End of Year Review

Another year ends
Strange as 2020 was
There were happy times

Good morning and welcome to the last day of 2020 and my year end review. Despite not posting very often this year, my blog visits were up from last year. I did complete #NaPoWriMo in April, thanks in part to not having to score standardized tests. This may have been a factor to the increased traffic. At the end of February, we celebrated Shawn’s 48th birthday. We had no idea at the time it would be the last time we would enjoy an evening out.

Shawn and I at his birthday dinner

Then in April we celebrated the first birthday in quarantine, Gretchen’s 19th birthday on April 4th. Shawn picked up dinner from the very same restaurant we went to for his birthday and we decorated the backyard and had an enjoyable evening. I used the success of our first quarantine birthday as inspiration to submit a haiku to the OCMA sound collage. Also in April, Patricia posted one of my haiku on her Pea TV moment. It took some finessing as I’m not great at capturing hummingbirds on video; but as we were eating dinner one night, we saw a hummingbird enjoying the aloe out the window. And I confess, Gretchen was the one who captured the recording.

In May we were also busy, Gretchen finished her freshmen year at ASU on the Dean’s List while Robin graduated from ASU Summa Cum Laude.

Gretchen’s 1st year of college
Robin in cap & gown

Of course we had another quarantine birthday to celebrate on May 20, Robin turned 22. Near the beginning of the month, our internet went down for A WEEK. The only plus it happened after the last final was taken since everything went virtual in March, it would have been a hassle to figure out how to get finals completed without internet. For June and July we were alone together. Shawn has a great job and has continued working; Robin finished employment at ASU in May since he graduated. He was still going to work at 4 paws but it was not every day. Then on August 1st we packed up the van Shawn dragged me over to the dealership at the end of May to buy and we took a road trip up to Oregon. Robin started his first year at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine in September.

Gretchen and Robin in Corvallis

In October Shawn and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary in quarantine. There was one good thing to come from having all these celebrations at home. Shawn learned how to cook a proper steak. We had filet mignon medium rare. Then the following weekend Shawn talked me into an overnight camping trip at White Tanks. In November I celebrated my birthday in quarantine. Once again Shawn cooked an excellent steak and we had lobster tails to make it surf and turf. Then in December Robin and Gretchen wrapped up their second semester of virtual learning. Robin earned a 3.7 his first semester of veterinary school and Gretchen has a 3.6! Both are doing very well in this mixed up year of schooling. And as you can see, I’ve stopped adding links to my review since most everything can now be found on my blog’s home page as I really sloughed off updating the blog after May.

Hello 2018

Old rolls into new
marked by clock chiming midnight
Calendar not changed

 

Happy New Year! I am not a fan of resolutions to me one day rolls into the next and why let an arbitrary day mark a new beginning? If I want to make a change, I make it when it works best for me not based on a day in a calendar. Yesterday was the first day of the new year and the start of a new month. I was just in my kitchen, pouring my second cup of coffee for the morning; I looked over at the calendar and realized it was stuck in 2017.

Speaking of not following arbitrary dates, the City of Avondale issues free calendars every year that start July 1 and run through the end of June. There was no need to change my calendar; I just needed to flip to the new month. However I guess I was being a little lazy yesterday and didn’t think about the wall calendar. So welcome to the second day of January and hopefully a more prolific blog.

2017 – Year in Review

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For the last day of 2017, I decided to look at my yearly stats. This past year my blog views went down from 2016. The reason why, I simply have not posted as often. I noticed in March I wrote about Shawn’s 45th birthday. Wow that feels like it was more than a year ago. Still one of my favorite photos of Shawn and me; I can’t believe the canvas print has been on my wall for such a short time. Then at the end of March I started an honest to goodness job (you know something with more reliable pay than writing). Despite working in April, I finished another year of NaPoWriMo – go me!

Of course after that my posts really became sluggish, not sure where my muse went off to this year. It was a little disappointing Silver Birch Press went on hiatus and then decided to close. Melanie always came up with refreshing prompts. I did not write for all of them, but I enjoyed reading everyone’s work and recognizing names of poets who became regular contributors like me.

At the end of May, my job wrapped up and Gretchen began a new adventure, taking courses at the community college. Rachael finished her first year at ASU, working hard to maintain her 4.0 GPA. The hard work seems to be paying off as the honor society invites have rolled in this past semester. Then in July I flew up to Buffalo and then my family (Dad and three sisters) traveled to Germany. I learned about the elevenie (German elfchen) during NaPoWriMo this year and put it to good use when I got back from Germany. You know me, I like short pieces. Pecking on the keyboard with one hand, short and sweet is much easier.

And that pretty much brings us to today as my blog lacked many posts in September, October or November. At the midpoint of December I blogged about my November; I had a nice birthday dinner at the Wigwam Resort. Then we had a quiet Thanksgiving and Rachael finished her fall semester by the first week of the month. An early end means an early start, school resumes for both girls on January 8th and the routine begins over again in 2018. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. And to friends and family back East – stay warm.

Contemplate finish
Keep thrill alive; transition
See new beginning