In early December a grim holiday season took a turn for the dark when I learned that my beautiful blue merle rescue collie, Layla, was diagnosed with lymphoma. I'd thought the red swollen area in her mouth was possibly an impacted tooth or something innocuous. 
         After many tears and much research, I decided to give her a chance with chemo even though the prospect frightens me. The pills are scheduled to arrive today, and I hope she'll tolerate them. All I want for Christmas is my dog healthy again with a reasonable life span. I've only had Layla for two years and three months.
         Is that asking too much?
         At first, I said that if I knew what was waiting for me in December, I would have left my Christmas tree in the basement. But I didn't. After Thanksgiving I decorated it and the many lights are somewhat comforting during these dreary sunless days.
         While Layla is resting or sleeping, I force myself to go back to my work-in-progress, So Long at the Park, although the progress is slow. I'm a few pages away from 200. Writing provides a brief distraction and keeps me mentally stable--I think--along with reading.
         As usual I've been lucky to choose some good books for my Kindle, among them the tenth Rose Simpson mystery, Murder on the Cornish Coast, by Margaret Addison and a Ginger Gold mystery by Lee Strauss, Murder at Brighton Beach.
         But as Christmas draws near, I plan to reread one of my favorite author's novels, To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis. It's a happy book, and I need some happiness if only illusionary.  By the way Ms. Willis' book is about time travel rather than a dog.
         I wish all of my readers a happy Christmas and a new year without the horrors of 2020.