A Cream Puff With Nuts

A Cream Puff with Nuts

If I could see over there I would lay down and rest. Since I can’t see over there I’ll lay down and rest anyway.

That’s what I hear is the most powerful action.

And yet, we take steps. On this past rainy Christmas morning before dawn, I lifted myself from bed, planted my feet with a certain amount of courage and happy anticipation, always aware of the one who’s not there. 

Christmas mornings in the past were more welcoming, communal, and less singular than this one… but the opportunity was real, I will say that.

 “Showing up” is what I do. 

I am no longer a cream puff. I am a cream puff with nuts.

Packing my suitcase, the night before, I loaded it with gifts and clothes suitable for layering, including my long, black urban looking coat chosen especially for the City. It gives the appearance of style, something I don’t always have while navigating our small foothill town where Safeway and the Post Office are my main points of destination. 

The roads were dark and slick when I left my home/studio and if I’d been thinking, freaking out would have been normal… but not these days, when ploughing through is the choice I’ve been making.

 Feeling quite alone in the silence and darkness, every now and then a car would follow behind or speed past impatiently and I’d wonder who they might be. If they could see it was me.

I was the first to board the Capitol Corridor Amtrak Train and the first to make my way to the food car, carefully watching my balance as we pulled away from the station. The attendant was not quite ready (or awake) for small talk, so I held my words except to tell her what a big deal it was to have made it…and by the way, my husband died a year ago and how proud I was, driving in the dark and rain, so early in the morning. I think we made eye contact but I’m not entirely sure.

 The cinnamon roll was wrapped tightly in plastic and my teeth made the first incision, tearing it open to reveal a perfectly manufactured, delightful enough pastry. But the coffee was fresh and hot, as I sat there in the food car watching my face reflected in the window, passing by landscapes and towns I’ve lived in, gone to school in, loved in. 

How the hell did I get here. It’s not a question because I know how I got here, and it involves illness and a morgue. It involves intentionally building a new life, still so unexpected.

My son, a resident of San Francisco met me at the drop off point (the train took me part way to the bus) and we began our Christmas adventure. The kind you share when one of you has become a widow and one of you is a compassionate and caring son who understands as best, he can. 

After dropping my things off at his apartment, we wandered around Chinatown, while others who seemed a bit dislocated wandered, too. A little Buddha candle and bamboo back scratcher were gifts I purchased for myself. The candle sits here by me frozen and dripping with cold wax, a sweet memory. 

We dined on the most fabulous Chinese food prepared tableside outdoors and watched the people go by. Travelers and locals seemed to be on a mission to either celebrate or ignore what was obvious. There’s something to realigning traditions and trying something new when change is required. It feels expansive and decadent, delicious and free and makes me wonder what possibilities are possible right now.

S. F.’s Museum of Modern Art fed us in a different way. We dined on color and paint, brushstrokes and process, vision and dimension, metal and wood, steel and gold. We never became full and longed for more creativity in our own lives. 

 Funny coming from two very creative people, huh? We always want more, insatiable we are.

My Hope for the New Year is we have enough food, the kind that sustains and then the kind that enriches. 

That we stop seeing each other with so much rancor

 and have trains to catch that lead somewhere or nowhere

to open our eyes and see…

With love for all,



Always take the High Road, always! It saves so much time and energy, because you don’t have to clean the manure off your shoes.

Hah! There you have it… 

11 thoughts on “A Cream Puff With Nuts”

  1. That whisper made it into my “Quotes to Save” book. Quite an honor! I am also making new traditions after losing my parents as I don’t want to conform to someone else’s. Christmas Day my brother and I played pool and went bowling and had Indian food for dinner. Perfect!


  3. So beautifully expressed! Thank you for sharing. Joining you at Christmas without my friend I had known for almost 72 years! I hope you save all this and make them into a incredible book!! Inspiring Thoughts by Marylou!

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