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Belated Happy New Year

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Hello again, and Happy New Year. The Underpass Firefly Used to Find the LA RiverOne year ago I was still living in the foothills, north of Los Angeles. I was taking four-mile walks several times a week, and one path I followed took me under a freeway underpass, past a few sleeping homeless men, and across the Los Angeles "River". January in Los Angeles last year was unseasonably warm -- unreasonably warm.  The weather was so "nice" I was able to work on my paintings outdoors at a nearby park or in my sister's backyard. There were days when the temperature was in excess of 90 degrees ... in January. Maybe it's just me, but I think the normal six-months of summer is more than enough.  What was up with having it all year long? One year ago I was alone, and it sucked. I painted at the park alone; I walked alone, I worked alone in the lovely furnished room I was renting, I bought groceries alone, cooked alone, sang to myself alone, and watched movies or television comedies at the end of my days alone. It was a quiet and contemplative time. The Los Angeles River in All Its GloryI wasn't miserable by any means. I can find and create happiness in any situation, that is my nature. Sometimes that's all you've got and it is a an important skill to develop and call up at will. If I were still alone in Los Angeles today I would create happy. But, I wouldn't know you, and I wouldn't know my barn ... or my husband. Now it is early January 2007; I find myself in western New York. I live on a farm. I can look out of my kitchen, living room, or bedroom windoes and see and hear our fast-moving abundantly wet river flowing past as it bends in a long lazy "U" right across from our farm. From the windows on the other side of the house I can see our barn and the corn field, only partially plowed ... and lots of lawn and trees. And, I see space. Plenty of space, open and free space. Firefly Paintings in the Yard in January in Los AngelesOh, I'm still creating happy. Yes, I am creating happy. And it doesn't require so much imagination as the happy I created in Los Angeles. The Christmas holidays were sweet, then bitter sweet. My parents and my son and daughter were here with us. My husband had a house full of guests for the first time. It was quite different for him, and he was a down-right good host I thought. The last day my son was here it snowed all day long. I made a large batch of my blue ribbon biscuits and we all sat in the dinning room eating biscuits with various jams and jellies and maple syrup and molasses and cheese. It was beautiful to sit there around the big table with the snow falling on the barn and the fields outside and to see how much a life, or a handful of lives, can change in one short year. Now the house is quiet and still, my husband has gone back to work and I return to mine. Sweet and bittersweet ... that's life. The sweet parts should be the focus, the bittersweet moments should be used only as accents to make the sweet bits stand out in greater detail. I wish you and yours a sweet 2007. May your bittersweets taste a bit like chocolate. May you feel gratitude deep within yourself for new and unexpected landscapes revealed as you continue your journey along the River You. Thank you for being a part of my life, and my new landscapes. ~firefly

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