Number 36
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Twenty-twenty is behind us, let's rejoice! Lord it has been a hard year.

We shall reflect, later, with more distance, and we'll find the blessings. But for now let's just look forward with the glow of a vaccine in our eyes.

TO THAT END we'll go on and wrap 30 DAYS OF JOY with Day 20. Yes, we'll lop off 10 days just because it feels right and also because 2020 taught us nothing if not that there is grace in rules that are loose, in expectations that are malleable, in plans that are subject to change. Because THAT WAS 2020, right? That was, perhaps more poignantly, our entire holiday season. I mean, I launched a series about focusing on the joy to be found in the empty spaces of a COVID Christmas and hardly a week in I contracted the dang virus. My symptoms were mild, thanks and praises, but it changed everything about the ways our family moved through the next five weeks.
There was still joy, however, and if you missed any of the series and are interested in a catch-up, you'll find links below. As I send this newsletter it is still an incomplete series since Day 20 is still to come. But that's okay, because that's just how we roll.

Until then,


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My college bud, Chris, sent a link to this Mike Rowe video that has sent me down the most lovely of rabbit holes. It started with this heart-filling story about his parents and their 60th Anniversary, followed by his reading of an essay written by his mother. Give ten minutes of your gentle January to it and you will be so pleased you did. If you are then reminded how much you love Mike Rowe, there's so much good to dig into.
Speaking of the lovely rabbit hole, this carol, A Child of the Snows, shared by Mike Rowe on his Facebook page is everything. You'll want the words and the story behind it, and if you can't find them on the Facebook, email me at cathy@cathyriggwriter and I will happily send them along!
I made this beautiful salad for Christmas dinner and it was quite the hit. Kale and Brussels Salad from Eating Bird Food. Marinated onions, yes, YUM.
Lordy lordy we finally started Yellowstone. Season One was so good (but so violent and some episodes I thought I might not go on with it, and then … but then I did). I had forgotten how much I love Kevin Costner, and I think he is a marvel in the series. How happy I am that he has this weighty roll.
It is one of my favorite reads, ever. How I loved Sue Monk Kidd's The Book of Longings. I wrote more about it in this post, but this story of Ana, the wife of Jesus, immersed me in the time and culture of ancient world of first century Palestine and Egypt and gave me beautiful space to consider Jesus's humanity in new ways. So, so good.
Alex Trebek's final Jeopardy! episodes air this week. Read more about that here.
in case you missed one or two, here's the series (but for 20, as per above)

Focus: Joy!

Seems like a mighty fine time to focus on some joy. Because it will be there this holiday season, and by golly we're going to call it out and celebrate it. Thirty Days of Joy is here!

30 DAYS OF JOY, the incomplete series

Day 1: Embrace the space in this COVID Christmas.
Day 2: Making room for new traditions.
Day 3: Let's begin every day like this.
Day 4: Stop, and play!
Day 5: There are certain truths in properly decorating a Christmas tree. Let's be at peace with this.
Day 6: The Secret Recipe–My World Famous Chex Party Mix!
Day 7: A hug to warm you.
Day 8: Prepare for your spirits to be lifted! It's the world's very best holiday playlist, EVER.
Day 9: Delivering Joy
Day 10: Year to year, age to age.
Day 11: Finding the perfect December read.
Day 12: Looking to the future.
Day 13: It's Day 19 of Advent. And how's that going?
Day 14: And about that sweet L.D.B.
Day 15: Making. Do.
Day 16: And on this Christmas Eve.
Day 17: Rest. Relax. Repeat.
Day 18: Man oh man, but that moon.
from Cat's Mountain, 5:33 pm, 1.2.21
(and Stella says hello)

Wear a mask. Extend grace. Love your neighbors well.

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