Thursday, December 26, 2013

One breath. One song. Several pictures. One year.

Welcome to 2013: sometime in the middle of January, my car of 10 years dies. Time for a new(er) one. I guess it all has an age.

To sweeten the blow, my best girlfriends from out East come to spend almost a week of nefarious (hardly!) fun with me in Vegas! What a good start to a weird year!

First sign of spring: pipe bursts in the basement, when water thaws out from winter.

Sometime in there … Aa’s computer dies. Easter weekend – we buy a new one. It all comes with an age, yet again!

In April, we see Bon Jovi in concert in Salt Lake City. When you frown upon that, just think about where I originally come from. This is big deal, to me!

We find out that some of our friends from VA would like to come to UT for a week and sightsee. We are instantly hired as guides – one week in early June is booked! Hotels, rental car – the whole deal!

Sometimes in May – Aa. finds out he has to have massive oral surgery. But we put it off till end of June – the sightseeing trip, first, you see.

I find out that my favorite band (still together and still alive – Donna the Buffalo) is coming to Montana in late July. Eh, what’s Montana?! An itty bitty, 6 hour drive away. We’re booking it!

We’re adding to our yard’s landscape. Big time. And I am declaring the yard done! Of course, Aa. doesn’t believe me. But I want to be done, really. Planted some grass seed even, to see what the snow will magically do over the next winter. And next year, outside of my veggie garden, I am planting nada, people! Unless … something else dies. *sigh*

Trying to career switch in the middle of it all, too, just to keep it interesting. I get the new job in July. I get to start it in … middle of October. No stress at all, while in between “careers”. Not at all.

July is Steep Canyon Rangers with Steve Martin at Deer Valley for a night concert and stay.

August is Montana – deep, deep into its heart. Wind, dust and bluegrass music. Soaking in the pioneer and the settler history. Finally, a piece of my new history, revealed in sightseeing Helena, MT, visiting museums, the Capitol and buying some books.  

September is celebrating mom: 60 years of life. 40 years of marriage. And retired this year, too. We all meet, as a family, in Montreal. Best moment of the year, for me (outside of Aa. surviving the surgery and living to tell about it). My ever growing nephews move me to my core, for every second we spend together. Such a short and a full trip, I am grateful beyond belief!

October, two big milestones: I am finally free from the NC house! Three and a half years on the market and in no-man’s-land kind of situation, it sells! I am still in shock! I am still waking up at night in cold sweats, worrying that it’s in flames and I can’t be there to explain what happened.
In the second part of the same month: mom visits the American West for the first time. We tour the area with her. During the government’s (and the national parks’) shutdown and all. Utah, Arizona, Nevada, my head is spinning …

November is, finally, after some years, Michigan family time with Aa’s folks. I finally get to meet branches of family and friends that I have not met before. Again: after three and some years – the circle is finally getting close to complete!

And in December … I have negative three thousand units of energy left. Older, fatter and very much changed (and tired), with less trips on our roaster than I would have liked (always wanting more), here we are, at the end of this one.

My mantra of seeing every year at least one place I have never seen before is still standing. I have seen several places never seen before: the Bluff, UT area, Hoover Dam, as well as Monument Valley, Flagstaff and Sedona, AZ.

I keep reminding myself that there are people being shot, innocently, across the world and across the street. Right now. There are people dying of starvation as I type. Babies. Animals being tortured. Innocent. Homeless families, making a fire in the desert or the wilderness of Seattle, with nothing but each other to keep warm. Young people and old fighting cancer, for no particular reason at all, because cancer never makes any sense!

Babies and mommies dying in childbirth – never to know each other. Loss of homes – everywhere. Some of my own family finding it hard to find something to put on the table for New Years. Some people forced out of their countries by war and persecution, with nothing but a tarp between themselves and the world.

I am blessed. We are fortunate. We are here, together, employed and free, and managed to send a gift, however small, to the ones we love. We can see, pour ourselves a drink, and open a door with our own two hands. Our fridge is full of Christmas leftovers. We are lucky beyond words! God is amazing!

Not sure if I should keep riding the roller coaster right into 2014, or get off a little and breathe. Not sure if I have a choice, really.

I am letting the pictures speak for what I cannot describe anymore – a full year, of beauty and of love.

Happy New Year, everyone! Make it better. Make it fuller. Or make it equally as certain, as the last one, if you can. Whatever you do – just enjoy the ride and I hope you all find at least one thing to make you wonder …  

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