• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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The Taxi’s Waiting He’s Blowing His Horn

Dearest Darling Readers of This Blog:

I didn’t quite mean to let the cat out of the bag last week when I said I had blogger’s block. But I have been thinking about stopping or at least slowing down. I’m completely addicted to all of you and the community who gather here to let their freak flags fly along with mine. It has been exhilarating for me to write my dispatches from the world of publishing, the agony of writing, and the oceanic despair that travels through me and to be totally understood.

Over Thanksgiving, a bunch of us went bowling. We did much better than we imagined, Strikes and spares, scores over 100. When everyone was tired and ready to go home, four of us, cocky from our performance, decided to play another game. Naturally, we sucked. We could barely knock down a pin. It was then I remembered my father’s very good advice, which he mainly used in business and playing cards: get out while you’re ahead.

I love all of you very much. I will check in from time to time, and I hope you will let me know when your book is coming out or any good news from your creative life (askbetsylerner@gmail.com). I expect greatness from all of you, either that or die trying.

Love, Betsy

118 Responses

  1. Okay, all right, there is a time for everything. Thank you for lifting me up in the most human, hilarious and soulful way possible. And reminding me that we can be ridiculous and heroic at the same time.

    Happy Holidays to all of you. Thanks again, Betsy.

  2. My timing, finding this blog…not so good…beginning at the end…so I’ve downloaded the Forest for the Trees…will see where that takes me.

    • [I’m a sucker for the journey]

    • Re: timing and being in the right place at the right time –> I am a photographic artist and writer, stuck in the middle of a project [financed in part by an arts grant] with five months to go before presenting myself worthy of the mantle of emerging talent. I have a vision imprisoned in my brain anxious for me to get my shit together and get on with it. I think I may have stumbled into an alternate reality here, where I just may learn a thing or twenty. Gawd I hope so.

  3. I’m subscribed through email, so you better believe I will catch those here and there posts as they come. Best of luck Betsy, kudos for having the courage to let go of something you have to go for what you want. And best of luck to everyone else!

    Anyone want to keep in touch, you can find me at livingawritinglife.blogspot.com. Would be cool if others posted their blogs as well, since I would like to hear further thoughts from the community here.


  5. You will be missed.

  6. Beautiful! I love the bowling reference. Betsy, all the best to you in all that you do. Treat your brain well, it’s the only one you’ve got.

  7. Gosh. I feel like my lover just said I need a pause from you baby.

    But it’s okay Betsy, I know it gets so gruelling, and all of us so eager. It’s just that you’ve been my fix for well over a year now. A good blessed year.

    Do great things and come back.

  8. Your wonderful writerly voice brought me here. Thank you for the daily read and all best to you in all you do.

  9. George Abbott, the Broadway and Hollywood producer, director, etc. who lived to be 107 and was still working a couple weeks before his death, was asked once how he did it. He said, “When I’m tired, I go home.”

    Thank you Betsy, for providing this forum, this Island of Misfit Toys.

  10. I’ve been there myself. I’ve had a blog since 2007 and it seems as if the desire to write posts ebbs and flows. At first when I let a month go by without posting I felt guilty for some reason-funny I know… I finally decided that I would write only when I felt moved to and found that after I take breaks, suddenly I want to write again and when I do, it’s more satisfying. Here’s hoping you return.

  11. I wish you God’s speed and a thousand thanks from the bottom of my heart. You are very gracious and a class act. Bless you.

  12. Thank you Betsy and all for a wonderful forum. I still hope to hear from you again from time to time. All the best.

  13. Dear Betsy,

    Shit. Now, I’m the one with writer’s block trying to think of what to say to this. Shit, shit, shit. And, all those shits – on Sunday. What a heathen I am. Well, I’ll just keep it simple.

    Thank you for writing “Forest For The Trees.” Thank you for taking the time to do this blog for the four years you did it, even though I only found my way here about a year and a half ago. You made me think with almost every post you put out here. You provided insight into the crazy pub’ing world, a glimpse we sometimes needed, even when we didn’t want to look. That was a gift.

    You are unique, a rebel of sorts, with the penchant for blisteringly clear messages. You wove your way into my psyche and now I’m hoping that whatever lame brain said “it only takes three weeks to break a habit,” was right, because as I said in the previous comment, I came here first, cup of coffee in hand, ready for my morning dose of “Betsy.” Hey, and almost always, it was the “Besty.” Yes, it was.

