Friday, December 24, 2010

Downtown Camden, Maine, on Christmas Eve...

fresh snow yesterday...

not a colorized photo below, incredible, isn't it?

Rocco: 1948–2010

I need to say first of all, before I wish ya'll a Merry Christmas, that we are completely heartsore at the loss of our dear, dear friend and compatriot Ronnie Valentine, who died last weekend, sitting at this desk in Union, Maine, we are told by his daughter. He was here for pancakes only last Monday, after helping P to move the huge power tools out of the big room for Christmas and the party we had thought he'd attend this Sunday. Ronnie was one in a million, a zillion even. A guy whose very presence always made me feel immediately tres femme (a testament to his essential masculinity that didn't require parading or posturing). I liked that about him. Not many men really make you feel like a woman the minute they lay eyes on you – triggering the Insta-flirt response without warning. I liked his honest, outspoken politics, his good, knowledgeable mind, his amazing way with anything that required the slightest bit of engineering, his respect for a good idea, his depth of caring, his open, all encompassing smile, his patient, loving way with my young son, his gentle nature, his laugh and his quirky, one of a kind sense of humor and utter willingness to be silly, the kind I rarely experience outside of family. God, we'll miss you, Rocco. A legend in your own time.

It's christmas eve, and i guess if you don't find yourself in need of just one more trip out to the store today for something or other you're just, well, too organized for my liking. We have managed to turn the massive thing that is this barn/ studio into a home for the holidays; the churren, as my Nanny used to call us, arriving later in the day, to sleep on sofas and whatever ends up on the floor. I still have chicken liver pate to make, and P's gifts to wrap, but am in pretty good shape, all in all, considering I have none of my own kitchen things to work with and am making do with various items from Reny's (and Mona's kitchen next door), a Maine institution for bargain hunters.

I wish the rest of my family was here. My love goes out to them and theirs. Like the song says: "Someday we'll be together." I just hope it isn't after we're all dead. That scenario just doesn't sound like as much fun to me as a real family gathering can be. Or as Patti once put it: "What if all they have in heaven is Rock and Rye and Merit Lights?"

Here are some photos of the recent snowfall en route to Portland to shop for foodstuffs yesterday, and downtown Camden today as I ran out for some candy goodies. This is, quite possibly, the only time of year living in a small New England town is worth the price you pay in sheer boredom and provincial, politically correct thought the entire rest of the year. It is pretty darn pretty, I'll give you that...

Merry Christmas, everybody. And Rocco, dear sweet boy – thanks for all the love; we'll see you on the flip side.

kiss, kiss, everybody. be glad you're alive to see it all.

envision whirled peas


  1. Merry Christmas, Cat! Welcome back to the US of A!

  2. Merry Christmas, Cat!! And, Happy New Year :))

  3. erk - you might not know that "katiemur" is fran in Montreal! Hi Cat!!