Home Celebrations Shining a Little Light on the New Year

Shining a Little Light on the New Year


Hope for the New YearluminaryOne paper bag + a couple cups of sand + one lit candle = magic

My brain seems to have been on hiatus (and may still be). Every time I sat down to write a post in December, five minutes into it, I’d curl my lip,  scrunch my face, and say, “Really Tom, this is what you’re going to write about.” Then a tray of Christmas cookies would catch my attention and the day would be lost. Well, it’s 2013, the baked goods are gone, and I’m ready to dust off the cerebral cobwebs and try again. Bear with me, be kind (and don’t send cookies).

lighting up the New Year Shining some light on my front fence and the wonder of the holidays.

I liken the  new year to a freshly-pressed shirt: crisp, bright, and unmarred by noodle soup or a cheap house red. The stains and wrinkles will come soon enough in the form of missteps, foibles and failed resolutions, but my resolve will come not in the pronouncements made one fleeting moment on the heels of 2012, but in the actions and pursuits of 2013. I’ll keep it simple this year, and strive to honor the light in others, and nurture that which fuels the soul, the smile and the heart. For example…

Watering Dahlias I find light in the promise of summer and a garden crowded in color, bounty and beauty. (photo: Crystal Culp)

Boz the bulldog at the table

Boz finds his light in a seat at the table (whether for supper or a quick game of poker).

lighting the way homeMy friends Karen and Ginelle share their light in surprising this friend with an impromptu trail of luminaries marking the way home.

Gracie at the table

Gracie’s at her brightest when helping me edit text and brainstorm blog ideas.

jon in the window My buddy Jon lights up when precise carpentry skills and a job well done are required (and when my stupid questions come to an end).

Tom Mom and the bulldogsMy mom beams brightest when helping others (and quite often when spoiling her son) .

Christmas-farmhouse and Happy New YearLight is a powerful thing; the smallest bulbs can often have the greatest impact. Everyone is different; what makes you shine brightly?


  1. I resolve not to resolve. And I find that sometimes it’s burned bridges that can shine a bright light , along with lengthy blog posts on the subject of gaseous bull dogs.

  2. What a beautiful post!

    Well, since you asked, radium, plutonium, and tritium might make me glow but to really shine, I require a nice dry maritini or several. (I’m here all week…) Seriously though, working with my students with special needs is where I find light and hope. Children naturally shine and when you have the privilege of being with them on a daily basis, some of that light rubs off on you!

  3. I missed you! You do bring light to our short days. Love the luminaries and fence lights. I am sure your cozy corner brightens many a day on line and on island. Happy, healthy 2013. Let’s meet some where for a glass of that house red and some garden ogling. Maybe your backyyard!

    • Sarah, I love Hudson Bay Blankets and am always on the lookout for them. I have another one up on the guest bed that is a six-point behemoth, a king-size spread on a full-size bed, so heavy you have trouble breathing when covered up. The one shown here is an old reliable, dog-friendly double that gets plenty of use in my drafty old house. Boz prefers to warm up underneath, Gracie is a top-of-cover girl.

  4. Such a lovely & warm loving post, dear Tom!! xxx
    I loved reading it all!

    I wish you & your 2 lovely dogs a happy & lovely 2013 filled with tons of laughter, joy & some really good food! 🙂

    I wished you lived closer to me so that we could toast together to the New Year with a good glass of Champagne & lovely Sophie Home-made appetizers!

    You are a dear friend to me! :),xxx from Belgium! 😉

    • Nothing like making friends half way around the world. Thanks for your kind comments and presence throughout the year. I look forward to catching up on Sophies Food Files this weekend. cheers! TC

  5. Happy New Year, Tom! I’m looking forward to another year of Tall Clover Farm (once you’ve dusted off the cobwebs).

    How I wish I could get editing help from Pipi with LivingTastefully 😉 but she could care less.

  6. Tom, thanks for stopping by — it gave me the perfect excuse to sit down and explore your site. Beautiful photos and location. I’m mesmerized by the name of your island. Vashon. It sounds like it’s from another place and time. Enjoy the day!

  7. A little late but: when gardening at 45 degrees, eating toast and fresh berry jam for dinner ‘cuz I couldn’t wait for tomorrow morning and Tom’s blog entry increase the shine around here! Tom, you keep me inspired til winter’s over. I know, I’m in California and shouldn’t whine. Instead I shall wine. Lookin forward to the next one Tom! Thanks!

    • Nicole, yours sounds like one of my dinner choices of late with a little chunk of cheese added for good measure. My garden has been woefully neglected, as the siren flames and warmth of my woodstove have kept me entranced in a spell of coziness (read laziness). Perhaps I’ll escape to the garden today, oh wait, is that a steady downpour? Cheers and Happy New Year to you!

  8. Tom! Pretired Nick is so absolutely, positively correct! Your writing is magnificent and such fun to read. He left a fine comment on our site, then sent an email in which he suggested we have a peek at your site, so here I am – without Christmas cookies. Have a super fun day!

    • Hi CJ, that was mighty kind of Nick, and I’m so glad you dropped by Tall Clover. I look forward to checking out your site. Now about those Christmas cookies, I accept them year round. Cheers Tom


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