    With warm regards,

    Donna Everhart

  14. On a personal level, I’m not sure what I’ll do without my near-daily dose of snark, poetry, and mayhem. I like these things in my life. But I both understand and admire where you’re coming from. Be well. Thank you for the many laughs and WTFs over the years.

  15. Hey Betsy, it’s been a great time. I am so happy I found your words, this place. It gave me the courage to start writing my own and letting them out into the wolrd to play. Will miss you, but can’t wait to hear about the sale of your screenplay and the work of those who are lucky enough to have you nuturing their careers. Kippis!

  16. Thank you for everything, Betsy.What you’ve given me is immeasurable.

  17. Dear Betsy, I often wondered how you fuelled your daily output, and I have been very grateful to check in with you most mornings. The world of social media is easier than working the room or making small-talk at parties, but I can well understand why enough already. Thanks for the scathing honesty, thinly veiled indiscretions, and neuroses bared. When I have cause this year to celebrate, you’re on my list of friends to share it with. Good luck with your own quest – and love from rain-lashed Hastings, England.

  18. “It’s not you, it’s me.” Is that what you’re saying to us, Miss B?

    I understand and wish you every kind of goodness. Thank you for the daily delight and fearsome frolic. Until next time…

  19. Dearest Betsy,
    I suppose that the day will come for all of us when we put our blog down. I am glad that I found yours and of course sorry that it is coming to an end. But your words are your own and the are your mirror. I respect your desire to change things. I hope you are starting some new adventure….looking for buried treasure or some noble cause that will keep you engaged and excited about what tomorrow brings. Raise up your sails and catch a good wind and sail on. Always sail on.

  20. A friend recently said, “One day we will look back and laugh and say, Oh man, remember when we had blogs?”

    Thank you for yours. It’s been the brightest of lights…

  21. i’m happy for you, betsy. change is a wonderful thing. that said, i’ll miss the poetic anguish/snarling bombs, etc.etc. i hear what you’re saying about how much time certain activities, such as maintaining a blog, require.

    i’ve gotta say, i never could figure out how you “managed” the steady stream of writers on this blog scrambling for representation, but hey, what do i know? i live far from the word bullseye.

    i think my favourite post of yours is when you opened it up for titles and, sweet jesus, the masses behaved.

    take it easy, betsy.

  22. Oh, this is sad. I was hoping you were just bluffing in your last post. I think about going out while I’m ahead all the time, though, so I totally get it. Sometimes I even felt guilty reading you all the time, too, because I knew that it took away from your personal writing time– having to think of something to say to all of us, our baby beaks wide open and beeping for something, anything, just a worm, a ladybug, anything, please! Every time you would inevitably deliver and I would feel guilty, admiring your stamina and selflessness. I know that you got a lot back in return; it wasn’t absolute altruism but the energy to produce something for the blog did take you from your own projects and so I wish you the best in returning to all of that. I hope the holidays are good to you and your family. Hug them tight. It’s a tough world out there and please do drop a line here on occasion.

  23. Betsy, my love, I have no problem being the nerdy kid who sits around and waits for you–even if it’s on my Google reader. I look forward to what posts are still to come. Meantime, thanks for the daily insights, laughs and welcome distractions.

    Hugs and kisses from the Great Lakes,


  24. Actually just what I needed to hear today! Thank you for being a good example.

  25. Dear Betsy,
    You were my first. The first blog that I read every day you were here, starting maybe three years ago? I was attracted by your humor, your look inside the book world, your striking honesty and your refreshingly profane commentary. And by your followers. There have been some remarkable and memorable discussions here. Thanks for that. It’s been fun.
    Mary Lynne

  26. Betsy (and all commenters),

    I’ve been lurking, following your blog for years, reading your books, reading everyone’s wonderful comments. The blog and this great community helped inspire me to finally, finally start doing the thing I’ve always loved – writing. Just last week, I finally put something out there into the ether to be read and judged (so scary! – https://medium.com/mediums-fiction-writing-contest/49d6465944e0) So sad to see you go, but so glad for all you’ve given me. Best wishes in your next chapter(s)!

  27. Thank you Betsy, and thanks to those who responded here, those wild, big-hearted strivers. You helped me over a rough patch, and I’m working again.

  28. Wow. I guess we were on to something with your last post. Yay for us for reading between the lines.

    As for you, my dear, thank you. You are a fabulous hostess and really do throw the most perfect shindigs. I wish you every success imaginable.

