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Across the snowy landscape of my mind the bears are deep asleep and warm in their dark, cozy dens with dreams of springtime far beyond the horizon. I, too, feel the urge to drift off…to take a break from the busy thoughts that crowd the canyons of my brain. It’s the holiday season after all, a good time to build a fire, to share an evening with family and friends and tell again those tales that knit the fabric of our lives.

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Nettie and I celebrate the season with a blended tradition of her Jewish heritage and my Christian background. Her paternal grandfather was a kosher butcher and neighborhood rabbi, not an uncommon pairing for Eastern European immigrants in early Twentieth Century America, while my English family were Anglicans and my Polish ancestors were Catholics, another common pairing, this one brought about by the tumult of WWII.

Today, neither of us is religious in any classical sense; yet the season offers us a continuity with the past and the promise of a future with a unity of purpose and design.

Our children, Graham and Miles, are men now, pursuing their goals and desires with courage, integrity, and diligence. As many of you know, our eldest son, Miles was married a year ago to Jaymie, and this season we’ll welcome her family to join ours in a holiday brunch filled with good cheer and best wishes for the year ahead.

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And in the New Year, Nettie and I leave for Southeast Asia. A visit to Vietnam and Cambodia are at the heart of this journey; and surely it will be an emotional trip to see the places and say out loud the names that still haunt the memories of our youth…Hanoi, Saigon, Mekong Delta, Ho Chin Minh Trail, the Tet Offensive, Phnom Penh. On and on they spill from my mouth as do the images of a thousand days and nights, of untold marches and songs of protest, of unimaginable tragedies and betrayals that accompany every journey back in time.

I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me on this journey in the form of periodic travel entries that I’m wont to write. I look forward to them and like to believe that you do as well.

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In the year ahead, I intend to get back to work on my stalled novel and find my way through it. I’m sure to complain about its shortcomings as well as celebrate its progress as the months slip by. At least the first draft is finished…it’s been simmering for nearly a year on the back burner. I plan to read it while I travel, hoping the distance in time and reality will allow fresh sight…even perhaps a bit of insight.

Until then, with a little break in between, I wish for you all a wonderful season and a fulfilling New Year with good health first, good cheer following that, and the fulfillment of the dreams you spin in the warmth of your own den during these winter months.

Cheers,

fz

 

 

4 Responses to The Bears Have Hibernated

  1. Norma and family says:

    Annette and Frank dear ones
    Have a most wonderful holiday, all of
    Them with lots of happiness and good health.
    We think of you all the time and want you to
    Have a great and informative trip.
    We will see you when you return. Love

  2. Beverly Pine says:

    Have a wonderful holiday season. And let’s share stories of Southeast Asia when we all get back.

    Norm and Beverly

  3. I second the emotion re health, cheer, dreams. And add to that, “Safe Travels.”

  4. annette zajaczkowski says:

    I like a cozy den with family and friends in the fire glow.

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