Well, it’s official: I’m a snowbird. Tomorrow morning I’ll commence the journey southward, Florida-ward, not to return till January is nearly in the rearview. I can’t deny that I’m looking forward to escaping the winter for a time. It’s been a cold winter thus far in the city and I’m ready for vitamin D and family time. Tomorrow I’ll aim for Hillsborough, North Carolina and the charming little abode of M.C. and her little budding family. Then it’s on toward Sarasota, where I’ll work the Christmas week at Elysian Fields, to my delight.

I’ve been helping out at the design office, running Christmassy errands and gluing golden buttons and ribbon onto red toy soldier hats. In between that and modeling, plus the occasional catering shift and manicures at the Beauty Bar, I’ve been working away on illustrating the story I wrote about my sister Erika last fall in California.

erika soars

erika soars

the man

the man




It’s fun to visualize the story and it is good to have an outlet for the powerful feelings that this time of year invariably engenders. The anniversary of my uncle’s death combined with the all-permeating lack of Erika makes the run up to the holidays something of a crescendo of mourning, though it is always mediated with the sweetness of seeing family and friends. Erika loved Christmas and we all feel her absence increasingly once the summer fades with Labor Day weekend – which was her last. As mom says, she never missed a Christmas with the family. I suppose I have yet to get into the spirit, though the season is all around. I can’t help but wish I was planning a trip to Brazil, as Erika and I did a few years ago, as it turned out, on the last New Year she’d celebrate.

sisters in rio - 2010/2011

sisters in rio – 2010/2011

Yesterday I went to the Beauty Bar to set up for my typical shift, when I realized the bar was colonized by a horde of santas, drunken, shoving into the already impossibly packed space. I managed to set up my table and do a couple of manicures before the end of my shift. I celebrated for one last glass (plastic cup) of prosecco in 2013 and headed home to work and rest and recover from all the santas.

The day has faded swiftly and I still have much to do before I leave tomorrow. I’m looking forward to a season of Elysian Fields, beaches, music, family. And I’ve already got an appointment with an artist about my tribute tattoo to Erika.

tattoo design

tattoo design

Well, I’d better get packing.

Love and miss,