2013: A Year in Review

December 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

The year isn’t over yet, but I can’t imagine any breaking news — at least in my little world — that will happen in the next 10 days that will need to be accounted for in my annual review. Anything is possible, I suppose.

I want to remember days like this. Lazy Saturdays in the city. Some days filled with giggles and chatter about this and that, and talks of going to a thrift store in the afternoon. Other days filled with long drawn-out silences because an unkind word was spoken, and eventually broken with a warm embrace. And no matter what kind of day, we can always count on hot coffee and banana smoothies.

This Saturday, a Saturday supposed to be of packing and travel, is now a day for reading Hemingway and roasting coffee because of family sickness. We’ll see family soon enough, I’m sure of that.

We are in transition. Ben more than me right now. He hit send on his final paper last Monday, and so we went out to celebrate. We know we’ll be moving, but we don’t know where or when. I suppose anyone could make that statement and be truthful about it. Rest assured, we’ll make a grand announcement when we know where we’ll go. And until then — until we move — we’ll continue dreaming of chickens and goats and our Jardin du Durbin. And we realize it’s a big dream — and even a bit idyllic — but it’s our dream and I cannot wait to love an old broken down farmhouse.

We got married this year! I have to say being married to Ben is a whole lot more fun than dating Ben. I suppose a big reason for that is getting to live with him, rather than being four hours away and living in two separate worlds. For our honeymoon, we had planned to take a (romantic!) train to the arctic to kayak with whales under a midnight sun, but sometimes the reality of money gets in the way. And while “budget” and “honeymoon” usually don’t go together like “love” and “marriage”, we scaled back and spent two weeks in Wisconsin and Michigan and it could not have been any lovelier. We battened down the canoe, set sail in Lake Michigan for Rock Island, and got lost in the history of the old Viking boathouse. We tooled around his old home town and ate Subway sandwiches out by the lighthouse. We spent lots of money to go to Mackinac Island and learned of the old fur traders, witnessed a glorious sunset and an early sunrise, and smelled so much horse poop. Not without some drama, we nearly got stuck on a Great Lake in a great storm and eventually were rescued by reluctant vacationers. And so we went back to the log cabin to drink a bottle of wine and play Blackjack.

Work is treating me well. Clockwork is full of so many good people. Just being in their company makes me smile most days. My working hours are filled with emails and spreadsheets and staring at numbers in hopes of finding patterns and insights and things that will impress important people. All of this generally makes me glad to be doing what I’m doing, and often even energizes me. And when I come home from work, I do the sorts of ordinary things that lots of people do: sewing, exercising, and staring at some sort of screen.

I’ll be home with family in just a few days, and I’ll even have the privilege of meeting my newest niece, Iris Mabel. A little ray of hope, for the meaning of her name is rainbow. And it will be so loud and busy in that house, I won’t be able to hear myself think at the breakfast table. (Which is quite alright since thinking that early is not necessary.) There will be too much food, and presents we don’t need, but so much love. It will be magical. And best of all, I will get all of the hugs I want from those tiny children.

2013 has been a very good year. Of course not without some grief and heartache too — which is not discussed in Christmas letters — but not to be swept under the rug either.

This holiday season I wish you peace with your families, warmth in your homes, and a little bit of grace for those who offend and hurt you.

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