Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Where Do I Begin?

Our Christmas tree 2009

My sister, Deborah, made the Stanley Terrier Ornament Other ornaments are vintage and collected over time

This one, or one like it (I collected them to give to my children and do not know which one of us has the original) has been on my tree since I was a little girl

Should I say, Merry Christmas or Happy New Year?
Do I go way back to mid December to try to catch up - or - perhaps way back to February 2009?
It has been one long and crazy year!

Angel Pyramide

First of all, I would like to say that I hope Santa brought you everything you wished for and that this year, 2010, is all you dream it will be filled with happiness, good health, lifelong friends, and all the joys of family.

Our holiday was lovely spent quietly with family and friends.

Our collection of antique and vintage tree toppers - some right from Germany!

Our daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Joe could not be with us, nor could our son Jonathan and his fiancee, Stephanie. We missed them desperately and hope that this year will be one where we can all share the holiday together.

Some of you may know that my husband lost his job last February. The recession was in full swing and his company was losing business every day. More than half of the workers and management were made redundant and Jim was one of them. His new job was to look for work and apply for jobs, every single day - which he did without complaint. It did get very depressing some days as nothing seemed to come of all his hard work. He had a few scattered interviews over long periods of time, but nothing came of them and the word was that there were as many as 300 applicants for every 'real' advertised job. And the harsh reality was that most of the hundreds of jobs he was applying for didn't actually exist.

Finally, the week before Christmas we had the good news that Jim was hired at a company in the south of England.

Now we live in the middle of England, and Jim was born and raised here so this move will be both an adventure and a bit sad for him, too. But oh what it means to us right now!
Jim is living two lives: one here with me and our daughter, Katie, on the weekends, and another in the south five days a week.

Of course I worry about him all the time and this recent rash of terrible weather doesn't help matters! I thought I had left snow behind me in Buffalo, New York!

A view of our neighbour's garden right after the first round of heavy snow

We found a lovely cottage to share with some wonderful people, a cat and a dog, who we lovingly refer to as 'holiday pets' even though work is far from a holiday for Jim! So he is all set there, living about a city block away from the sea, with all the comforts of home.
He will continue this commute until we find a place to move and live.
And there is so much to do and to prepare!
And all the while I am reminded of a time we spent, not so very long ago, in a similar situation.

We married in 2005 but our first year of marriage was spent apart while I remained in America preparing and selling my house there and settling my affairs before moving here to the UK.
The Internet kept us close. It was a place to meet and chat and send messages and photographs.
We both subscribed to International phone services and talked everyday. Surely if we could do this for over a year, across 3500 miles, we will be up to it again with only 150 miles between us?
So while I am keeping the home fires burning, Jim is earning the money for fuel, and this year will surely run it course with excitement and new stories to share.
Keep a watch of this space . . .