What was with 2014 and the period approaching it? For me, a bad two years exploded into the worst loss for us personally. I wonder if anyone was elated this year, or noticed a grim quality. Any year of a death is remembered bleakly. But universe, big picture-wise: could it have been a year of hardship to overcome for many? On one hand, I struggle to say what I liked about this period and on the other, I’m comforted by not being alone in discontent with it. I wondered if I ought to supress and bipass, or share a cleaning out exercise. I will be relieved it was said. This is a place to hear opinions, stories, voices and I will appreciate your two cents.
The two years leading up to 2014 were unhappy. Harsh, uncompromising neighbours and a poorly-positioned dog nearly sent us screaming from our land. All daylight hours – for two years. Last December these renters moved down the road. For the first time in two years we could have a cup of coffee outside, in our own lawn chairs. I was full of hope. I stopped looking over my shoulder. I felt free and enjoyed my home. I hadn’t taken videos of my cats in years, nor the photography I liked to do and resumed it a little.
In February, I saw a dentist in the city out of duress and was stopped by police for speeding. I deserved to be stopped. It isn’t safe for me, other people, nor insects and animals. The sum went far in excess of setting me straight: a usually law-abiding, good person who made a mistake. I won’t speed again but our family couldn’t afford half that and my driver’s license would have been compromised. Mercifully it was recanted for ‘a clerical error’. I was grateful. I had hope again. I believed 2014 would be good and full of joy. We would discover in August that, way back that month, neighbours we liked very much were killed on highway ice.
Mom’s elderly friend died in the fall but for this educator and lady of clergy, it’s a celebration. I regret the passings of Mary Stewart and P.D. James but like most authors, they reached 98 and 94. These are honoured transitions rather than losses. No one could expect to live longer than that and I am pleased for them. A very decent man with whom I worked, died of a heart attack in the summer. He *always* exercised. I say the same about my fiancé’s 24 year-old co-worker, whom we just learned died of cancer. Also the Mother-in-law of my fiancé’s sister and the Father of a friend of ours, died right before Christmas. To badly-timed or young death, I ask why? Right after our strong, bright, young cat in July; Robin Williams and Joan Rivers died unnecessarily.
My fiancé & I went for our yearly drive to a beach town. The chip truck on the way is gone, because the owner’s wife died. When we reached the town that is usually our respite, our waitress’ Mom was in brain surgery. Earlier that hard day, I lost a newborn mouse I had been trying to save for four days. And due to a cool spring, a good deal of our garden didn’t have time to grow. Our surviving pumpkins recently became ripe. Some are the size of oranges. It was a year when I needed people to hear me, answer me more than ever but my posts were seldom seen, or replied to anywhere. I felt ignored and heavy-hearted. I’m immensely grateful to those who stepped up. We always remember them.
When I think of what good I could name, I came up with a few things. I am still a ‘glass full’ person. Even I had to scrape but I’m going to close this airing-out effort, with what’s good! Please feel welcome to air out, or thank along with me, whatever leaps to mind in your lives. At my birthday and New Year’s eve, I started a ‘throw your problems into the fire’ tradition. We build a camp fire out the back door and everyone writes what they wish on scrap paper. We can say I’ve done it here. I leave you with scraps of good things. :-)
* Our cat Love, a son to us, lived for most of 2014. I heard his voice on September 4! Nothing like that happened to me before and I am grateful for the gift.
* The rest of our gardens and flowers did grow, including four determined Morning Glories.
* My Mom solved a health problem before it became a heart attack.
* We saw a great Queen concert in June.
* I encountered stellar deals on books at the top of my wish list and yard sale items too.
* I saw my niece, youngest brother, and sister-in-law this Christmas.
* My in-laws gave me the most exciting, intuitive presents than ever.
* My middle brother and sister-in-law married in May.
* I had a very good turn-out, if not brief for weather, for my birthday in November.
* I won a few prizes from reading challenges and Goodreads.
* We had a very nice New Year’s eve with townspeople we hadn’t visited before.
* Our other six cats and ourselves are alive and well.
I have new subscribers to this blog, new guests in my reading challenges, and standing guests are returning. I have made friendships with many of YOU! You gave me something to smile about this year. You helped me breathe when it was hardest. You give me a reason to keep writing and keep being sociable. This post, about life instead of books, is an honest thank-you to everyone who connected with me. I was grasping for reasons to smile in 2014. Every little straw extended my way, did me a world of good. If you ever need a boost, I will be there for YOU. Yours, Carolyn.