  29. Happy trails, Bets. Your posts were brilliant prompts, tapping into that sacred place for so many of us. May you bowl turkeys here on forth.

  30. I’ll miss you Betsy! Keep on keeping on.

  31. I understand. Change is beautiful if we stop being afraid. As you know, I’m no longer writing. At a Hanukkah party last night, I spent hours listening to the stories of a Holocaust survivor who’d been liberated from Auschwitz at the age of sixteen. She was alone, barely clothed, but alive. I want to tell the stories of old people.


  32. Thank you, darling Betsy. You’ve changed my life and prospects in a very personal way, and I will miss you terribly.

    Long may you wave.

  33. Betsy, from Sydney, Australia, heartfelt thanks for being a companion on my writing journey these last few years.

    There is no one else alive like you. You articulate what so many writers feel and yet can’t (despite being writers!) put into words. Your posts are a regular reminder that being a writer is about being yourself, not anyone else, and finding the right words to express that.

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. Which I have, over the years, shared with many other writers in their times of need. If an occasional new post still drops down the chimney into my stocking, I’ll be as excited as any kid on Christmas morning.

    On doing endings well, I don’t think you can get more perfect than Scout reflecting on Boo; first worried they gave him nothing in exchange for his kindness, then realising what he got by being part of their lives. I hope, like him, you don’t feel we never put back into the tree what we took out. We love that tree, we love the forest. Go well, Betsy.

  34. Dear Betsy,

    You were just what I needed when I found you. Thank you for the following:

    The Oxford course for writers and discovering your book Your ‘rawness’ Your generosity with your feelings Thank you for sharing a huge part of you! It’s been a wonderful ride, and you opened my eyes to a whole new world.

    Wishing you all you deserve and more.


    Caroline Rosinski

    PS: there are a very small number of friends one can throw the f word around with, and I also enjoyed that about you:)

    Sent from my iPhone

  35. Thank you for the encouragement and the wake-up calls in equal measure, Betsy.

    I may still drop the ball (habit of a lifetime), but thanks to you and the community you built here, I’ll keep picking it up.

  36. Best wishes Betsy. I’ve loved your books, I’ve loved your blog. I will miss the regular email notifications informing me that a new Betsy Lerner blog post is up. In the future, I will buy you a drink at one of the Oscar after parties.

  37. The world feels insane to me today and this post just makes my heavy heart even sadder. But I get it. Truly, I do.

    Au revoir, Betsy. Miss you already…

  38. Thank you for the lovely posts you have given us so far. Enjoy your chance to rest and replenish, and I wish for you everything you want from the process of writing.

  39. Dear Besty,

    Thank you so much for this blog. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ll miss your singular voice, but I admire you for knowing when to move on. For the past few years a poet friend and I have sent your posts back and forth through the ether with exclamations: Her best yet. This one is amazing. Poetry.

    Well, don’t be a stranger. We’ll look forward to your occasional post. Warm wishes to you and for your work. Shine on.

  40. But you’re part of my routine. After the bathroom necessities, a cup of coffee and the latest from B.L. before heading off to the grind.

    How the hell am I supposed to start my day now?

    Thanks, Betsy. It was good while it lasted.

  41. Betsy, you’re the best. Smart, generous, funny as hell. Thanks for keeping us afloat.

  42. The coyotes were out again last night, flashing like fast moving cloud shadows cast by blue moonlight, streaking across the field, over and around each rock and tree. A cornered rabbit wailed and slipped away, a chorus of distracted howls followed by the silence of her goodbye.

  43. Betsy, I can’t thank you enough for the years of great writing, advice, and friends I’ve found here. I am a better writer for it, and as sad as I am for the loss of it all, I am simply grateful for the gift.

  44. Oh, could you not have waited until the 21st to confirm what we didn’t want to know? The world we know has ended: now set adrift in a cold fog to find another harbor, I’m grateful for the time spent here. Wishing everyone safe journeys, good adventures and a chance to meet again.

  45. Thanks, Betsy, and best of luck with your writing.

  46. Betsy,
    Thank you. I look forward to seeing where this break takes you, and wish you all of the encouragement you have given this band of misfits over so, so many years.
    I will miss your words, poetic and raw and unnerving and beautiful. They are truly beautiful as are you.
    (Come on, you didn’t think you’d get away without some mush from me, did you?)
    May you get what you want, whether it’s another book, the screenplay, or just a bit of peace. It is all well earned.

