December 1976 From Macrame to Ballet

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December 18: Yesterday I went into a new shop here in town, downstairs near the grocery store. They are selling macramé, wall tapestries, chessboards, pottery, and jewelry—lovely stuff that someone has worked hours on. As I was leaving I asked about photographs. He said he didn’t think so but to bring some in. Walked down today with the children because Bob was using the VW to look at possible wilderness boundaries in the East Weaver area.

Both Tim Anderson and his wife really liked my pictures. They want me to bring some in to sell and they bought one themselves! I was really pleased—had very good feelings about the place yesterday and of course even better today! He figured out what my expenses are, approximately, and what I should charge. Now I have to send some slides out, get frames ordered at Greenwood’s, etc.

He also wants me to do some pictures with some of his jewelry. I’m really excited about the whole thing; not expecting to sell much but it’s a beginning and makes me feel as if yes, I am an artist of sorts and am expressing myself. I’m really looking forward to doing something with the jewelry also.

The last few weeks I’ve been having some internal struggles as if I’m about to burst from a cocoon with some wild combination of good and evil. It’s making things around me seem strange. Cheryl gave us a ride home in her new car. She and Sandy are going to sponsor Christmas dinner at Dick’s house. I’m going to bring a salad.

This last week was frantically busy. Monday night we mostly had a party at nursery school night class but I was busy all day. Tuesday there was nursery school, cub scouts, etc., and taking Rebecca and Jeff to and from gymnastics. Bob took them and then went to bed. Wednesday I had to have the VW in Redding by 8:30 so I left here around 6:30. Worked on Bob’s Christmas present while I was waiting for the car in Palo Cedro. Did some shopping at the Mt. Shasta Mall; got new shoes for Rebecca with some money back on her old ones because of a big hole in the side; stopped at the Downtown Mall and ate lunch there; got home at 3:30 and picked up Clarke from Linda Lindsey’s; fixed dinner and then we went to the Christmas Program at the CD Hall from 7:30-8:30. Jeff sang with the 4th grade chorus, Rebecca was in the band with her flute, guitar band and advanced chorus; Thursday was nursery school, and afterwards I made chocolate chip cookies for the den meeting that night. Didn’t go but Bob and the boys did. Friday morning I stacked the breakfast dishes and went over to see Rebecca in two short plays at 8:30. Left there at 9:30 and went for a walk. Was home by 12:30 when the kids got home from school (short day). After lunch (and taking Jeff to piano lessons) I bought groceries, delivered Muff’s wedding present. Came home and fixed mulled wine and banana bread for Bob’s meeting. D.V arrived at 6:30 and I gave him some dinner. People started arriving at 7:00. We ended with 11 people plus Bub and me. They all sat in a circle in the living room. About 9:30 we took a break, then they went back to it again. The last person left around 11:45. Another thing I did Thursday afternoon was to fix Arctostaphyloses (manzanita root creatures) for the children’s teachers.

Compared to all that, today has been rather leisurely. Bob put up the tree this evening. We’ll decorate some time tomorrow. Around 8:30 he went to visit Candie and Jim in Douglas City. They are up for the weekend. Thursday it is still clear, cold and dry. Our driveway is dusty, the lower part of the cedars lining the upper stretch being coated with dust.

Reading this now I can see that I was apparently going through some sort of psychological stuff, “ alternating between hours of calm and confidence and occasional bursts of joy; and hours of gloom and doom. Sometimes feeling as if I were changing into a different person.” I decided that if I were going to do that I’d like it to be retaining what little wisdom, compassion and depth I’d gained in the last 15 years and add to that some of the joyfulness and humor of my childhood. I quoted a line from a magazine story I’d read where the heroine states, “I think I have committed the sin of submission.” I thought I had as well but not as much as she had. (Now in 2023 and reading this I’m thinking major stress was the problem!!)

The children have been keyed up all week—a little psychotic themselves! Fights, bickering, wrestling, exuberance, joy, etc.

Today I vacuumed the whole house, changed the children’s beds (the older two put their own sheets back on), damp mopped the kitchen and dining area. Went to the bakery. Dropped the children off at the library and went to Lois’ to get my hair cut. Wrapped some more presents; talked to Doris on the phone for about half an hour.

Bob and I are sort of at odds with each other. Hopefully that will get better as I make my personal adjustments to my present changes. He and Rebecca went downtown this evening so he could finish his Christmas shopping. Yesterday morning I made an Arctostaphylos for Harriet Matthias (piano teacher), Jeff gave her one for Christmas and she was so pleased that she wanted some for friends. The children and I walked down to their house with the creatures.

Last night the children and I walked down to see a movie. Bob hadn’t known we were going (it was a very last minute decision) and had taken the VW over to visit his parents. After the movie we walked rapidly home because it was cold. The movie was “The Man Who Saved A Forest”.

Tuesday night Linda Ohde sat with the children while Bob and I went to a Forest Forum meeting. Guest speaker discussed the recently passed Forest Management Act. Afterwards we went over to the Echols’ for dessert, as did the guest speaker and his wife (George Craig), a lobbyist for the Western Timber Management Association.

December 26th
Clear and cold. It was cloudy Christmas Day and we had just a few drops of rain but that was all. Christmas Eve, Bob and I got to bed around midnight. He cleaned Jeff’s old bike up and brought it in for Clarke, and brought in Jeff’s new one. Put together Rebecca’s fishing pole. While he was doing that I filled stockings and distributed Santa’s gifts (those are unwrapped), I didn’t get much sleep that night—lots of bathroom traffic from the family.

The children were up to get their stockings at 7:00. We got up around 7:30. Everyone seemed pleased with their respective gifts. Bob liked the photo albums I gave him (all the slides of the bridge made into prints) and I really needed the two-drawer filing cabinet he gave me (a huge box with one drawer in it by the tree). He also gave me a bottle of musk bath oil. After presents we went over to the Ohdes for breakfast. I took my griddle, which sped things up a lot. We had a really good visit. Left around 1:00. Came home and then I took Rebecca and Clarke over to the Joneses to play with Peter and Angenett’s children for an hour. The kids and I had gone with them up on Musser Hill the evening before where Peter and the children played beckon and Angenett and I walked and talked. It was cold as the sun was going down but everyone had a good time. I’d brought warm cider, hot water for hot chocolate and mulled wine, which was consumed before returning home when it was nearly dusk.

On the 25th we came home from Ohde’s and I tore up the lettuce for salad. Picked up Rebecca and Clarke, came back and finished the salad, changed clothes and we all went up to Dick’s, taking four chairs and a stool. There were 18 people up there for dinner. Dick now has a pinball machine in his living room and when we weren’t at the table everyone was taking turns at that. From there we came home and unloaded chairs and went over to Joneses. Talked till about 9:00 and watched Jessica do some of her ballet—she’s good—and then ate dessert and came home.

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