Thursday, December 24, 2009

All I want for Christmas

Christmas will mark 8 months on the road for Ollie and I. That means it's been 8 months since I saw my parents or my brother! Sure, we talk on the phone (when it's working, ahem), but there's nothing quite like an in-person hug or time in the kitchen together. And of course it's always interesting to hear how I've changed. (I'm still a bit mortified recalling the Christmas I came home to visit after a college semester in Italy only to be greeted by my dad's "You've put on some weight... No, no, it's a good thing." I blame the Nutella I had for breakfast every morning. And the fresh pasta and mozzerella. And bakeries lining the walk between the campus and downtown Rome. Anyway, my family is nothing if not frank.)

My parents have asked me countless times in recent weeks if there's anything I'd like for Christmas, or something I need for them to bring from home when they fly out to meet me. It's been 8 months since I slept in my own bed, made myself a coffee with my espresso maker, or watched a Netflix movie in my queue, and while I miss these things from time to time, being on the road for so long has made me even less attached to "stuff" than before. Don't get me wrong, I still treasure my load of cooking gadgets -- I hope the juicer, the wok, the cuisinart, the pasta machine, the cheese-making kit, the brewing carboys are all being used in my absence -- and the boxes of books in storage. There will doubtless be a happy reunion with these things when I return to DC this summer. But as I have continued to pare down the supply of "things I need" as I haul the necessities around the country (which, collectively, are shockingly heavy even so), I find that there isn't much I lack. A new book from time to time, perhaps a map or some long underwear or a battery for my headlamp. I got Ollie a new set of front brake pads for Christmas: after a week off and a few plates of cookies under my belt, I want to be sure we at least are able to stop quickly when needed on the legendary switchbacked San Francisco hills.

As for me, now that I've been lucky enough not to die from a random bacterial infection in my thumb, I've not much to ask for. All I want for Christmas is a hug. And maybe a plot in my parents' yard to grow some heirloom veggies when I return, to supplement the tiny plot Shelly and I set up behind our place in the city. (Start digging up the back lawn, dad.) And, okay, maybe for my upcoming birthday I might not refuse a copy of Nourishing Traditions and a food dehydrator for when I get back home. (I'm totally hooked on drying fruit after the persimmon session at Jessica's last week and a dehydrator would round out my collection of odd culinary implements nicely.)

Happy holidays, faithful readers!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. I'm sure you'd prefer a hug from someone you know, but hugs for you on Christmas! I know how it is to be on the road for a long time. Keep on pedaling...

  2. Merry christmas Ibti!!
    Happy new year!!!!

    Kisses from Argentina!


  3. Thanks guys. Sean, when I get myself to North Carolina I hope I can give you an in-person hug in thanks for your ongoing encouragement.

    And, Fran, when are you coming to DC to visit? (Not before July, I hope. I need a few months to get myself back around the country...)


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti