Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 in review, in brief

2014: the year where nothing went as planned. I know that's pretty much every year, but this year... wow.

It started off with my book being published (and thanks to all of you that bought it).

Early in the year, I found out my ethnic ancestry, which was super fascinating. I also found out I had an ancestor named Henchcliff Higginson, and feel the need to write a novel using that name.

I paid $300 to get not-my-cat Gray Max repaired after a nasty fight with a raccoon- and that's when I knew he was pretty much my cat.

At long last came the third season of Sherlock, the first episode of which I got to watch with the fabulous Lee Family.

A certain religious group decided I was worthy of doing workshops at their annual conferences on Pennsylvania and Canada in the Spring. Yes, a RELIGIOUS group. The highlight of the USA trip was seeing Philadelphia, eating, them puking, a cheesesteak with my friend Ann L. from my theatre days, watching UK in the final four with my book co-author and then the final in the bar of an Italian restaurant in the heart of Amish country (who knew?), and spending a day and evening with Michael S, from my WKU days, and his partner, George, in beautiful Lewes, Delaware. The highlight of the Canada trip was almost being turned away at the border - that's never happened to me before!

And all that is a nice way to start the year!

But then came the sadness. And it just kept coming.

In January, I spent my last day ever with my dear friend Anne Marino, with whom I've been friends with for most of my adult life. She passed away three months later. I think about her so often... I miss her terribly.

In May, I lost my former co-worker and forever friend Michael DeLong, who died suddenly in Seattle. I almost email him once a month.

I mourned the loss of Robin Williams as much as I did my friends. I still can't believe he's gone.

But hardest of all in 2014: the loss of my incredible paternal grandmother, who I've written about again and again, and our heart-breaking last weekend with Albi. Our house is so empty without her.

I thought the highlight of 2014 would be our spectacular two-week June motorcycle trip through Utah and Nevada - 2989 miles / 4810.329 kilometers, even including my first wreck! It was an amazing adventure, one we needed BADLY.

But then, out of the blue, while we celebrated Germany's World Cup victory (oh, that Brazil game!!!) came the offer to work in Ukraine for nine weeks. Still can't believe it. And, of course, how could I be in Ukraine and not go to Chornobyl?

This was followed by a magical trip with Stefan to Dublin, Ireland, a visit in Germany (so great to see Lis, Carrie and Rita!), my first ever trip to Warsaw, Poland, and, at LONG last, a visit to Barcelona! (I've been trying to go there for more than a year and a half!)

Back in the USA in the Fall, my big issue was dealing with the animals left before when my neighbor died. I also worked to prepare Washington, County ballots in the November elections (there was an official video, where you could see me working - but it's gone now...). Sadly, because of the election work, I missed the ceremony for Stefan's promotion to full-fledged volunteer firefighter.

Stefan got to see his first professional theatre production ever: the Broadway tour of The Book of Mormon. He loved it! He also competed in the Oregon state cornhole championship and was featured before the tourney on The Oregonian.

I also finally got to see Gregg Hale - first time since the 1990s.

And as the year ends, I'm debating with myself: keep trying to consult, or try to get a full-time gig doing whatever?

Let's not mention the gas line...

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