relationships are fraught with strange rules and uncomfortable limitations. The friendships are often too intense to last a long time. They grow quickly, and disappear in a flash. In the end, corporate interests opened the flood gates and poured us out into the internet-at-large; and the community, or what was left of it, flared bright for one last moment…and dispersed into the ether.

This Christmas Day, I'm in a place where everywhere my mind turns for comfort, it finds…nothing. The tenuous long-distance ties I've maintained to my far-away family have been buried under the snow-dump of the century. Along with the new traditions I've tried to build—café Christmas party, holiday concerts, even driving around town to look at Christmas lights; all made impossible by the impossible weather.

We will not be sharing the holiday with loved ones. We will be sitting in our family room, staring at the boob tube, eating food we don't need, crossing our fingers that our roof doesn't suffer the same fate as the ruined patio cover crumbled upon the deck outside my back door. My worries and woes will wrap around me like a damp blanket.

Bah. Humbug.


  1. We've had the weather too! It was a beautiful white Christmas today. I am sorry that you are not with family today! I've had so many of those kinds of Christmases too! May you have a wonderful New Year, filled with family, friends, and success. Hugs to you my dear friend! PS, We're still enjoying your beautiful handmade ornament that you sent me after my father died! You are a special lady and I appreciate you so much! Hugs, Lisa

  2. We stayed at home with just our clan, minutes away from tons of family. Sometimes immediate family is best and most comforting.

    I wish for you that Christmas has enveloped you in love...that you know their are some of us who love the you you have shared.


  3. All of our golks are on the wrong side of the snow too. So we listened to carols, watched the birds, hauled out some old movies and I experiented with home made pizza. It was kind of weird not having family around but we got through it ok.

  4. My Christmas was spent for the most part alone in my undecorated home. For supper, we went to a friend's house, and though they were gracious and welcoming, it just wasn't quite ... right. You, and others filled my mind, these strange, oddly defined friendships that are never the less so real.