  47. Dammit. I get it, but still…

  48. Dear Betsy, You amazed me, in the two plus years I’ve been following you, not only for your stunning glimpses of life described in rich metaphor but the frequency at which you produce said stunning glimpses… I don’t know how you do it. It is a wonderful gift you’ve shared. Fact is, I’m almost finished draft one of first novel and I feel like I’m on the road with a decent map. I’m so grateful to you for getting me through so many patches–I forgot to mention how often I laughed after reading you and how often I would be triggered all day by the funny thing you wrote, noting more funny things of my own. That’s a good day. Anyways, I hope you put together a book about the blog (if that’s allowed) and wish you much success in the future. No doubt there really. And thank you.

  49. I am so very sad to see you go. Of all the emails I get every day, yours is the one I look forward to reading the most. I wish you all the best and thank you for being so brutally honest and inspiring.

  50. Heartbroken …

    Thank you for everything, Betsy.

  51. When it’s time to shed the skin, it’s time to shed the skin. Love.

  52. […] Betsy’s cutting the cord, leaving us to our own devices. People have been writing wonderful things on her blog about how the […]

  53. Double damn. You’ve done a fantastic job. There are some great characters who comment here, but I came to this blog after reading your posts. So keen. But you can only drink so much pinot grigio; sometimes you crave a mojito. Good luck and much love.

  54. You have sustained me. Fortunately, one of my coping strategies is denial, so I will continue to check in every morning. Creepy eh?

  55. Dearest Darling Betsy,

    I will miss your gut punches, your foul mouth, your tender revelations, and your unique voice as a poet turned editor turned writer turned agent turned blog poet.

    You have helped us in more ways than you know. Thank you and goodbye for now.

  56. Chase your happiness
    with all the strength you possess,
    or Regret will win.

  57. I feel like I’m writing in your high school yearbook. 2good 2be 4gotten. Seriously, you are. And I will sorely miss you.

  58. Onward with audacity. Always audacity.

  59. Your blog always took us readers beyond our measly selves, to a place where your great writing and brilliant energy and wicked fun made us all feel a lot cooler, a lot smarter, and enormously inspired. This blog has been a spectacular experience for anyone who has ever hung around this space to read up, chime in, or throw down.

    You’re irreplaceable in the ether and I will miss you, and all who lurk here.

  60. Thank you for being such a funny and human guru. It’s been quite a balancing act. But writing for us every day must get in the way of your own writing. I had another writing guru who used to call them “avoidance poems.” The ones you write instead.
    Maybe good-byes are hard because they remind us that we are alone and have always been and will always be. We can forget that most of the time. Until we sit down to write – really write. Good luck Betsy!

  61. Damn. An internet-less long weekend away, Betsy, and I come home to find your last blog post?

    You will never know how many days you’ve brightened with your dark humor, and how many lives you’ve changed with your words. Along the way, you’ve built and nurtured a community quite unlike any other.

    I hope freeing yourself of the time and energy spent here fuels another fire of passion. And maybe, someday, you might crack open the door, peek in, and venture back here.

    Thanks for taking us along for such a great ride.

  62. “Peace Out” as they say today. Blogs are time-consuming and stress-inducing, as anyone who maintains one knows.

    Fill up anew.

    Warmest Regards,
    Stephen Siciliano

  63. So long and thank you for the fish.

  64. Even for the shortest time (as a latecomer), it was a blast to read and reflect and to continue doing that through the archives.

  65. So long and thanks for all the dish.

  66. I miss you all, and wish you were here to see what I did a short time ago.

    Beauregardless The Wonderfuldog and I went for our morning stroll. It was hoodie weather, and I should have worn shoes instead of sandals. It was quiet, though, so quiet, under that clear sky and all those stars. Didn’t see the moon, though.

    After a few minutes, a few of the birds and others moved a bit, making little noises, and then some chirps. In the dark west, a shrimper lit the water, barely moving.

    Coffee took the chill off, but not like those things that touched my eyes and ears and skin and soul.

    This day will unfold, but it has started well. I wish that for you, Betsy, and for all the rest of us.


    • Morning’s are my favorite time. You described well that hush just before dawn. I’m a star gazer and love looking up, especially at that particular time when the sky looks almost purplish…it’s usually when the day is just on the cusp of brightening a bit…like you, I have my coffee cup in hand, the steam drifting in the same direction as my eyes.

      Nice message Frank…missing everyone too.

    • I miss you guys terribly. I have to find some other place to go first-thing; not sure which way to turn. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one stopping by to peek into the windows to see if anyone is home.

