Two Friday’s ago I finished parent conferences, we painted pumpkin pie, passed around wild turkey feathers, told stories, read stories, solved complex math problems, discussed lunch behavior, and new seating arrangements, prize box booty. Someone asked could I please add stress balls to the Amazon wishlist. “We need them Ms. Moss.”
Someone else pointed out that the squishy prizes are all for girls. “Ms. Moss can’t you add some boy ones?”
I closed my classroom door and bid farewell to my students. Tomorrow school is back in session for 3 weeks, then winter break begins for 3 weeks. There are always mountains of tasks to do in the classroom, but this time of year is always tinged with the promise of long hours spent at home. Reading, drawing, sitting, napping, walking, cooking, visiting friends, being still.
Let’s begin here. In my beloved Santa Babs. One bright morning at the mission rose garden after my romp at the shore.
I rose each morning at 5:40, brushed my teeth, made coffee, pulled on a warm pair of leggings and a sweatshirt and an undershirt, pink tennis shoes, a scarf, hat.
Into the car, heater on, rumbling off through the dark streets. 5 minutes down Cliff to Hendry’s Beach.
Here we are.
Dawn at the beach.
Gradually it gets lighter. Everything gleaming in the luster of morning.
The sun wakes up and rises. Pink, then yellow. He lives just around that bend.
Here he comes. The waves turn pink to herald his arrival.
After my walk I go get a pumpkin spice roll or almond croissant at Renaud’s. Which.
I eat in the parking lot. While I sip my still-hot coffee.
There’s a man in a truck. He’s eating something too. Maybe a sticky bun or a chocolate croissant.
I turn the pages of my kindle book while I eat and sip and study the other homo sapiens munching things inside their cars. We were the kids at Christmas Eve who couldn’t wait to open our presents on Christmas Day.
There’s no school today.
Back to my patio to write and draw!
My studio on the mesa was extremely excellent. I spent hours outside morning, noon, night. Sitting in all of the chairs. Covering the surfaces with books, markers, pens, my journal, glasses, shells, sea glass. I repurposed the dish drainer as a tray to shuffle things in and out.
Sharron came over for lunch and art.
She let me know that the banana tree was actually a giant white bird of paradise!
How good it is to spend time with a kindred spirit, who eats what you cook in your instant pot and proclaims it delicious.
The evening routine begins around 4:20 in the winter evening. I make my pilgrimage to the shore to watch the sun make his journey home and pour nourishment like golden honey over everything as he leaves.
If you read Klara and the Sun, your time with our star will take on a new significance.
In case you haven’t noticed Venus is blazing bright in the western sky just after sunset. It is huge, like a lighthouse beacon in the rosy sky. On December 3rd it will reach it’s greatest brilliancy. I’ve been enjoying it for months, but now it is getting bigger and brighter each night. Don’t miss it!
Syd & Mary came for lunch on my spacious patio another day. We laughed and drew each other, reminisced about our trip to Guatemala once upon a time time.
At sundown we walked from East Beach to Butterfly. More talking and looking.
We decided these green rocks were like models of the Channel Islands.
Dawn and dusk by the water. I’m good. It is all I need forevermore. Whatever was crashing around inside my head back at school has been soothed. Tamed by the sea!
Great tangles of kelp have been carried to shore in the night. Riding in on the swells and disembarking. Collages have been made of sea grass and hold fasts, thick caramel-colored ropes, amber strips. The fabric of the sea. What do we have today?
I went to visit Penny & Wayne. What a good lunch we had. How wonderful to see all of the collage and stitched things Penny made during the pandemic. I loved paging through each of her books and cards. Just wondering now why I didn’t take photos of them. Too busy looking! Wayne is quiet and interesting. He reads science books and makes photographs out of sculptural paper and knows about things. Interesting people reading and working and tinkering away in their art museum of a house. I love visiting.
This is a gorogeous photo of Penny’s trademark braid Wayne took many moons ago.
Penny always spoils me with books. When I finish Cloud Cuckoo Land, I will start one of these!
Penny long ago on a beach in LA.
Probably wondering which book she’ll read next.
I was on my best behavior and didn’t steal any of her paint-by-numbers. That she painted, her actual self, long ago.
Or did I?
Mums the word. Penny, let me know if you notice anything missing.
I brake for Little Free Libraries.
and all sorts of other things.
Let’s stop. Pause. Look around. Take it all in. The big picture show.
Let’s see. What else?
In the year since I shut the doors on new registrations for ROD & FTB I’ve had plenty of inquiries into both classes. Why did I close them? Would I offer them again? etc., I thought and thought about what to do with the vast trove of material in both classes. It felt right to close them permanently last December, but as we primates are known to do, we hem and haw and waver and wonder. Did I make the right decision? I’ve percolated and let everything be as it is. Then last week on my retreat by the sea an idea came to me.
Idea 1: combine both classes into one offering for the price of one class? ($35) No, too complicated. I am the master and commander of all of my class websites. I build and host everything myself. What seems simple from the outside can be complicated once you start moving and sliding things about.
Idea 2: leave everything as is and just reduce the price of both classes to a price that is like 2-for-1
$17/per class is the magic number.
The extension price will also be $17/yr for each class, or you can just sign up again with a new email. Whichever works. Merry Christmas and have fun.
I was like a time traveler tinkering around with everything last night. Trying to remember how to change the prices, edit the text. Made me nostalgic for those days of online class business.
As for my other 4 classes:
They haven’t gone anywhere. In keeping with the holiday season, they are currently $35 Happy New Year. Ho Ho Ho!
You may wonder if I have any classes in the making.
Yes, I do.
Come with me down the hallway of my interior library. The wooden floors are worn and gleaming. There are candelabras lining the walls, comfortable chairs with needlepoint foot rests that point towards long windows out which you can see moonlit seascapes. Look beyond the waves! Jupiter and a sliver of moon. Hot cups of tea & black coffee. Piles of books. Ideas bloom and grow wings here. They propel forward slowly. I write them into being with my daily practice of taking notes and paying attention. I’m turning over the earth, planting seeds, tide pooling, mixing metaphors. Not trying per se to birth a class, but just seeing what develops. At night when I sleep, worlds of ideas swell and crash like waves. Even in the fallow times messages are being received.
Look, a pink cloud. A tiny white feather on the sand.
Now it’s Sunday. Dinnertime! Leave me a good comment. No pressure. After dinner I’ll come see what you’ve left me. Tell me what you’re doing, reading, cooking, seeing. I’m terribly grateful for all of you. In case you didn’t know. xo