This photo of empty heron nests in Stanley Park is credit Alexis.
In no order:
Merry Xmas to the dude on reddit who asked an uncaring universe if he was a nutbar for not taking the Coquihalla this weekend to make it for a family Christmas. I assured him he was not crazy; nothing’s impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it. When an atmospheric river meets an arctic outflow, wild shit falls from the skies.
To my brother Jeff I wish the very best the ‘holiday’ allows him – which is hilarious given that he’s a phone call away from having to work at any moment – and a wish that at some point over the next couple of days we settle in for some ‘real’ Christmas telly: Die Hard, a Call the Midwife Christmas special, maybe a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit binge. Maybe even watch the King’s Broadcast, if only to mock him roundly. I disdain that boorish manchild.
Love and social distancing to the fOlks; we’re not seeing you this Christmas. Remember when the kids were little? and we were somehow obliged to drive hither thither and yon in The.Worst.Fucking.Weather that Southern Ontario could shove in our faces at the end of its tobacco-stained arm? Those days have passed. We can all thank The Grand Joculator for that blessing. Of course I’d rather be there. But the great thing about being a member of this family is that we don’t chivvy each other into social occasions by nagging and guilting the shit out of each other or trivializing each other’s safety; I find this of more comfort than whatever I can derive in a ferry lineup after four cancellations.
To my Ontie Mary and all of her kin of the Niebuhr line, even the ones that are still convinced Jesus in a UFO is comin’ for the righteous, I extend greetings and best wishes for a quiet, joyous and safe Christmas. Cousinly greets to Shauna, John and Katherine.
To the spirit of Jim P, and his surviving family; I hope you have the best Christmas you can. I love you guys and wish I had something other than my own grief to offer as a gift.
To my friend Peggy, whom I haven’t even called in a month because I’m such a bum, Warmest and Brightest wishes of the season. I don’t think I’ll get those biscotti to you before Christmas. I haven’t been busy; I just keep forgetting to buy almonds, and when I looked at the prices at Rave-on yesterday I damned near died of fright.
To the crows and wee birdies; yes I got peanuts and sunflowers; I will put out feed during the worst of the weather event.
To my friend Dave, shifting on his laurels as a soundly published poet, I offer hopes for a spark of cognition which becomes a flame of output. Yeah, right. You and I have always been at opposite ends of the word spigot….
To my pharmacist YOU ARE THE FUCKING BOMB. Happy holidays! To any pharmacists reading this, thou as well.
To my doctor; thank you for the latest scrip; after many months my blood pressure is now pretty much normal whenever I record it.
To Sue: may the year ahead be filled with family, love, and the work you have chosen with such distinction and success.
To all my former coworkers at the House of X – even if I didn’t like you very much when I was working with you, how I miss you now! It’s a reminder of how familiarity, and time, shifts all things in our feelings. Thinking of you all at midwinter, with particular effect for Mike (of course, special mention), Jerome (seeing him on the 28th weather willing), Stephanie, Sarah, Glenda, Mohammad, Arzina, Jim, Brian, Tom, Ryan, Carlos, Darryl, Ngoc, Patricia and many others whose faces are clear and whose names I cannot now recall.
To my landlady Kim F, who is currently training her replacement and I cannot tell you how sad this makes me since she is literally one of the people I’ve known longest in this town, I’ll probably never see her again after she quits— You were a really good landlady. Sure glad I didn’t have to call you about a plumber. I hope you have a lovely holiday and your daughter brings you nice presents.
To Tammy, whom I’m supposed to visit with on the 26th. O darlin’, I hope your trip to Vancouver (she’s flying in from Hawaii on Saturday) goes smoothly, but I really don’t think it will. Even so, I wish you the best of this season and my earnest hopes for a lovely day of tooling around the lower mainland seeing sights for Boxing Day. That’s what I wish for us. (We were thinking of getting together with the fam but holy cats with the amount of respiratory crud going through that house I can’t see that being a good idea a-tall.)
For Paul, hopes for a better sounding chest; for Keith, well he already got several denominations of my best wishes for a great Christmas (and promptly spent it on groceries, foreign editions please copy); for Katie, grace and peace for 20 minutes in the middle of her bustling household. In the spirit of Christmas I publicly acknowledge that Daxus is back with Katie and we’re all trying to hold grace for someone making an effort. Katie’s happier. I don’t know what else to say. We’re allowed to change our minds.
To Alex and Ryker; a grandmother’s blessing on you. You’re not getting anything else from me, by order of mammabear.
Ah Suzanne! I have enveloped you as a family member and it’s a wonderful thing. I hope you have the peaceful, joyous and family filled Christmas of your fondest wishes. (Note. Suzanne is Dax’s mother. Suzanne knows how to do blended families and I am doing my best to learn from her.) I hope you have all the gluten free treets yer belleh can hold! Hope three days a week of Rykercare doesn’t prove too much for you.
Fond greetings to Bonnie.
To Leo and Linda and their lively agglomeration of kids and grandkids: merry and joyous best wishes of the season to you all!
To Catherine C, Bob W, Colin H, Jan & Soon and their kinfolk, my Seattle filkfen, Cindy, Jaz, Elias and Kaitlyn (sp), Lois and Bob, kids and grandkids, Ruth and John & their kids, Juliana & household, Al P., Lorna @ IHOP, all the Doordashers who’ve brought food over the last couple of years (and the nameless kind souls who cooked it), to the people processing images from the JWST, Michael Balter & the rest of the gang on twitter, I wish health, strength, and fortune at Christmas and for the year to come.