31 December, 2013

Hello, I must be going

Goodbye twenty-thirteen. In some ways it seems like you just got here and you are already leaving.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… that smart Charlie Dickens knew what he was talking about. It is always the best and worst of times. Every year has some laughter and tears and a share of joy and sorrow. Moments of transcendent enjoyment are usually followed by times that make you shake your head and wonder what the hell just happened, as you pick yourself up out of the mire and try to keep going.
We lost family this year, Joanne Waight (Mom’s sister) and her husband Arthur, died in February and April. It was a horrible one-two punch to my cousins, losing both their parents so close together. I grieve for them, but celebrate the fact that my aunt and uncle had long, interesting, vital lives. God bless them and keep them.
Our little family lost two furry members this year. Ginger died suddenly in January and Morgan died of an unsuspected cancer after only four months with us. They join the long list of Cockers and almost-Cockers we hope to meet again on the other side.
A new  dog, a five year old Cocker Spaniel named Sparky joined our pack. He's a character...
In early February last year Thomas and I helped Mom and Dad move into their new Patrick Square home. It was fun being there at the beginning, being a part of their new adventure. It was also tiring as all getout. I mean to tell you, we unpacked and put away and emptied and drove back and forth to the storage unit, and lifted, hauled, and moved until we were flat-out exhausted. We were back in the summer when the entire family enjoyed a vacation with Gran and Granddad.
Late this year came the news that Toni, my quilting-reading buddy, my neighbor and friend, got the news that the tumors in her brain were growing. She decided on hospice care, with no more debilitating treatments. That has been difficult for everyone, but definitely the right thing for her. She has had, and continues to have, time to spend with her children and family and friends. She’s gotten to do things that she wanted to do, while letting go of a lot of things that are just static when it comes right down to it. I don't even know what to say about my own reactions, other than the fact that I wish it was not so, and that my heart is sore.

Other (less important) things that (nonetheless) happened in 2013:
I had foot surgery in August. Here is the scar I wound up with, which isn't too bad:

We put a herb spiral and a fountain in next to the patio. It was a delightful place to sit this summer. When my cousin was here (I got TWO visits from him this year) we spent a lot of time sitting out there, talking about life, the universe, and whether Princess Anne The Princess Royal likes fruit salad.

I made this quilt over the course of a weekend at West River on my quilt guild's spring retreat. The fabrics are from Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips line, and I love, love, love them. The blue fabric features a little dog chasing a cherry colored ball. My sister is now the proud (I hope) owner of the quilt.

I also refinished a chair, made a pillowcase, went to MAQ, gave a talk, volunteered with the Cocker Spaniel Adoption Center, read a couple hundred books, went to work most days (and did not smack a single person while I was there - go me!), walked my dogs, and in general filled the days with enough to keep them interesting, but not so much that I was overwhelmed.

So exits 2013 (not followed by a bear). 2014 is a mystery...

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