A few goodbyes and a couple of hellos.

With a sigh of relief I said farewell to 2008 on December 31. The last few months of the year have been unbelievably difficult, but about three weeks ago I uncurled myself from a fetal position, got off the kitchen floor, took a deep breath and an even deeper swallow of tequila and decided to get on with it. I have never been so happy to begin a new year.

Saying goodbye to my life in the Bear River Valley has not been easy. It’s the sort of place that creeps into your subconscious and won’t let you go. It gets under your skin. Literally. For as I sit writing this, my inner thighs are covered in ugly red welts. They get like this every few days, and when I feel the familiar itching and burning, I know that the Bear River Valley and its state flower, the poison oak plant, have not unleashed me yet.

I’ve washed all my clothes, towels and sheets. I’ve scrubbed my shoes. I’ve cleaned everything I can possibly think of that might have come in contact with the nasty oil. I’ve even searched my yard here in Loleta for signs of the plant but have found nothing.

I’ve begun to think that the only answer is that we need closure – the valley and me. So here is my final goodbye to 2008, as well as a hopeful hello to ’09. After all, as my Rio Dell grandma would say, “When God closes a door, he never quite closes it all the way, so the wind keeps blowing it open and gets dirt everywhere and you have to chase the chickens out with a broom.”

Or something like that.

Goodbye bright blue skies of ABBA ranch.

Farewell, my sweet 2408. You’re a punk, but I love you.

Adios, favorite rusty truck.

So long toilet graveyard.

I’ll be seeing you, strapping ranch hand. No, really. I’ll be seeing you.

Goodbye gorgeous rose of summer.

And goodbye to you, too, chilly rose of winter.

Farewell dry wit and dripping faucets.

See you later, tomato dreams.

It’s time to move on, poison oak. Think of this as an opportunity for growth and just let go. You can do it.

And you, beautiful Bear River. I’ll miss you the most. Even with the giardia.

Phew.

And so…..

Hello 2009.

Hello hope and happiness and light and laughter.

Hello Gilded Rose.

Hello, delicious cosmopolitan. I know you’re oh-so-1998, but I don’t care.

And hello drinking companion with big hands.

You know what they say. Big hands, big brain.

Or something like that.

Happy New Year!

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15 responses to “A few goodbyes and a couple of hellos.

  1. I’m sorry for your loss, Kristabel. Onto something new and wonderful and interesting. As Ernie wrote so eloquently on my blog, one of these days you’ll look back on this time from the vantage point of great happiness that eclipses sorrow. Or something like that.Here’s to happiness in 2009!I really love the bratty bull sticking out his tongue over his shoulder.

  2. Oops, I forgot to tell you the secret to getting rid of poison oak. Something called Domboro’s solution (pretty sure I’m spelling that wrong). If you ask the pharmacist for it, she will hand you an envelope or a pkg of envelopes of powder that you mix with water. It is soothing to hold compresses of this over the welts and it dries them right up. Likewise a tea made of manzanita leaves, not to drink but to use as compresses, has the same effect. If you get the leaves from somewhere near your new home, you’ll get the added benefit of conquering the psychological side of this too.If this is all popping up without contact with the plant, you might try taking benedryl or some other antihistamine. Maybe you are getting it from your animals, maybe they are coming into contact with clothes on the floor. So maybe give the animals a bath too. Poison oak definitely kicks you when you’re down, so getting your spirit stronger will fight it off. I know I sound like a hippy about this but I’ve had this battle myself.Good luck!

  3. Oh! I agree that the valley has some sort of charm that completely overtakes you. It’s truly God’s country, and with ranch hands like that, it certainly visually appealing :-). I just griped on my blog about poison oak and in fact, I had to get a cortisone shot last week. Some of my posters left some great home remedies. I have a feeling you’ll like Kym’s. Have a great New Year.

  4. Don’t you have stories about some of these pictures? Why don’t you link to so we can read them again. Good luck in 09.

  5. …And life goes on, as they say…and on, and on, and on. 2009 will definitely be a better year for you, Kristabel. Know that some people will always love you for the solid, loving, wonderful, giving, smart, caring and beautiful person that you are!

  6. Thanks a bunch, Indie! You do sound like a very sweet hippie. I’m wishing you happiness in 2009 too.Sandi, I’ll try anything with orgasmic as a description. Thanks!Jen, the articles you sent me were unexpected and helped more than I probably expressed to you. Thank you.

  7. Dear Demanding Anonymous 3:51,While my first reaction was to tell you to look through the damn archives yourself, after thinking it through I’ve decided it’s a good idea. I’ll do it soon. xo

  8. Hey I love your blog!followed 24-08’s link back to the story and cracked up. Hope 2009 is a great year for you.

  9. Nice to see you Saturday night! Especially in that cute black dress and fancy red bra…ummmmm…I mean, in that conservative, pant suit and turtleneck sweater……………..Happy New Year! I miss you. Let’s have lunch or a girls sleepover soon!xoxoxoxoxo, Erin

  10. Hey, girl,It was nice to see you too, and I love the cute new profile pic.I’m totally down for a drunken sleepover soon. Sounds like a good way to start the new year.xo

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