The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Summer is my favorite season.  I like it hot outside and everything full of life.  The girls wear less and their freckles come out from hiding.  But to keep my sanity during my "off-season,"  I have found myself embracing as much as I can across the rest of the calendar.  And so approaches Christmas, a holiday so disconnected from its roots in many ways and obliterated by greed and consumerism.  My enthusiasm for the holiday has always been there, trailing out of childhood; so it doesn't fall into that deliberate embracing of things to look forward to (pause) nevertheless it is coming rapidly and in hardcore fashion.  Before Halloween was over,  store shelves that were occupied by warm weather merchandise such as swimming pool, patio and gardening supplies, became filled with Christmas decorations.  I noticed this and felt disturbed.  First of all, I don't need it shoved in my face nor an early start to Christmas shopping.  I will do it when I feel like it.  Secondly, do the bigwigs in the likes of Kmart and Target really think this tactic is going to get people to shop more, in fear that "these economic times" are going to still impact seasonal profits?  Oh yeah and "F" Wal-mart.  I think people know how much they are going to spend whether they begin in October or December 24th.  Moreover, they tend to stick to their habits of previous years, again whether it be October or December 24th.  So, I would appreciate it if stores did not have wrapping paper, ornaments, stockings, and all that stuff for sale before the leaves have even reached the peak of changing colors.  It brings on something too early that surrounds the holidays.  The holidays are filled with feelings, memories, and traditions that are truly special and when I see commercials for Black Friday like sales while carving a pumpkin, it sort of cheapens those magical things that are associated with "sparkle season."  Ha ha, I never really call it that.

Perhaps this is not on the other hand or maybe it is.  I am getting excited now.  The past few weeks my students have been designing and constructing their gingerbread houses to go on display down town at PPG Place.  Last year was the first for this project and it was really fun to work our asses off making these things, eating some of the candy (I had too many gummy bears), and then going down after school in December to see the Wintergarden, their creations, ice skate and devour Primanti Brother's sandwiches.  So on Friday I delivered our gingerbread houses as they were completed this week.  The sweet sugary smell of frosting has probably dissipated from my classroom by now, along with the ants who marched in to find an open package of cookies.  Okay so next year I will add zip-lock bags to my shopping list.

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Anon 85

Anon 85
Creature Spoonrests


Paths in Clay cover

Paths in Clay, a novel

Paths in Clay is a coming-of-age story about Jack, Allan, and Miller; three friends who return to the “palace”, a place where they studied Koh Loh ceramics, an ancient clay tradition passed on from an extinct culture.

When finished with studies, one must depart from the palace and venture out, not returning until they have established a direction or "path" as a clay artist.

Ten years have passed since they left their great Koh Loh Master Potter. Reminiscing about their days as students, Jack, Allan, and Miller embark on their anticipated return to the palace, during a ceremonial kiln firing and celebration - a time when the Master Potter’s former students, their students, friends, and friends of friends all come together to fire their pottery in several wood-fire kilns.

The journey takes them far from their humid tropical region home of the lower peninsula and delivers them to the bitter season of the snowy highlands. When the three men arrive, Jack is face-to-face with his palace-time girlfriend, Kirsten. She informs the three men that their master has grown ill. Amidst a celebration, among old friends, Jack, Allan, and Miller will discover the true nature of their friendships and complete one cycle of their lives and enter the passageway to another. The choices they make will forge ahead a renewed purpose as their roles in clay traditions confirm their paths; passing on Koh Loh clay to the next generations of potters.

family reunion







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