Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Frozen Lakes and Marshmallow Vodka, Starfish and Coffee

Happy New Year 2012, Everybody!

I had a little hiatus while I went home for the holidays (that's skipping over Glogg Fest '11 and the raging Everhart Holiday Ball, suffice it to say - FUN), and am back and charged up, ready to Delve Into '12!!! How about you?

Home was Heavenly. Look:

Though there was not one snowflake on the ground in Minneapolis on Christmas Day (!), I quickly came to terms with that, and focused on loved ones instead. And OH, are they loved! Mom. I can't say enough about that saintly woman that will ever do her justice. I just looked at her and brimmed over with love and admiration. All my hometown friends (and their children!) just ruined me with their smiles and joy ... and Minnesota accents. They also introduced me to Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Vodka - and then real marshmallows on top. Couple that with dear souls skating on a (semi)frozen lake and that was just IT. I sometimes feel that I'm not around enough and the kids of my dearest friends won't know me and I can't stand that, and then my dear Tonja texted me from her lake cabin up North and said that her little daughter went outside the cabin and said, "It smells like Carol!" Christine's daughters, Jane and Kate, said, "We have to Skype EVERY day!" I held my hands next to my Mom's and noticed how they looked alike. I cried when I left this time.

But then I came back to Venice and it's 80 degrees and the fog gave way to bright sunshine. I walked along the beach this morning with Jenny, back in the routine for the new year. I had a feeling we would see them, and then sure enough, DOLPHINS! It looked like a romantic couple of dolphins, more mellow and circling than going nuts like usual. Then we decided to explore the end of the jetty to see if it was true that Starfish hang out in Venice. We waded out and tried to time our searching for when the water would recede. Thousands of mussels attached to the rocks, but that looked to be it. Until Jenny - her eyes accustomed to reef searches in Tahiti all the time - yelled "Look!"

There at the bottom of the rocks was a big red Starfish! With a little orange friend next to it! We were jumping around like elated children. It was truly exciting, in the most natural way possible. My day could only have been made better - and I said so - by seeing one of our regular beach friends, the Beach Guru, Rajiv (He's never said anything that profound, but the total purity of his calm and happiness is written on his face so plainly every time we see him wave that I consider that Guru enough). Just then, his silhouette emerged out of the bright sunlight, I swear! I ran out of the water to tell him about the Starfish, which I'd never seen in all my years in Venice!

He was clearly amused at our exuberance, and he said, "That is a very good omen for the new year!", echoing exactly my thoughts. We walked back to our bikes, fully stoked.

This joy of a morning was followed by my favorite cup of coffee at The French Market, and thus the Prince tune, "Starfish and Coffee" played through my head all day since. A perfect mix of Home (Prince) and Here (Starfish!).

aNOTHER good omen for the new year. I dig it already. And wish you all the very best of everything that fills your heart, all year long!


*Starfish amazing moment captured by Jennifer Everhart

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