    • I’m here too. I subscribe through email, so I receive every single comment that comes through…even if it’s a month from now.

      • Shoot. I thought I’d subscribed, but for some reason I don’t get the emails coming through. I probably have something not quite right…will have to check – I’d love to see the comments as they come in too!

  67. Well, you three have made my day. Here’s to you, and to babies feeling better.

  68. The first day i read this message i was in denial. I waited a while, then checked back again. I completely understand having to move on – there is much to do in life and so little time to do it all. Not to get all gushy or anything, but it is hard for me to move on. Betsy, your blog has literally kept me going in those moments when I most doubted my writing. And this community has made me feel connected and understood when my family and friends made me feel a little crazy and possibly obsessive. I will miss you all terribly, and wish you the best of everything.

    • Me lurking STILL – so funny… and pathetic I guess.

      Betsy asked why endings are so difficult. I think it’s because it’s about that fave word – change. Especially if the change is not something we have any control over. It forces us into a different way of acting…plus, when you genuinely like something – a lot – you don’t want to quit if you can help it. Addiction. That’s it. This place was like an addiction. As I’m proving by being out here …and talking to myself. It’s THAT bad. Haha.

      Anyway, same to you ddelano, wishing you the best of everything.

  69. It’s 4 am and the wind is howling, but the coffee is warm. I’m getting ready for the road, 600 miles of it, where familyand old friends are. As I putter, I think about next year, and the adventures that will start in April, and how I’ll write those stories.

    I wonder about Betsy, and my friends here, too. I wonder about your holidays and families and your words, and hope they are all very well and close.

    Soon I’ll be offline for a week, mostly, and very busy at times. But I’ll wonder, and miss you all, and this place.Stay well, friends, and enjoy your selves and your times.

  70. I wonder too Frank, about all the friends I met here. I think about your sailing and I think about mac’s kids. I wonder about tet and trials and the kind words from Mike and all the others. Like the face of someone-gone, their names are dissolving as the days pass. I won’t forget Betsy though and wonder if she knows how much we miss this place.
    Have a safe and wonderful trip. Hope you get to see the ‘lads’.
    Here in CT this Christmas will be a difficult one. We are holding our children tight and I am still searching for the right words to comfort my daughter. Her loss has been great and our sense of reality has been shaken to the core. Stay well my friend. As long as the gate is still open I’ll be pulling in this short term parking lot from time to time; I’ll check for your car.

    • It’s all you can do – hug them tight, and be glad you can. I didn’t know who this was…and now I see, it’s you… our Wry. Merry Christmas to you…

      And to all the other friends out here, I will be thinking of you often. Bye for now.

  71. Happy travels, Betsy. I’ll miss checking into your lively and inspiring little corner of cyberspace. Best of luck with your new pursuits.

    And happy travels to the rest of you crazies out there, too. I’ve often thought it would be cool if Betsy’s blog was, instead of a virtual meeting place, an actual little hole-in-the-wall bar or upstairs coffee house where you could go and hang out, where the crowd was eclectic but like-minded and you knew you could always rely on the poetry readings to be particularly spirited and profound. Take care and keep writing.

    P.S. My first published book was released this week. I’m off to celebrate. Happy holidays.

  72. Betsy: just some advice as you go through life: breaking 100 in bowling isn’t, like, really good.

  73. Let’s remember that Betsy hoped we would continue to comment about writing. The community is still here. Whatcha got?

    • On the reading front: DIFFICULT MOTHERS Understanding and Overcoming Their Power by Terri Apter. Very interesting. I have learned the best thing I can do for my children is to be “good enough.” And that is just what I am. Good enough.

      Also, THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich. Truly beautiful writing. I felt honored to read it.

    • Finally finished a fifteen-month project of American Civil War readings; have begun writing the longer piece for which the project was the research.

      Reading Alasdair Gray’s LANARK, a strange work. Also reading Wentworth’s PLANE GEOMETRY, and THE NEW INQUIRY, a periodical always worth reading.

      Whatchyoo got?

      • I’m reading Franzen’s FREEDOM. A bit late, but I am trapped in the mystery of the future of fiction. This surprises me because I’m a non-fiction memoirist, but the more I read about the purpose of fiction as a mirror of society, I find myself frustrated. The lovely dead masters have held my attention from Marcel Proust to George Eliot, but as our society goes through such seismic shifts, I struggle. I’m am mortified to report the David Wallace Foster leaves me in an ADD coma. I will persevere until I get there.

        What fiction speaks to you in 2012/2013?

      • Given the Vivian Gornick genre of “inventing” memoir, (for the record) I feel compelled to say non-fiction memoirist. Another twist on our current world?

      • rebecca, whenever i advance my true opinion of DFW’s writing–which is rarely, as it is even more rarely sought–i feel like the guy who farted in the elevator. you haven’t asked, but since you mentioned a certain difficulty with a writer of a quite similar name, here i am, popping away.

        he is so beloved of a certain generation of writer, and so tragically dead. i first read one of his stories some few years before he died and thought he was too clever by half. this isn’t to say i oppose clever, liking as i do to nail it when i can. after he killed himself, i read several of his books. my opinion of his work expanded and deepened, but remained essentially the same. he was a very clever, very intelligent writer who understood everything about human nature except the inner workings of the human heart. it was as though he were a superior intelligence conducting a detailed and capable study of a sometimes fascinating animal he didn’t really understand and didn’t much care to be contaminated by. after he died and i read that he had been on antidepressants most of his adult life, the emotional disconnect that shadows his work made sense.

  74. I think I’m the hundreth comment! I’ll miss you, Betsy. Thanks for helping me get through all holidays and dealing with parents. And oh yeah, thanks for helping with the writing stuff.

  75. It’s Christmas Eve in New England and I’m feeling nostalgic for our disbanded virtual writing community. I’m toasting all of you tonight – my writer friends.
    Happy Holidays, in case you stop by.

    • After a houseful last night and a rushed morning so the kids could get to the in-laws… it’s couch time. Missing this ‘virtual writing community’ as well.
      It’s like ‘Cheers’ here. The barroom is quiet. Sam is serving coffee and I’m at the end of the bar next to Norm. Merry Christmas to the stragglers showing up. Merry Christmas Betsy.

  76. Wow, Betsy. Just came back, now you’re going? I s’pose I get it but in the UK, there’s no one like you. I love your foul mouth tirades on life which are so true, the way you get to the essence of everything…and I can picture you…like a Spice Girl from the ’40s – in the chic-est of dresses and high high heels. Here’s to you and whatever’s in front of you. Very best wishes from an English girl, and joy to you and yours.

  77. I just came in from the bayou, where Beau and I had our morning stroll. The wind is going from surly to mean, and the moon was covered by fast clouds. Then it broke through, bright, and lit the water. I think of this sprawling community when I am there, and wonder how you are, what you are doing. what you would think about this or that.

    Here’s to you all, to this year and the next, to good words and work.
    Stay well, friends.

    • Picturesque is what you wrote above… the “view” you’ve given of those lovely moments on the bayou. Very nice. Well, here’s back at you, and if your words flow like your comments, nothing will hinder your work. Best, Donna E.

  78. I just picked up BECAUSE I SAID SO! The truth Behind the Myths, Tales & Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to its Kids by Ken Jennings. I have no idea what it’s about but the title and jacket design grabbed me. Happy new year, everyone. Here’s to being grabbed.

  79. Nine inches of snow last night; it was so peaceful, as if my grandmother had dusted her gingerbread village with confectioners’ sugar on a night when no one was home. I will be busy tomorrow, work and then dinner for a few friends, so I want to wish this hardy group of stragglers, a very Happy New Year. The close of ’12 has been a sad one and it is with every bit of resolve I can muster, to offer up, the hope for better days ahead. I miss you all, I miss Betsy. It is wonderful that a few of us are still checking in and keeping up. I have to remind myself that sometimes loss is not as hard as letting go.
    Peace to all.

    • About the same amount of snow here (Eastern Ohio). I said goodbye to one of my dearest friends, as she and her family move to Maryland tomorrow. There’s a New Year’s Eve party at our church tomorrow night that she would be at if she weren’t moving…it will be more sad than anything. I agree Wry, sad end of 2012 for many reasons. But here’s to a new year and new hope. God bless you all.

  80. It’s so good to be one of the stragglers (strugglers?) here. I’m up in these quiet hours, working on a gumbo for tonight, and maybe an ettouffe, and looking at charts for an adventure next year, eight, maybe 10 days along a quiet coast in a twelve foot boat.

    Wherever you are, I hope you can see that moon; it’s off to the west now, and stunning. I saw it last night, coming out of the trees just north of east.

    For this New Year, and those beyond, fair winds, and

    May your larder be full,
    Your bilges dry and sails full,
    And may your course be true.

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