So Much December


For us this big, crowded, happy month held a hard punch. Last week we had to send our sweet, sweet Homer over The Rainbow Bridge. He went out of our lives as gently as he came into them. He was always our no-fuss, no-drama boy. Kind-hearted, laid back and loving. Twelve years ago this coming spring, I crouched among a litter of frisky, excited pups, wondering how I would ever pick The One.

And while his litter mates all but did handsprings, he walked over, easy and quiet, put his paw on my knee. Just looked at me as if to say: I’ve been waiting for you.
It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
I’m grateful for the many distractions of the season–they help. We had a fun and festive holiday book signing earlier in the month, and our Kayla’s holiday chorus concert.IMG_1240
This past Friday I held my annual Christmas party here for our (female) managers. Just girls, fun, a little food and a lot of bubbly!
holiday girls
The weekend was packed with at-home tasks (my favorite). I finished all the wrapping–bring it on, baby! Made a kind of kitchen-sink ham and veggie soup with beans and pasta, then prepped some ribs, marinating them in zingy sauce overnight for Sunday dinner. Baked my annual raisin bread, finished proofing galleys and generally put my house in order.
Left on the list: Cookie baking. We’re set with grandkids on that fun time forSaturday. Then it’s party here, party there, party everywhere.
Oh yeah, bring it on.

72 thoughts on “So Much December”

  1. Happy Holidays to all, or as Eddie Murphy said in “Trading Places”-‘A Merry New Year’ to all! Thanks again and looking forward to 2016 NR/JD joy. 🙂

  2. So sorry for the loss of your dog. I have 2 Yorkies and I know how much I would miss them. They are such a part of my life and help me through my depression due to health issues. Just know he will always be with you.

    Have a happy holiday.

  3. So sorry to hear of Homer’s passing. I looked at his picture on the back cover of The Search, on of my favourite books. We lost our 13 year old chocolate lab, Max, a few years ago and it still stings. Wishing you and your family a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year! Looking forward to all the new releases.

  4. My sympathy on losing your beloved furbaby. It’s never easy to make that decision, and more so at this time of year. Pain eases with time and you learn to live with it. I have 3 adopted furbabies (all dachshunds) but even so, still miss my doxie girl that we adopted at 8 weeks in 2001. She passed about 2 1/2 years ago. Have fun with your family!

  5. Always figured the Homer in the Key trilogy was when your Homer found you. It is never easy, but you gave him a wonderful life in return of his gentle love. Wishing you the best of a merry holiday.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my precious “Chocolate” Lab in January of this year. He was 13. He loved to watch TV. He was a big fan. It is very hard to say good bye.

  7. So sorry to read that you lost your sweet Homer at a time when we hope for all things joyful….though there is never a good time to lose our dogfolks.

  8. Our dog a Blue Heeler named Dolly chose me in much the same way as your Homer chose you, in a litter of 9 good sized crazy puppies Dolly was the 4lb runt who just came over and sat on my feet…. looked up at me in such a way like she was saying “what took you so long? Well let’s go home!” 5 years later she is still the runt and still sits on my feet everyday! I hope this season continues to soften the blow of losing Homer!

  9. I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your beloved Homer. I absolutely love raisin bread so much, and your loaves look delicious. I can almost smell them from here in Brooklyn. Have a happy and merry Christmas — as always, thanks for writing!


  10. I understand perfectly Nora re your Doggie I have some very good news for you in case you were not shown this before but When My constant companion was lying behind my knees and I of course was reading I saw this Huge flash of blinding light in my mind I jumped up and she was gone just like that so Instantly I knew beyond a shadow of doubt All Life is precious to God her little spirit moved on :))) God bless each of and and a Merry Christmas to all. this is Shirl4 Nora in VA

  11. So sorry to hear of your fur babies passing. !!! I know from your books your love of dogs, family and gardening. So hard to say goodbye to them.!! May the season wrap u in it’s warmth and love!!

  12. Our yellow Lab Missy was 13. People say Labs stay puppies until they’re 3 or 4 years old. She would play with the boys, but when they weren’t playing, she was a speed bump- I wondered if she was broken. She passed over the Rainbow Bridge a year ago in January. I can’t eat a tomato without thinking about her going in the garden and picking the ripe ones until we put up a fence. I wish they could live as long as we do.

  13. I’m sorry for your loss. When my dad had to put his dog down, he did it shortly after my younger nephew was born. It is a lot easier to deal with when you have other things to occupy your mind. Josie was 14 when that happened.

  14. So Sorry, my condolences on the loss of your sweet puppy boy. I know he will wait for you at the Rainbow Bridge. A lovely memory of how he came into your lives, priceless. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss. It breaks the heart when they must ‘go on’. We lost our elderly labs over the holidays the last two years, but are thankful for the joy they gave us. Bright blessings for the rest of your Christmas holidays. Your stories give me so much pleasure.

