Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Random, possibly Christmas-y, bits of thought


Anyway, I was reading Quaint Revival’s latest post about all the snow she’s getting over in Wisconsin, and she said it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas…which led her into thoughts about how those lyrics happened to be written and a request for someone to find out for her. Which, being a want-to-be librarian I felt compelled to do.

I think Santa is on some sort of exercise program.

She thought maybe the lyrics were written by Meredith Wilson in 1951 as he sat beside a pool, hopefully under warm skies. But Wikipedia says it probably was written in Yarmouth, and when I google that I can only find Yarmouth Maine, or Yarmouth British Columbia, neither of which sounds very warm, even in midsummer!

Looking for her Christmas gift. Or a peanut, whichever’s available.

But looking for this information did remind me that we played this very piece of holiday music at our recent concert, so I went to listen to it again. Well, actually, I went and listened to it for the first time. Music sounds very different when you’re sitting in the middle of the band than it does when sitting in the audience, and I haven’t taken time to listen to our concert until now. (I recommend listening to this with a good set of earphones…it sounds a LOT better with earbuds than just using your laptop speakers.)

Holiday music always makes things better.

Last Sunday I had a couple friends come for lunch and painting. Well, truthfully, they brought most of the lunch (roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches) and most of their own painting supplies too. After we ate the yummy lunch we settled in to paint Christmas cards. It was so much fun to experiment together. Plus it increased my stock of cards waiting to be mailed out to unsuspecting friends and family. I should do this on a larger scale next year!

Seems like birds infiltrate all aspects of my life.

We have a little bit of snow, enough to make things look pretty, but not enough to interfere with driving. Not that I’m driving much. One of the benefits of retirement is not having to go out unless I want to. When it’s cold and snowing I rarely want to. And though I miss my Katie-girl soooo much, I am kind of glad to roll over in bed and go back to sleep in the dark early hours of these winter mornings.

“I used to put up with an awful lot, mama.”

Speaking of not traveling, we’re staying home this Christmas. We have had invites to holiday gatherings, but this year we just can’t quite make ourselves wander out. Twenty Twenty-two has been a long, hard year for us. Instead of going out this year I’ll fix some of the family mealtime favorites, and we’ll snuggle up on the couch to enjoy the quiet.

I look forward to seeing these guys every year.

Though it might not be entirely quiet. We’re going to have a houseguest for awhile, a little 10 year old doggie will be staying with us while his mom is visiting family out of town. We’ve practiced him being here without his mom a couple of times and I think he’s going to settle in, but he sure does love his mom.

“Does this peanut make my head look flat?”

I saw a movie trailer this morning for something staring Tom Hanks. There was a year, a long time ago, when my husband and I watched several movies, unusual for us, realizing later that all of them were Tom Hanks movies. You know, Castaway, Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan. This movie is called something like A Man called Otis. While I was watching the trailer something felt familiar…and then I remembered one of my favorite books, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman, about an elderly man who’s quiet life is interrupted by a family that moves in next door. I think the movie is based on this book, and I think I really need to go see it. Maybe during the Christmas holiday week, as a gift from me to me.

Sometimes Christmas feels like this.

I did get out to feed the birds at Kensington this morning. A lot of the photos in this post are from that visit. I didn’t look at the weather, or even the temperature before I left home when it was still dark. By the time I got to the park the wind was blowing the snow sideways. Not surprisingly no one else was around.

“I don’t eat out of hands, lady. But if you’ve got a spare peanut I’d enjoy it.”

I went out to the boardwalk to see if I could entice the Queen to my hand, but she wasn’t having any of it. In fact none of the birds were willing to get too close, though they were happy enough to come to the railing if I’d leave my treats and back off.

“Not today, lady, not today.”

I wandered in the woods a little, to get out of the wind, and even there things were very quiet. And then I stood still and waited.

“My turn!” “NO IT’S NOT! It’s MY turn!”

And soon enough I heard the flutter of wings and saw, through the trees, the fast moving little bodies of hungry birds. So fun. Even though my hands were freezing and my toes were freezing I stood around out there for a long time.

“Hey Lady! I’m waiting patiently over here!”

I stood there just smiling and watching them, all puffed up against the cold.

“Puffing up helps you keep warm lady, you should try it.”

Merry Christmas to my little birds, and to all of you too. May you all enjoy this holiday season, in whatever way seems right for you this year.

