Staying Put

We are no longer the only pothole fillers on the road.  Travis the Dump Truck Driver, a new neighbor, used a machine with a heavy blade last weekend, even before the annual road scraping takes place, and fixed the potholes.


And then this weekend, the Road Manager and his daughter Susan topped off a few smaller ones further up the road with gravel that Travis delivered.


I watch Susan, backlit by the low winter sun.  It’s shining directly in our eyes and casting gigantic shadows behind us on the road.  I’m relieved, even elated.  It registers on my face as tears.

So much has changed here this year.  I started wearing glasses and I changed my last name.  Ruby our Golden Retriever is dead, 58 Cornish meat birds were eaten by weasels, and we lost 4 layers to raccoons.

Beloved neighbors have moved away, even though they still visit.  We see Momma Goose on the road, she who has flown to a new destination —


— migrated — and is just picking up her mail.  She hops out of her truck.

“Let me hold that pup!” she says and scoops Arly into her loving arms.  She misses us, and we miss her.  We hug, she promises to stop by soon, and we say good-bye.  Each small change has some ripple effect on anyone nearby.  But we’re not moving.  How do you change in place? I wonder.  Apparently just by staying put. Fifteen-pound Arly yanks me across the road.


Our daughter was married in August, and she and our son-in-law and their puppy Roger arrive on Saturday evening and stay the night. There is a fire in the woodstove, we eat leftovers, and the canine cousins, Arly and Roger, chase each other around the couch, wrestling and growling.


Roger got into some poop earlier in the holiday weekend, so our son-in-law bathed him in the only thing available, Old Spice body wash. IMG_NEW

I hug Roger and breathe in deeply.  Arly wriggles at my feet.

Arly and Roger 002

I think I’ll take a break from writing this blog for a few weeks.  Raise this pup.  More in the new year.  Love, Christi


40 responses to “Staying Put

  1. Enjoy your break. It has most definitely been a year of changes and growth; for me, too. This is the time of year to gather together and recenter our lives, to know what is important and what goes into the compost pile. I wish you, B.O., Garfield, and Arly a most wonderful Christmas season. I hope you stay nice and warm and have lots of visits and tea and fruitcake. 😉 I’ll miss ya, so hurry back!

  2. This is so eloquent: “How do you change in place? I wonder. Apparently just by staying put.” I know it’s been a year full of changes for you and I can commiserate with you on that one. Thanks for another beautiful post and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    • Thanks, Susan. I’m thinking of you missing your brother, and I hope you surround yourself with your beloved friends and family these next few weeks. Oh, and Happy Birthday. 🙂

      • Christi, you are so sweet. Thank you for thinking of me. I have a wonderful family of friends, thank goodness! I can’t believe we have the same birthday, I hope you have a Happy Birthday, too, sweet Christi! 🙂

  3. Although we will miss you like crazy you have permission for a full 2 weeks off…did I mention we will miss you? LOVE that picture of the dogs together, looks like MAJOR trouble to me ;). SO glad that someone else is taking charge of the pothole filling and that although your year has been a most energetically charged one, you arrived at the other side having lost and gained in equal measure. Life has that balance thing all under control. Have the most AMAZING Christmas doing what YOU want to do. Please give Arly a cuddle for me (if he doesn’t wriggle out and run away because he HAS to smell something 😉 ) and a hug for the B.O. I, too, love your changing in place. I haven’t got time to contemplate changing in place at the moment…I am too busy! I have to wait till the middle of the year when everything slows down and gets wet and quiet to have a chance to reflect. Seems upside down to me to be honest, you guys get to reflect at the end of your year and we are full tilt at the end of ours…oh well, we southerners are a strange brew! Again, SO many hugs for you both and your wonderful children and that cuddly squishy little lump Arly and see you in the new year when we will be fecund (LOVE that ribald word 😉 ) with new possibilities and ready to rumble for another year. Roll on 2014, you are going to be a delicious year of wonder for us all. Can’t wait to take up where we left off 🙂

    • Thanks for your loving, generous spirit, Fran! You’ve got the spring “GO” card and have collected your plants and are on your way to fecund! I love the balance of our world, and am snuggling my “cuddly squishy little lump Arly” by the fire and being thankful, especially for you and my blogging friends. I’ll be back. 🙂

  4. Have a WONderful holiday time, Christi!! Pups abound…ing. xo

  5. Enjoy the holidays, enjoy your break and we’ll see you next year!

  6. Does he travel? I know of a few pot holes that are potential worm holes that could do with filling.

  7. How DO we change in place? My question too Christi! Is it just me projecting or is there a little hint of sadness and tiredness in this post – more loss than gain being felt? Pre Christmas blues? Am I projecting??

    I am reinventing myself as an artist, as a person of tolerance [this is not my strong suit] and as an accepter of all that is. I struggle! I had three days of feeling really dejected, with myself, my abilities, my life, my choices….. I felt awful. Then on morning 4 I woke up and painted the orange girl and knew everything was alright, it was just me trying to change what I can’t change – that’s when I knew I have to now be a conscious practitioner of acceptance.

    My morning mantra has become ‘It is what it is and it is all okay.;

    Reading your post reminded me of what my inner work is at the moment – changing in place!

    I read your post and say ‘Oh, no – what about my Thursday morning post over coffee – what will I read now?’ You will be missed. But that’s okay, you will be all the more appreciated when you return 🙂

    I wish you all so much the most wonderful, seasonal, delicious Christmas. I wish you fun and laughter and beautiful walks on your pot-hole-less road.
    I hope you wear your purple skirt on several occasions and that Arly doesn’t roll in any poop [not counting on that one altogether].