  16. I’m so sorry to hear about Homer. I loved your story about how Homer came to live with you. I picked my Evanne at 9 days old. The breeder told me I couldn’t pick a dog at 9 days old but it wasn’t long before our Evannn picked us. A dog knows the right human for them. I now have 4 Labradors and in some way they each picked us as their human. Our dogs are a large part of our lives and it hurts to lose them. You are in my prays during this difficult time.

  17. Sorry for the loss of Homer. Furry family members are as much of a loss as other family. It’s tough to experience loss around the holidays, my father passed a few weeks ago and I find myself having a tough time getting in the spirit of things. I will have to get myself busy like you to get back in the swing of things. 🙂 Merry Christmas Nora!

  18. After finding the loveliest little guy at a shelter in 2009, my family welcomed him with open arms and hearts. In January this year, he crossed the rainbow bridge and broke my heart. He was as much one of my children, as the human variety are. I feel your sadness for the loss of your furbaby, though they never truly leave us. Bright blessings to you and yours this holiday season.

  19. So very sorry for you loss of Homer. No matter when it happens, how old he is, why it happens, it is always hard. You have my sympathy.

  20. I ‘m so sorry Homer passed. Dogs are family with unconditional love & comfort. We just gave up Christmas to save our dog, we cried for 2 days because they didn’t think she was going to make it. Thank you for sharing Homer’s finding you & his passing with us. Merry Christmas.

  21. My heartfelt sympathies on the loss of your sweet boy. We, too, have lost several and it is never easy, no matter the time of year. He was a darling looking lad, from his picture above. Our golden Mac was picked out by my cocker spaniel, Cassie. She culled him out of the pile of writhing pups and brought him over to me; and our mini Schnauzer Scotty picked us out of all the humans that day. So I know about which you speak – it is a special honor to be picked by our four legged friends. My best to you this holiday season and may your memories of Homer keep your eyes bright! Best, Sandie from NJ, an avid fan!

  22. So sorry for the loss of your Homer. We lost our lab two months ago…..he would have been 8 next week. It hurts so much to lose them.

  23. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Thank you, particularly, for sharing the story of how Homer came into your life. May that memory and all the other joyful moments in your time together bring you comfort.

    They live on in our hearts…

  24. I’m a firm believer in puppies choosing their forever homes, a lovely memory. We have a beautiful young black Lab who is due to be mated soon and we are looking forward to seeing her babies when it finally happens. Merry Christmas to you and thank you for your wonderful books that help me escape into other times and worlds.

  25. So very sorry to hear of the passing of Homer. Our four legged family members are loved as much as our two legged members. Have a very Happy Christmas and may the New Year bring Peace.

  26. I hope you & yours have beautiful holidays, and I hope the spark of Christmas shines into the dark space of losing your Homer, making the loss easier to bear.

  27. My deepest condolences on the lost of a dear family member. Seems no matter how these wonderful souls choose us, it’s heartbreaking to let them go. Hold on to the memories. I watch peoples dogs so they can travel and have lost 5 precious souls this year alone, each one a river of tears. Have a good holiday sharing those memories. Thank you for all your works over the years.

  28. I’m so sorry about Homer. What a beautiful boy he was. I hope that in time your memories of him will bring you comfort and smiles. What a wonderful and busy holiday season you have. All the best to you and yours for Yuletime and the New Year!

  29. My dog’s name is Homer! So sad to hear of your loss. He looks like a gentle sweetheart. RIP Homer and peace to you and your family.

  30. So sorry to hear about your furbaby Homer! we all know he’s in a good place and was thoroughly loved by you and he had a good long life. I still miss my babies.
    That bread looked good! I’ve never tried baking bread, but I’m gonna make a cream cheese pound cake tomorrow . the last two turned out good, so I’m gonna try it again.
    Thanks for sharing!

  31. Sorry for the loss of Homer, and happy your family and the bustle and beauty of the Season give you comfort. So sweet that he calmly chose you!

  32. Sorry to hear about Homer. Time will heal your pain. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  33. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a sweet tale of how you were chosen! We should all hug our pooches and kitties closer.

  34. I am so sorry you lost Homer and thank you for the story of him choosing you. Keeping busy will help but a good cry couldn’t hurt. Hug the grandkids a little tighter this year and eat another cookie! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  35. My holiday has been the same. My 14 yo cat went over the bridge the day after Thanksgiving. I’m so sorry for your loss. You don’t realize how much richer they make your life til they are gone.

  36. I am so very sorry for your loss of Homer. I know you must have a lot of wonderful memories to help get you through though. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas. May you have a very Happy New Year!!

  37. I am so sorry for your loss of Homer. It’s hard anytime, but especially around Christmas. Healing prayers are coming your way.
    Hope you have a Merry, blessed Christmas filled with everything and everyone you love.
    Marsha Lewis.

  38. Homer looks just like my “Lady” Lady will be 16 in a couple of weeks and will soon be heading over the rainbow bridge. She is ready, but I am having a difficult time. I have had her since I found her in our fields when she was just a puppy. I know how you feel. So sorry for your loss.

