I hope all my friends and relatives had a wonderful holiday. Here’s what’s been happening in the tropics.

As usual, I planned on getting an early start for the holidays. Did I mention I live in my own fantasy land? I purchased my Christmas tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. A neighbor assisted me in getting the tree in water on my backyard deck, so it would remain fresh until I straightened the living room and pulled out my decorations.

Due to a family emergency, I left town the next day to return the following Friday. On my return, I found a toppled tree begging for water. I righted it and added water, but sadly many needles were brown and falling on the deck. I carefully moved the tree into the living room, losing branches and needles along the way.

As you can see, the shape of my tree is beautiful; but many of the branches are the color of my Cuadrado Mexican tiles rather than the verdant pine hue I was going for. I figured once decorated, it would be fine. That’s when a newscaster suggested that lights on a dry tree might set it on fire. “But,” my right brain said, “it’s near the sliding glass doors, so I could easily drag it outside.”

My left brain jumped in and said, Whoa, let’s use some logic here. The door is locked, and to open it, you would have to go around a burning tree.”

Forget the lights!

The only trimming of the tree was in cutting off portions that were very dry and brown. I was losing my enthusiasm for decorating the tree. In the end, I had a “slightly trimmed but (one could say) undressed” Christmas tree.

I was not feeling the cheerfulness and joy of the season, so I turned to several Christmas movies to get myself into the holiday spirit. My favorites are A Christmas Carol (the one with Alister Sim), A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street. As the days progressed, I settled into a happier mood.

And then Christmas arrived! While we didn’t have a white Christmas in Miami, we did have a cold front drop our temperature by about 30 degrees. Miamians take on the characteristics of iguanas when confronted with temperatures in the 40s. We don’t venture outside because we fear our bodies will become cold-stunned and we will collapse on the ground in a catatonic state. Not a pretty picture!

Back in November, ABC presented a Diane Sawyer special about the 20th Anniversary of the film “Love Actually, written and directed by Richard Curtis. It’s not actually a Christmas movie, although the story takes place at that time of the year, and I decided to watch it on Christmas day.

The film opens with Hugh Grant (who plays the British Prime Minister) giving a monologue. It started, “…general opinion is we live in a world of hatred and greed.”

Apparently, not much has changed in the last 20 years. Since 2019, we’ve endured a pandemic and isolation, the nation is polarized, and the evening news gives us front-row seats to a devastating war in Ukraine. Dysfunction is what sells in the news world. “Newsworthy” requires high drama, often seen in violence, murder, and other aberrant behavior. At the end of the day, I find myself weary of it all.

“But,” says the PM, “love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there-fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

Wouldn’t you like to see the biggest headline or lead story on the news read like this?


Ah, well, one can dream.

The holidays are over, and the great crystal ball dropped in Manhattan. It’s time to get on with 2023. I hope the new year brings you happiness and joy.

If possible, a bit of love wouldn’t hurt. I hope you find that as well.

18 thoughts on “HAPPY NEW YEAR

  1. Lovely, Sharon! I could picture all of it and chuckled numerous times. That tree was S-A-D!

    Happy New Year and keep on writing!


    Kathy Kathy D. Doran Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-342-7608


  2. Dear Dear Friend Sharon, I SO loved your letter, “What’s been happening in the Tropics!” , or,” Love is all around,,,” Like you, I was digging deep, because I too know, love is all around. And , like you I was pinning my hopes of finding Love All Around, obviously, all around my Christmas Tree. I gave up on the LIVE TREE some years ago. Mostly  because controlling the rate of death was , well, beyond me. In addition, I seemed to have no control of my assorted animals eating the brown needles that were leaving the tree and mounding on the floor. I knew it must have been them ( I had three at the time – Dogs ) who else ! It made their processes of elimination of  concern even after Christmas, but I digress. Point is, after pulling the tree out of it’s box I was kind of alarmed as I was sure this tree that came out of that box had been much larger. No, 24″ on the box. Then I remembered I always put it on a small table and it had pre-strung tiny colored lights. I was sure once I lit them Love would be all around. Suffice to say… the appearance of Love was definitely not ALL around. “Where Is The Love” , I think ( Roberta Flack) !!! Oh  well, the Holidays are not my best time of year and I know I am not alone. So I moved on in my mind , and adjusted my attitude. But , too many tragedy’s and sad events  of late really, really had me hoping to find Love all around. But time passes and after a bit one sort of forgets to look.  Then my phone rang Sharon. And it was you. Calling to “check” on me. To touch base from the heart. To share a recent loss and to talk about the future.  I was and am very thankful , grateful and SO glad that you reached out. We talked a lot  and when we hung up I felt good ,and feel good  now thinking  of you and our conversation, our connection. Know what… Love IS all around, and I’m sending it back to you! Lou 


    1. I’m looking forward to seeing you as well! We even have a cold front to make you feel at home. Of course, at home means inside the house with the heat on. It will probably be in the ’60s or ’70s here – not your sub-zero Minnesota weather.


  3. Read your wonderful Christmas tree episode. Loved it! It’s odd to say that I have nothing to say this year. I’ve been cooped up with very cold temperatures dominating the world outside my door. Have had dizzy spells and lots of Clinic visits to try to discover the cause. Just old age, I suspect. I keep up with my Bible study group and shop every weekend with daughter Kris. I’ve been watching a lot of You Tube news and that’s depressing but I am not really depressed – just in a funk. My toes are numb. Ever hear that one? I read when my eyes permit and I actually walked to the library Book Sale Thursday when it was sunny and no wind (rare!). Brought home a treasure: Collected works of Gerard Manley Hopkins. So I hope the snow goes away soon and I can get out and walk some more. The fresh air will get my brain cells working and soon I may have something interesting to say. Always good to hear from you. Happy 2023.


    1. Great hearing from you. I haven’t blogged much in the last almost 3 years — similar reason to your statement, “not having anything to say.” Isolation leaves one with not very much to share. I hope your dizziness subsides soon. I’m feeling that urge to write more…so watch our world!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s