I think T. S. Eliot was wrong.

Dec 31, 2022 | 2 comments

With A Lot Of Help From My Friends, Erik and Patricia

The cruellest month — at least for me this year — has been December.  Not Eliot’s April in which he raises the central question of his poem “The Wasteland” —  whether regeneration will, or even can, take place in the wasteland of the modern world.

Of course, Eliot’s vision is so much broader than mine– his commentary so much deeper  I’m only looking at me.  Only at my own situation.  Which, if you think about it, is just about all each of us can deal with at any one time.  Perhaps Eliot meant cumulatively — many Aprils.

Orchids from The Schleefs!

I certainly hope that my Decembers get better than this final month of 2022. Not that the month was all bad.  And not that it completed an all bad year. But the Christmas festivities seemed to put a final punctuation mark to the seven months Nyel has been gone and to the festivities and friendships that will never again be quite complete without him.

And then there’s the greater world of Oysterville.  Small in comparison to so many places but hard hit by endings this year —  Ryan Ulbricht, Linda Janke, Bud Goulter, Ron Biggs, Dick Sheldon, Ava Driscoll, and Chuck Munsey in addition to Nyel!

My Little Red Wagon! – A Most Practical Gift from Charlie and Marta!

On the other hand, friends and family gathered close — always there to reassure, to help, to look forward as well as back.  My son Charlie spent the most time here over the holidays — ten days! — since I can remember.  We talked and laughed and were wined and dined.  I felt well-loved despite the hole in my heart.

So now… another year is about to unfold.  May it bring us all some grand surprises and quiet moments of appreciation as well as deepening friendships and better understandings.   And perhaps I’ll even get back to writing this daily blog… daily!


  1. Judy McNeal

    Dearest Sidney, my heart felt sympathy and love to you. Good friends are truly a gift from God. I am so glad you have such a wonderful group around you.
    God bless and keep you.

  2. Mrs. Marilyn Tower Oliver

    Hi Sydney, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope next year brings you happiness. I’m remembering our freshman year at Roble when you lived across the hall from me. It was an interesting and life changing year for me. Best regards,


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