Laimīgu Jauno Gadu! Happy New Year!
Welcome back! After such an intriguing month spent exploring the traditions and folklore of the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian holiday season with 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas, Femme au Foyer is back to more regularly scheduled programming: me. The attempt to give myself a month off while still featuring interesting content backfired, and instead of lazing about with some holiday reading I was busier than ever; signing up writers, learning about new Christmas traditions and trying out recipes and crafts that appeared on the series. Of course there was some coaxing, some editing and a bit of a mad scramble to cover a few days mixed in, but overall it was a wonderful learning experience and I’ve developed some new virtual friends in addition to adding a lengthy list of blogs to my reader. I hope you enjoyed reading and writing 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas, and I welcome any comments, suggestions or questions regarding the series.
Midway through the month I was interviewed about hosting A Baltic Christmas for Laiks, the Latvian weekly news periodical. Featured on page 6, “Kad rakstīšana ir sirdslieta” appeared in Volume LXVI Nr. 2, the January 10-16 edition along with a picture from the Spartanburg International Festival last year.
Then while the final days of 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas were reaching your inboxes, we were already en route to the un-snowy north where we completed a holiday circuit worthy of its own Christmas movie. As I sit here now nursing a hot mug of tea and recovering from a cold, I think about how often we seem to need vacations after our vacations. We accomplished so much in the past month; in addition to the 6 homes in 3 states we visited to celebrate Christmas, we also hosted our son’s christening. For New Year and Roberts’s birthday we took the three boys to Costa Rica, and now amongst the piles of thank you cards to be written and pictures to be sorted I have the makings of Mikus’s third birthday party. There is no time to slow down even if I wanted to – the talk to make sure and slow down/smell the roses is nice, but for me it’s full speed ahead for 2015, the train already having left the station and rolling downhill of its own accord.
As the sun set on 2014 I was on a nearly-vertical return hike from a waterfall featuring a naked Brit. (We made it back through the jungle in the near-darkness just in time to join everyone in the lodge for the vecgada vakara feast, the naked Brit having retrieved his clothes!) And the first day of the New Year found me flying through the cloudforest canopy, hundreds of feet above the forest floor. Last year was great, but I’ve got a feeling 2015 is going to be a good one – I hope you stick around to share it with me.