in which our plucky heroine attempts summation...
Overall, looking back through a year of what seemed worth writing down, and remembering what was too sharp to commit to words, 2011 has been a year of difficulty and joy intermixed. Losing a close friend, and my own ongoing health challenge are heavy on my heart nowadays. And was I successful in meeting the goals that seemed both lofty and realistic last January? Not specifically; the hopeful concepts did not end up connecting with specific actions. But, in a way, there was progress in kindness, handicraft, and infrastructure.
While I am no more nimble or lithe than when the last year turned, I did get my left hand repaired, and expect that now it will last me my time. That project took a fair bit of concerted effort over much time to arrange, and several months to recover from.
A fair bit of travel this last year, to California and back on the train, a number of happy visits up to Littlerock and environs thereabout, and field trips both round the city, eastwards to Mt Hood and to New Stonehenge, and west to the coast. Travel is an adored treat, and these trips all had dear folks either accompanying or at journeys end.
There was plenty of the usual sewing room projects, though more focused on the practical than the fanciful this year. The camera saw a lot more use this year as well, gradually becoming a familiar companion on my rambling round. Workroom projects were not as numerous as in former years, but there were enough to keep my skills from rusting (of course, having months off to let my hand heal was part of that...)
Acorn Cottage had some modest improvements this year: the pantry shelves are now reinforced with openwork grilles (in lieu of doors) that will help keep the contents in place, there is a new light fixture and beautiful nightlight in the bathroom, new shelves in the sewing room and a frame for the guest futon, undercabinet LED lights in the kitchen, and most wonderful of all there are no longer holes in the workroom ceiling, but that is all neatly patched over. A beginning was made on an improved garden plan for the future, and the remaining hens are busy clearing off the grass.
A great deal more focus on adding resilient knowledge this year; while I have some solid skills already, there is always more to learn. Have a bit better stocked "earthquake/emergency shelf" than this time last year, and good connections to other friends with similar concerns. The "Resiliency Rangers" took several field trips last year, up into the hills, where there was a chance to do what one dear friend describes as "making sudden loud noises and knocking over cans..."
I started learning how to handle firearms this year, a skill that had always seemed as necessary and useful to my mind as knowing how to swim. What began as a random conversation with a friend ended up with an invitation, and has turned into an ongoing interest and activity. This might just make some folks quite confused, who see me as the crunchy-hippie gal I appear to be, but then I plumb refuse to fit my life into any particular style of box.
And, the most unexpected change in the last year has been that Gryphon and I began keeping company together, after many years of being friends. That ongoing bond has been a great joy to me, and a continuing source of wonder and delight, in ways that I've not the words to say here...
May the year unfolding ahead bring more brightness and less hardship, more connection and less confusion; may we all come to the year ahead bringing our useful skills and steadfast hearts to do what needs doing, with love and laughter and a sprinkling of hope for a future we can all live in together, where our differences do not overshadow what we have in common.
In place of resolutions for the new year, instead I have chosen only one word: UNDAUNTED - meaning "courageously resolute especially in the face of danger or difficulty"