Resolutions aside, here's a brief summary of what went down in December and where I'm at now in writing and, well, everything.
I want to start by saying that this year, especially, we all have a very strong common reason to appreciate every glimmer of good in our lives. This post is not about that tragedy. But before I talk about my little tiny life, I want to say for the record I sincerely believe we all owe it to humanness itself to remember and appreciate.
1) We almost ran out of gas getting the Christmas Tree at George's in Paynes Creek. But we didn't.
2) My sister's home in the country is our traditional Christmas Eve location and this year she decided to drive her family to Idaho to spend it with my brother and his family. So we tried to bring that Christmas Eve magic to our house, but it didn't turn out. The picture above is my brother's house. Can you really blame her?
3) The place where we've purchased our Christmas Eve dungeness crab for the last, oh, 100 years, closed down. Someone took it over. The someone who took it over ran out of crab. So I was forced to purchase frozen snow crab as a replacement. No one ate it.
4) Our tree fell down a few days before Christmas, very nearly beaning my daughter, who was sleeping under it. We had to rewrap some well-watered gifts and redecorate the tree.
5) My son (11) broke some rules and found himself grounded for the first time in his life, and for the entirety of winter break.
6) He also got a terrible, 102 degree temperature flu around the 21st or 22nd. I decided it looked like a lot of fun, so I got said flu on Christmas Eve. My oldest daughter took it back to Sacramento with her. It was one of those week-long endeavors for which I am eternally grateful.
7) Since there was so much sick going on, Christmas Day was spent at home, just seven of us, instead of at my love's family dinner.
8) I got up Christmas morning, went back to bed, got up for a couple of hours in the evening and then didn't leave the bedroom until some time on the 27th.
1) It's also the Christmas we got Marcy. Marcy is my son's cat. Above all the gadgets and toys he wanted, this kitten was the real thing, the one real thing he wanted. And we had decided against it until a few days prior. The way we did it was we shopped for all the care items one would need to have a cat and wrapped that for Christmas morning. This way he could pick his kitten. He sobbed. And he's not a sobbing kind of kid. Like the Red Ryder BB gun, it may be the best present he has ever gotten or will ever get.
2) A few days later we took my daughter (13) and picked a dog out at the rescue. Why we did it this way is she had asked for a Chinchilla for Christmas and we decided not to go there. But when my boy got his cat, her need for a pet of her own became first and foremost in her mind. Her name (the dog) is Haley and she's wonderful. The two new animals in our home have brought in new life and new personality and our two younger kids will now have that experience. (I should note that we had three animals, two dogs and a cat, that were older and all passed within the last two years. So we've been without pet for several months.)
3) This was the year, the first in a while, when both our older kids 23 and 24 made it back for Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day. And because of sicknesses, it was just us. We lazed around and watched movies, ate goodies, generally trashed the house and just loved on each other. This made these days special in a way I haven't felt in a long time. My older daughter said it best, "I couldn't have had a better Christmas."
4) This past Saturday, I got my bike out of layaway. It's a 2012 Jamis Ventura Sport. It's beautiful and I took it for its maiden voyage yesterday, 25 miles around town and around the Sacramento River Trail. What an amazing difference from my old Schwinn mountain bike. Since I'd been sick and since I hadn't ridden anything indoors or outdoors for two weeks, it just about did me in, but it didn't matter.
So now the tree is gone, the decorations have all been put away, the house is clean and the older kids have returned to their homes. The strongest memories I have this year are of the best moments.
So it's a new year.
I'm ready to ride my bike as much as weather will allow.
I'm ready to write my story as much as my creative juices will allow.
I'm ready to live my life as much as life will allow.
I'm ready to love my family as much as my heart will allow.
It's a good place to be.