Friday, December 31, 2010

Let us embrace 2011 together!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

At times I wander in the gale that is life; snow whirls and those around me continue living as if there were no questions to be asked.

There is always the option of bracing myself against the strongest winds or taking cover in a nearby forest of the mind... or I can stand, unabashed, in the violent onslaught and feel the great winds invigorate, empowering me.

I choose life.

With its questions, its doubts, it temptations and longings... I choose a passionate life.

Do you?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sledding on Uncle Willy's mountain!

Evi: "Give me your sled so you can take your pictures and we can keep up with the group!"

Strong man helps tiny girl.

The great uncle Michel descends into a cloud of freezing ice smoke only to...

come up smiling!

Christmas tea to warm hands before the long (and deadly, in my opinion) drive down.

My favorite part... following eachother home.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Come and sit with me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Nowadays, winter cookies are made as you plug your ears with holiday tunes and skype a friend on your laptop!

I fight the urge to bemoan technology until she looks up at me and laughs ... "my friend says to tell you hello, mom!"

Who can argue with these masterpieces?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A very Merry Christmas to all!

You have brightened my year with your thoughtful, sometimes funny, often heart-warming, and endearing comments. I've grown rather attached to you all, to tell you the truth.

Much love and peace on this day wherever you are and whatever you may be doing. Hugs all around!

Friday, December 24, 2010

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

-- Christina Rossetti

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Home through Laufen ... Christmas shopping.

Bleak winter stillness.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Looking out my bedroom window I see far down the valley. Beyond that first white meadow are friends, and my world is made brighter knowing they are there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Morning flush and outpouring of all that is new and pure.

Un ami est un homme devant lequel on peut penser à haute voix.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My little man brought Christmas cookies home last week from cooking class, and the first thing I thought was:

Ours never looked that good!

It took about ten seconds for him to unwrap the package (I had to snap quickly to get any pictures at all) and share them, three for each of us...we could pick.

Unqualified Christmas cheer! Have I mentioned that I haven't baked a single cookie myself yet?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A choir of children sang out into the darkened cobblestone streets last night as hundreds of candles burned their light into the frosty inner sanctum that is a winter's night.


Locals sat inside keeping warm in the blanket of comradery.


And cultures and confessions blended in a moment of utter peace. Merci Moutier.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Even trash is prettier glazed in snow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Early morning snow from the warmth of my minivan.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

You're getting a surprise visitor next week, said my Russian one night at the table, five sets of eyes riveted on me, five mouths trying not to laugh at my discomfort. Understand that I generally like surprises (a lot) but I despise the kind where you know a surprise is coming but you aren't told the logistics.

I stew. I humpf. I speculate. I pester. And, shamefully, I whine.

But this time, the surprise was worth the wait! In the deep freeze of December, when my birthday seemed but a warm and distant memory of lazy June days, came a home-made Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from my favorite neighbors, and friends. Memories cascaded of the long philosophical discussions we sometimes hold out in the garden as dusk falls over our part of a fallen world, suddenly turned shining and golden in the comforting warmth that is friendship.

They came inside to the candlelight. A toast. A lump in my throat. An unconvential, unSwisslike hug.

It wasn't so bad now, was it? he whispered in my ear.

The touch of human hands-
That is the boon we ask;
For groping, day by day,
Along the stony way,
We need the comrade heart
That understands,
And the warmth, the living warmth
of human hands.

-- Thomas C. Clark

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who says teenage boys aren't made of sugar and spice and all things nice?

I came home from running yesterday to find my son waiting for me outside the door. "You're late, mom." Yes, but the snow was so inviting and the arctic wind so enticing!

He took the key and went inside to warm up while I stretched and cooled down; but when I turned to follow him indoors, my feet found this... love on the ground - for me.

And my heart warmed like a blazing fire ... there is no cold, no whipping wind that can douse such a light.

You are my heart, my sweet.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Christmas tree with candles glows quietly in the house as children and husband sit here and there munching on foil-wrapped Christmas chocolates, heads and feet in laps, hearts warm as the light that gleams; every now and then a word, a decoration that was forgotten gets placed upon the branches, a joke, a short quarrel, a sigh.

The men of the house watch over the tree lest it catch fire until every last candle has burned out ... the younger sleeping vigilantly on the sofa under a hand-knit blanket.

"And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)"

--ee cummings

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Song by Dylan Thomas

Love me, not as the dreaming nurses
My falling lungs, nor as the cypress
In his age the lass's clay.
Love me and lift your mask.

Love me, not as the girls of heaven
Their airy lovers, nor the mermaiden
Her salty lovers in the sea.
Love me and lift your mask.

Love me, not as the ruffling pigeon
The tops of trees, nor as the legion
Of the gulls the lip of waves.
Love me and lift your mask.

Love me, as loves the mole his darkness
And the timid deer the tigress:
Hate and fear be your two loves.
Love me and lift your mask.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

For Dawn and her little cotton ball doggie! Actually, for all you dog-lovers! Steve, mom and dad, texwisgirl, Nancy, Judy, Canyongirl... and I'm sure the list goes on!

Sledding over at the old shooting range, this is who we saw ... and immediately loved. His owner says he just accumulates snow on his fur like balls, and that in an effort to get them off he rubs his little snout ever deeper into the snow only to have it freeze on in thicker layers and annoy him no end!

A happy Saturday!