  39. So sorry to hear of Homer’s passing. Lost my 15 year old golden , Levi, 2 years ago, still miss him everyday.

  40. I’m so sorry for the loss of Homer. It sounds like you have good memories to soften the blow. Also know that you gave that beautiful boy a wonderful home and family.

  41. I am so sorry for you loss of Homer. Each one you lose take a piece of your heart with them. My last loss was in 2013 and I am still missing her so much, I told my 2 they have to last a long long time. One is 11 and the other we adopted after the loss is around 8. They are so much company. Try to enjoy your holiday. Sounds like you have little ones to help.

  42. So sorry for your loss. It is hard to loose a pet. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy all the parties. See you in February!

  43. Sending you love and light in sympathy for the loss of your beloved Homer. Tears at your telling of how he chose you.
    I wish you and your family and loved ones the merriest, brightest and blessed Christmas/ Yule/New Year!

  44. How sad about Homer 🙁 We have a 14 year old pit bull-Romeo- that is having small issues and as I sat and read your story I wondered how it will be when it’s Romeo’s time…..I try not to think about it because I cry when I do.
    I’m sure Homer had a wonderful life and is running around with all the other pups 🙂

    Peggy in NJ

  45. Sorry for your loss of your beloved Homer. My family and I just lost our 8 year old irish wolfhound mix, Maggie mae.

  46. So sorry to hear about Homer. It is so hard to lose a family pet. Hope your holiday season will be merry and bright!

  47. On Sep 16, we had to say goodbye to our sweet girl Murphy and watch her go over The Rainbow Bridge. She went peacefully leaving a big void in our hearts. Murphy was 16 and very sweet and loving but her little body was giving out. I feel your pain with losing your Homer. So very sorry for you and your family.

  48. So so sorry for your loss. Losing a family member is heartbreaking. May your memories give you comfort.

  49. I am so sorry to hear about your Homer 🙁 My heart goes out to you and your family ! Losing our pets is losing a family member ! Sending you hugs in this rough time !
    Merry Christmas to you and your family 🙂

  50. So sorry to read about Homer’s moving on and over the Rainbow Bridge. His tasks to brighten your life and add peace are done. He is still watching over your family, however. Have a good holiday and a very happy new year.

  51. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sure Homer holds a piece of your heart.

  52. Well damn. So sorry to hear about Homer. May the rest of December bring all of you great joy.

  53. I am so very sorry. I KNOW how bad it hurts to lose a close companion. May God bless you and ease your pain.

  54. I lost my Darby 3 years ago and I talk to him every day. I’m staying with my dad in Boonsboro but when I miss my Darby or need a pick me up I cross the river to Harpers Ferry to visit my friend that runs an animal hospice. The animals don’t care what’s wrong with me they just love on me. The latest are puppies that were dumped at the local 7-11. We holler “puppies” and they come running.

  55. I am so sorry about Homer..I have 5 fur babies and love mine very much. My babies are all getting older, and I so dread The Rainbow Bridge time that will come one day. My prayers for you all. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  56. So very, very sorry for the loss of your sweet family member. Wishing you and yours a bittersweet Merry Christmas.

  57. Wishing you and your family a Magical Christmas and the comfort of loving Spirits surrounding you.

    Thank You for filling me with adventure & love through your books.

  58. My deepest sympathy on your loss of Homer. I have several fur babies waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. It is never easy to let them go but they will be waiting for us. My chocolate lab “Blue” crossed over 10 yrs ago and I still miss him terribly. They take a piece of our heart with them.

  59. So sorry for your loss. It’s been nearly 3 years since we lost our old dog. He was nearly the same age as our oldest son and I miss him still… Even with the “puppy” who is not so much of a puppy now…

  60. Heartfelt condolences on the loss of Homer. I too was forced to loose my beagle, Shelby, this past week. We shared a life of love, fun, and snuggles. It will be a struggle to get through this holiday season but I am receiving reminders that we gave fulfilling lives and a good home to our furbabies. There is no love greater than a loyal companion filled with unconditional love. Thank you for sharing your loss with us. I truly believe they will be with us forever in our hearts.

  61. So sorry to hear that. It’s never easy. I just lost my 14 year old Australian Shepherd on the 1st. Hope you have a great Christmas despite that.

  62. I’m so sorry to hear about Homer. I just finished The Search and was admiring your babies on the back cover and loving them. I know he was an important family member.
    I hope the rest of the holiday goes well and you are blessed and comforted with the joy of spending time with each other.
    From our family to yours Happy Christmas and a joyous New Year.

  63. Sorry about Homer. It’s always tough to lose a beloved member of the family.

  64. I am sorry to hear about Homer. My 2 pups, Max and Simon, are my first ever dogs and I do not want to think about that dreaded day. I am sure he was loved and is watching over you and your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  65. So sorry for your loss, Nora. No words can really comfort; however, know Homer is waiting to greet you on the other side.

  66. Fell in love with your dogs when you had them on the cover of your book. So sad to read of Homer’s passing. What a sweetheart! Thank you for sharing your news, but now I am in tears, so I was glad to read a story about your cookies after.

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