    Happy pup-raising, happy Christmas, happy, happy, happy new year……mmmmwwwwaaaa!!

    • Thank you, Pauline! You are so kind and accepting — and I’m not sad, really, just needing a bit of composting. Staring at the fire. Clearing the slate to ponder. I need room to let my orange girl emerge, in place. I so appreciate your loving comments and I will be back next month…count on it. Love to you, too! xxoo

  8. napperscompanion

    Old Spice soap bath for dog poo smell. Classic! Peace, John

  9. Christine Widman

    Today is our oldest daughter’s birthday. 43! The e-birthday card I created used a photo of her at 3 years old throwing a rock into a lake – with all the determination of her entire body. I said to her, “One of the reasons we love you so much…you have always thrown all your energy and efforts into the living waters of life.”
    “How do you change in place?” A brilliant, nostalgic question.
    Here I don’t have to answer that question. Change happens every day. Guests arriving from all over the world. New people to meet and talk to.
    Plumbing pipes breaking…sunrises taking our breath away.
    Coyotes yipping wildly right outside our bedroom window at night…a monsoon rain felling one of our palo verde trees.
    Our question sometimes is how do we keep up with it!
    Our other question here is when is the right time to change?
    How can we know?
    Sooner rather than later as we are in our winter years but feel fully alive and well – so change now while the timing is good?
    Or Later because we are alive and well and what on earth would we do with ourselves without a vital work?
    Certainly this brilliant question – in whatever form it takes – is the question of mankind. Because on one level change happens constantly without our desire, permission and/or our approval.
    I miss you dear soul sister and wish you and the Bearded One a joyous holiday!
    Tell the Bearded One that his “heart”-felt drawings of appreciation for the neighborly pothole work filled my holiday spirit to the brim. Thanks Thanks Thanks!!!!
    And always love.

    • Thank you, Christine. Change comes to us even when we stay put, doesn’t it?!! And then we have to change in place and I’ve hardly ever done that. Like you, I’ve moved every 7-10 years my whole life, usually staying in one place less than that. My parents did, too, and then in their 50s they landed in Seattle and didn’t move for 30 years! It’s a stage of life thing for me, this changing where I am. Happy Birthday to beautiful Erin…and I’ll tell the B.O. how much you love his drawings. He never tires of hearing that. Love always, Christi

  10. Enjoy, and thank you. Years ago people would wait for a ketter from friends or family “back home” because it was fun to see what the news is. It’s still kind of like that except I don’t know you personally and it’s electronic now. Still fun to hear the news. See you next year.

  11. I am enjoying tagging along with your little bubble of life. Thank you for your blog, it has brought a piece of your world into mine, and written so well with great drawings to boot, what’s not to like! Have a great break, I will look forward to your return. Keep safe, enjoy the festivities and see you in the New Year x

  12. Enjoy your end-of-the-year hiatus and the pup. And stay warm!

  13. Christi, I will miss you, too, and the B. O.’s drawings. They warm my heart and are as moving and evocative as your writing. I’m glad you will have a bit more time to read and whatever else re-charges you. Or to do nothing at all . . .

    It has been a full year for you, hasn’t it? I agree with Narf7 that it balances out, and I think you are wise to take this time to integrate it all.

    I love that photo of the pups! Is Roger a Shepherd pup? He sure has the colouring. Good thing I’m far away; I love Old Spice and might not have been able to control the urge to ‘adopt’ him. 😉

    Have a great break, Christi; I wish you, the B.O., Arly, your family and all the Farmlet inhabitants a Merry Christmas and a New Year that is the best so far, but the least of those to come!!

    Hugs to you all and I’ll be happy to see you here again in the New Year. ❤ ❤ ❤ ~ Linne

    • Thank you, thank you, Linne, for all your kind wishes and your inspiring blog. I’ll be back, one way or another! And Roger is a true mix. No one knows what he is. But I see the Shepard colouring, too. He’s got some hound (from his mom), and he’s a calm temperament, so who knows. Hugs to you and keep warm up there in Edmonton. 🙂

  14. Enjoy your break Christi and BO. Time to re-charge those batteries and enjoy the season. I come from a farming life and living in the bush and know only too well the joy in a gravel unsealed road that has had some nice neighbour come fill the potholes 😀 See you next year xoxox cuddles to Garfield, Arly and the goats and chooks too.

  15. i always enjoy the way you intertwine text and your wonderful drawings. Have a wonderful holiday season! I’ll miss you, and I look forward to seeing you back next year.

  16. Love your way of telling about your life, brings it into my sitting room. May you have a great Christmas and hope all goes well with Arly, not forgetting Garfield, the goats and everyone else.

  17. Yes, you shared many changes with us readers. Enjoy your break, the breath of winter and the lop of a growing pup and will anxiously await new beginnings.

  18. Have a wonderful holiday 🙂
    You Inspire Me! I have just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Here is a link to my post for you to accept the award:

  19. I’ll miss your posts Christi but hope that you enjoy the break and the puppy! I just found where your “like” button went ….it’s now hidden with your comments. Please know that I’ve liked all your recent posts too. Looking forward to the farmlet and more of your gentle wisdom in 2014.

  20. Oh!!! It makes me cry. All of it. Ben’s sadness, how hard to start a marriage that way, you moving and also my envy of you moving. Kali’s future in laws live there – during these dark days I especially think of moving there. I so wish the best for you, and know your new adventure will at least be warm!
    Stay in touch, I love our time in life together, Christie!! Hope it will continue.
    Love, Maria

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