And here’s hoping 2023 is amazing.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

26 thoughts on “Random, possibly Christmas-y, bits of thought

  1. There’s a Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. We’re doing a quiet Christmas too. My nephew and his family will come over Boxing Day for a gift exchange. I’m glad for my sister as she hasn’t been able to see those grandchildren often what with COVID.


    • Quiet Christmases are pretty nice, actually. Sometimes I go out to a park for a long walk, but maybe not this year, without my girl. On the other hand it might be a good day for a photography adventure somewhere. Depends on the weather, and I think maybe we’re getting a bunch of snow, so inside will probably work best.


  2. I Googled ‘A Man Called Otto.’ Tom Hanks has gotten so old. And he has a cat. I don’t know why this made me cry, but now I really want to see this movie. 2023 is going to be amazing.


  3. Beautiful photos! Sounds as though you have come with a way to celebrate Christmas that is exactly right for y


  4. I was five years old when Willson’s song was introduced, and original vocalist Perry Como was one of my favorite singers. Since I grew up in Iowa, Willson and “The Music Man” were part of the air we breathed. Anyone who thinks the musical’s song “Iowa Stubborn” doesn’t describe residents of the state (or at least did at the time) hasn’t spend much time there. I found this really interesting article that has a few more details about the song’s history. And now, I’m off to listen to it! Merry Christmas to you!


  5. A Man called Otis is on my list to see as well.
    Wishing you and your family a happy holiday and a wonderful year ahead!


  6. I loved Jingle Bells and the very well-known march, the name of which escapes me, but a perfect blend for sure. That was fun. Your photos are gorgeous … your photo captions make me laugh. (hi Katie) Wonderful Christmas cards, really gorgeous. Merry Christmas to all.


  7. Aw, thank you for the Christmas gift of research and confirmation that I should pay more attention to what Casey’s countdown to the top Christmas songs said was number 1, I think he may have been talking about The Christmas Song, not It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas. 🤣😆😅 Check out where those lyrics were written. 🤔
    I remain impressed with your bird photos and that you can get them to land on your hand.
    I enjoyed your random thoughts, feeling random at this time of year is a common occurrence for me too. That’s such a cute photo of Katie, I’m sure she knew you’d love looking back at it.
    Enjoy the time with a furry friend in your home, the little guy will be so grateful to feel all the love!
    Merry Quiet and Quaint Christmas to you. Cheers to a better 2023.


  8. You have discovered the secret, Dawn (and I know you’ve done it before): stand in one place and let the birds come to you. Quiet can be good for Christmas. Wishing you a sweet one!


    • It’s so hard for me to stand in one place. So many times at nature preserves I catch the back end of something interesting that might have moseyed by me if I had only remained still. Birds are normally like that too, but at Kensington they’re usually so eager for something to eat that they flock around. It was kinda weird yesterday that I had to go so far into the woods to find them.


  9. I love your paintings and your bird photos – I think I would get antsy if I had to stand still for too long – although I can sit still for hours. Quiet Christmases are good – our family is together again this year – we picked Gep up at the airport yesterday. We’re getting some snow right now, although I doubt it will amount to much. More is predicted for later in the week. I read A Man Called Ode and enjoyed it – usually I avoid seeing a movie if I’ve read the book, but it is Tom Hanks, so when it’s available for streaming, I’ll probably watch it. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a great year in 2023.


  10. Oh, I LOVE your cards. They are beautiful.

    And you know I’m always here for the bird in the hand photos! ❤

    We are having a quiet Christmas too, as usual. May be even quieter this year because my dad tested positive for covid today. I’m assuming my mom will get it as well. So, not sure if we will be able to get together.


    • Awww, I’m sorry your dad tested positive. Yes, it’s very probable that your mom will come down with it too. Maybe the best you can do is deliver some soup to their front porch and do Christmas later.


  11. Merry Christmas to you two, too! Think of me when you’re snuggled in your nice warm bed at 5 a.m., and I’m standing outside in the dark and cold … impatiently waiting for one little Monkey to do his business!


    • I will, though for a week I’ll be out there with you, as our houseguest is going to want to go outside early every morning to get the job done. And of course we’re going to have lots and lots of cold and snow just to make it extra special.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice that you go out and feed the birds. I often wonder if the cold makes them miserable the way it does me. And your cards look great! There’s no way I could present a hand-painted one without provoking gales of laughter, Dawn. Enjoy your quiet Christmas, and I wish you good health and happiness in ’23.


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