Kettle Talkers, I’ve packed up my kettle and Earl Grey and am embarking on a new adventure. To mark the occasion I wrote a little something.

New York City Is A Cantankerous Old Lady With A Past

By Lydia Holt

She came up from down south and

from across the sea.

She helped out at her parents’ green grocer stand that grew into a thriving business until they lost everything on Black Tuesday and her father jumped to his death.

She has slept on the A train from end to end to pass a night.

She was once a Vaudeville chorus girl and, when times got really tough, a Times Square girl. …

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The teacup before the tea. Photo by Lydia Holt

It happened. It actually happened. A few months ago when the husband broached the idea of moving to Iceland I was shook, as the kids say. I felt (and will probably continue to feel off and on) scared and anxious and my muffin of a husband gave me the space to feel my feelings. I poured myself many cups of tea and called my momma, because that’s what you do when the shit hits the fan both literally and figuratively. She assured me that no matter what we decided to do — regardless of if, when or where we moved — everything would be OK. Perhaps it was her reassurance that helped nudge me in the right direction but soon after that I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. When had I decided that I was incapable of changing my life’s course? I had locked myself into the mentality that my life could only be lived in New York and nowhere else and when I asked myself, why? I didn’t have an answer. New York is wonderful in many ways but it was bleeding us dry. Rent, health insurance, RENT and the cost of just about everything else is sky high in New York. The cost of living is also high in Reykjavík but when healthcare is dirt cheap, activities for the kids cost almost nothing and we have family here, our quality of life improves considerably. …

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Confused grass. Photo by Lydia Holt

Sudden warmth abounds

Lasting a few days at most

The chill still lingers

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Roots of my potato plant. Photo by Lydia Holt

Fine threads pierce the soil

Spreading in search of water

A micro green sprouts

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Bore tunnels or galleries of elm bark beetle larvae. Photo by Lydia Holt

Damned Dutch elm disease

Death by radiant tunnels

Downed and stripped, laid bare

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Campsite at Atlavík, Fljótsdalshérað, Iceland. Photo by Lydia Holt

A glade filled with sun

Warming us for a moment

Before the wind comes

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Photo by Lydia Holt

Woke up this morning

There was fog all around me

Wrapped about my soul

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Found in a rocky nook while hiking in Iceland. Photo by Lydia Holt

Solid and moving

Steadfastly, slowly changing

Refuge of new life

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An origami horse not made Lydia Holt. Photo by Lydia Holt

From nowhere it came

This horse was not made by me

Perfectly crafted


Strewn on the table

I do the origami

At my son’s behest

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Photo by Lydia Holt

Headless Godzilla


He takes up origami

But he cannot fold


The Kettle Is On

Writings of a tea enthusiast.

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