10 Beautiful Things I Like About a Man Now…

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In the little yard two paces beyond her, the man was washing himself, utterly unaware. He was naked to the hips, his velveteen breeches slipping down over his slender loins. And his white slim back was curved over a big bowl of soapy water, in which he ducked his head, shaking his head with a queer, quick little motion, lifting his slender white arms, and pressing the soapy water from his ears, quick, subtle as a weasel playing with water, and utterly alone.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

My List:
1. The way he builds a fire when he notices that I am getting chilly.
2. The way he lifts heavy things so I don’t have to.
3. The way he pulls the covers up to keep me warm during the night and how he moves his arm to let me snuggle in and put my head on his chest.
4. The way he takes me into his arms to dance around the room when he hears one of our favorite songs.
5. The way he smiles when I call him by his special name.
6. The way he gives me a bouquet of roses for no particular reason.
7. The way he puts his leg on a stool and dries it off after a shower.
8. The way he gently handles his old leather billfold so he can keep on using it.
9. The way he offers to get me something when he is going into the kitchen to fix something for himself.
10. The way he always takes my hand when we watch a movie or to steady me when we are hiking on a rough trail.

Hopefully 2021 will bring a man to me who has some of these qualities, or has a completely different set of beautiful qualities I have yet to imagine!

Photograph © David Dodds

Shining light…

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The best way to predict the future, is to create it. by Peter Drucker

This is the time of year that I start formulating my action list for the coming year. (Think a less intense, Management by Objectives by Peter Drucker.) And although it has been a bleak year by any standard, there have been many, many bright spots of happiness and sheer joy – made all the more intense against the pallor of the rest of the year. So it will be these precious moments that I will make an effort to capture in my list for 2021. Regardless of how the new year may be – these points of light are things that I can control.

Model: Lauren DiMarco
Photo: © Sienna Benton

Reindeer ready…

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© James Currie – High Park Zoo, Toronto

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
with a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen!
“On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Dunder and Blixem!

“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew
from Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

I remember the giddiness and sheer thrill that Santa would be visiting my home on Christmas Eve! I knew exactly what doll he would be bringing me as I had sent a letter to the North Pole weeks earlier begging for one and had been especially good so I couldn’t conceive of any other outcome – especially not the lump of coal reserved for naughty children!

I chose the best-decorated sugar cookies for Santa and placed them along with a glass of milk by the fireplace. The obligatory carrots were set out for the reindeer. Rudolph was my favorite, of course!

My Mother did a wonderful recitation of Twas the Night before Christmas and then it was off to bed. I listened for Santa’s sleigh for what seemed like hours, determined to see him, but alas, I fell right to sleep and never did.

I wish children everywhere, St. Nick believers or not, the Christmas of their dreams!

Twas the Night Before Christmas narrated by Michael Buble´

Home for Christmas…

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© David Dodds – Old Mill Bridge, Toronto

I am dreaming tonight of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it’s a long road back
I promise you 

I’ll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree.
from I’ll be Home for Christmas by Gannon, Kent, and Ram
sung here by Michael Bublé 

Best wishes to those who have been in lockdown and have perhaps spent too much time at home this year.
And Godspeed to those finding their way home in time for Christmas.

Winter solstice…

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© David Dodds


The Shortest Day
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us — listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

by Susan Cooper
The Shortest Day book

There is something magical about the winter solstice. It is a time to celebrate! Despite all the woes of this last year, we have made it through to its shortest day and can now look forward to longer, lighter, and dare to hope for, better days ahead!

After 800 years, The Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter can be seen again tonight after sunset.

The end of fall…

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© James Currie

Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn – – the season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness – – that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. – Jane Austen, Persuasion

Picking rose hips in the last warm glow of the season.