Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

That Time of the Year


It’s hard to believe, but we are less than two weeks away from the one year anniversary of our move to North Carolina. As I was preparing this post, we had just had our second snow of the season (though long time Raleigh residents tell me again and again that it rarely snows,  it’s our fifth snow fall since being here. Global warming? ).  There was a thin coating of ice over the plants in the yard and the neighborhood was silent, broken only by the quiet drip of melting icicles. I was struck by the stark beauty of this unfamiliar (to a California girl) winter landscape, still and wonderous but lonely too.

I don’t know if it was this, or just the time of year, but I was also suddenly struck by a longing for home. For a glass of wine with the friend that knows me inside and out, for the gorgeous chatter of nieces and nephews, the collecting of the various branches of our eclectic family at my father’s on Christmas day, the latest late night installment of the lifelong conversation between my sister and I, often broken and interrupted but always leaving me wanting more. Which, I guess, is my long-winded way of saying I miss you guys.

Kirk and I got a small tree this year, so that we could put it on a table, out of reach for the dogs. It’s perfect actually. And I liked the contrast between the cold and icy day outside, and the warm lights of the tree.

When I transferred the photos I took that day to my computer, I flicked through the other photos I’ve snapped through the year. And I thought I would share some of them, a kind of celebration of the contrasts of seasons:

One of the more startling physical transformations I have witnessed this year is not the landscape, but that of our puppy Stella. When we adopted her she was a skinny crooked thing, having survived being hit by a car and subsequently left in a backyard without treatment for about a month. She’s sitting next to me now, a muscly forty-five pound cuddle bug, with strong, almost-straight legs.

Stella then

Stella now.

Pretty cool huh?

And I guess you could say that the theme of the year has been transformation for me as well (though not of the, em, weight loss variety as I had hoped!). Gone are the days of working 8 to 4 in the city, hour long commute to and from our apartment in Oakland, in the summer sitting on the stoop of our building, the concrete sidewalk still hot from the day, watching Oakland’s crazy denizen’s roll past, chatting with the neighbors. Now here I am, out in the ‘burbs, surrounded by trees, nurturing this brand new business. The quiet hum of birds and insects sometimes stops me short when I open my door, after ten years of the more jangling noises of an inner city street. As the year draws to a close our little family is embarking on projects which may well bring more big changes….so stay tuned! Happy holidays ya’ll……hug those dear to you near and keep your toes warm.







14 Responses to “That Time of the Year”

  1. kelly smith-tilly

    I’m so glad we’re friends. Merry Christmas. And warm hugs to all. Looking forward to more creative adventures with you in 2011.

  2. ruchapowers

    We love and miss you too!!!!!!! Boy, does Stella look happy and healthy, she’s lucky to have found you (and you her!). Christmas won’t be the same without you guys but I’m glad you’re cozy in your sweet little house with the pups and Mr. K.
    Much love xoxoxoxo, me

  3. Jacquelyn Marie

    Much, much love to you all, Oami. I really miss you and your photos make me miss my Northeastern past. Hope to do Spring with you this year.

    Stella looks wonderful and so do you all. Big Hugs from your Goddess Mother

  4. Sandra

    Stella is a real cutie! Ya’ll have nurtured her well. And your photos of the wild are gorgeous. I especially appreciated seeing the tree in full bloom contrasted to when its leaves have begun to change color. Merry Winter to you sister! Congratulations on your 1 yr anniversary!

  5. Frances Newcross

    Hey Sweetie. Love that nostalgic blog and photos. You do them well. Stella is a transformation! We miss you two and will think of you every day this warm holiday season. I’m glad life is better for you in NC.

    • oami powers

      Thanks Fran, and for all the lovely car packages that have been arriving on our doorstep. I put up and filled the stockings today, and put the cookies in the freezer per K’s request!

  6. Aunt Diana

    Oh my dear Oami, I know how you feel. Beautiful place Raleigh from your photos, and seems to be such a creative mecca for you, but at this time of the year, home sure is where the heart and the loved ones are. So here in far-flung Aotearoa there is another soul yearning to be elsewhere…with you all… in England …in Italy…but no doubt our loving thought waves scurrying around the world will warm up the spirit waves somewhat.
    ps I have just put a photo of you and Kirk on my fridge to bring you closer, and to go with the Sacremento ones. Stella too????? not quite sure about that yet, but she looks fine (as does the sculpture of Grover? in the background of one of your photos).

    • oami powers

      Grover’s actual paws, in the river after a long hike early summer! I still owe you a long email, hopefully will have time now that things have slowed down a little….

  7. Gerda Dinwiddie

    Dear Oami and Rucha,
    Thank you both for always sharing your goings-on and photos.
    John and Eric and I went to the Judith’s exibit in Emeryville that you had flagged us about – was so good!
    Wishing you and all your dear ones a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous new Year!
    Gerda and kin.

  8. Michelle

    North Carolina is lucky to have you guys (as am I). Looking forward to a great new year with lots of dinners, laughter and friendship. 😉

  9. Norman Ross Powers

    Your photos are wonderful, Oami; I especially like those of the ice covered landscape. That’s a scene I’ve never witnessed, even growing up in Washington where it does snow. You are lucky to have those moments of absolute winter stillness as well as the warm weather racket of birds and insects. It has to feel freeing, at those times, when the sounds of the world of wall-to-wall human jostling fade away and it’s just you and Nature. And, yes, Christmas is here and we really miss you too. We’ll keep a light on in the window for you.


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