Happy New Year everyone! I’m writing this from the west Coast—Malibu to be precise—one of the few places in the country where it’s above freezing (well above, in fact; it’s 70˚ today and the skies are clear if a little hazy). I feel almost guilty sharing that information, knowing the miserable conditions so many of you are enduring back east. I can’t imagine what New York City feels like at 6˚, to say nothing of the bone shattering temperatures in places like Chicago and Minnesota (where it was -15˚ yesterday!), though that doesn’t lessen my empathy for what you’re all going through. I guess what I’m trying to say is I feel for you, even if I can’t imagine what you’re actually feeling. Still—and I hope you’ll forgive me for saying this—I’m mighty glad to be where I am. Though we didn’t plan this as a vacation (something I’ve been reminding myself all week as I drag myself over to the keyboard) our timing couldn’t have been better. And while we’re not exactly kicking up our feet, it’s definitely been a “get-away,” with all of the restorative connotations that phrase carries with it.

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