It was good: A Rock Home Companion


Oh my goodness, I am so over Christmas. Am I allowed to say that? It’s what part of me didn’t convert to Christmas Change. It’s making me weary, actually sick and tired, dark half moons resting under each eye like life has socked me hard. We got so sick before Christmas that my mother-in-law had to come get the boys. They had been fending for themselves. Thank goodness for mother-in-laws.

For a year, I had looked forward to my Christmas morning in the rock house, cozy warm in, snowing out, the fleeced bottoms thumping each stair on the way down, the dim living room, the Christmas tree lights, the bicycles in a little row, and then the pure exclamations: “Best Christmas Ever!” I still buy into Christmas Unchanged. Oh me. I’ll work on it this year, my expectations, the return.

Instead of my beautiful, vain imaginations, we travelled to Seth’s parents and took their gifts there. It was a nice time. My sister-in-law cooked like a pro. I ate like a pro.

We’re back to the house now. I’m scheming – as you probably are – about when to undo the decor, which drawers to organize first. I’ve made some long lists. My brain is sorting before the get-up-and-go. I feel old.

Oh, and I look so old right now, and all I can think about is the tattoo I want on my back. I imagine my little shoulder in a tank top, a peony peeking out the side, and then WAM! I imagine myself, age 70, sun-spotted, dragging down, my sad flowers all drooping their heads. 

Resolutions #1-5: I will let myself get older this year. I will not freak out about it. I will get another tattoo anyway. I will stop imagining about myself, and I will enjoy whatever food hits my plate.


Coming Soon: more of the Love Story. I think.

About me


A Rock Home Companion: on being kin to dirt
April 26, 2010
Make art and give it away. Un-numb a culture.
November 03, 2009
on the fog
September 07, 2009
a fixed gaze: icy-hot for the soul
August 31, 2009
I’ve been the graceless lady
August 01, 2009
invisible arms
January 18, 2009


Aunt Pam
Reply December 28, 2009

So sorry to hear you all were sick! But! It does sound like a wonderful Christams in spite of it all. Also, remember it is are only as old as you feel!!! Go for the tat!!! :-)

    Reply December 28, 2009

    You have always been the coolest aunt!

Reply December 28, 2009

Yes, of course you're allowed to say that. You keep it real, and that's why (well one of the reasons) we love you.
I hope you're feeling better. And for what it's worth, I think a drooping sun-stained flower on an 80 year old you would make you the "it girl" at the condo association. Life is short. Get another tattoo.

p.s. Boxing day = a British/ Canadian/ assortment of European countries' bank holiday. I have no idea why I even know about it.

Lora Lynn
Reply December 28, 2009

We haven't even gotten around to having our family Christmas yet. How pathetic are we?

Get the tat. You'll wear it sassy all the way to 100. And then some,..

Elizabeth (@claritychaos)
Reply December 28, 2009

Told you tattoos are addicting! Sure they'll fade and sag, but everyone in our generation has them, so we'll be in good company. ;)

Hope you're all feeling better! Happy New Year. xo

Reply December 28, 2009

Sorry Christmas wasn't as planned... hope you all are feeling better!

You should get the tattoo, for all the wimps like me who will never, but think they always look fabulous!

Adventures In Babywearing
Reply December 28, 2009

Feel better, love! I have a back tattoo. I think back tattoos are one of the best spots, honestly, no matter how old you get. 'Cause really how many old people do you see running around showing off back tattoos? They are usually covered up with warm up suits or mumus.


Colleen Foshee
Reply December 28, 2009

My mom got her first tat at 76. She had him put it on her leg - inside by her knee - that way she could put her knees together and hide it from the church folks. Ha. I loved it. Go for it and get old with gusto, being who you really are! Fake never satisfies very long. :)

Reply December 28, 2009

I just have to say that as far as the tattoo thing goes, it is a must. I have often thought of my dove on my shoulder, and how at the age of 80 it will look more like a decrepit crane. I have come to decide, however, that I will be blessed not only to be 80 years old, but also to have a permanent story, though faded and stretched. And furthermore, the people at the nursing home when giving me a spongebath will have to think- "gee- she was cool once". :)

Muthering Heights
Reply December 28, 2009

Christmas nearly did me in as well...mostly due to my very young brood and husband's long hours. It's ok to be done with it when it's all said and done!

Reply January 2, 2010

Amber, the title of your post reminded me to send you this link, since you're such a Garrison Keillor fan: Time magazine did a little Q&A with him...

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