Happy greetings this holiday season! I’m one who still likes sending and getting holiday cards. Each one I send has me thinking of times I’ve shared with the intended recipient(s), and that alone seems worth the challenge of finding the necessary time and focus. But I will admit that a once enormous list for physical cards has contracted to a much smaller number. And still, there are so many others who’ve touched and shaped my life that I want to embrace with my thoughts. It seems as good a reason to go electronic as any I can conceive. So here’s what might have gone postal – at this quieter time after the tree went up, the stockings hung, all the edibles shopped, prepared, consumed, and all the inherited and treasured serving pieces washed, dried, and returned to their place of resting display. Phew! Isn’t it grand that all the holiday joy is worth every minute of such preparations?
And now the dust has settled, what better time to consider our year in review.
2019 was our year for bi-coastal oysters, crab, and incredible waters. A work trip to central Washington in May morphed into a grand exploration of Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, and the San Juan Islands. Whales, water, islands, gardens, amazing red wines with the aforementioned seafood – everything we needed to feel enchanted. Despite the incredible scenery, I find myself sharing pics of these trash and recycle containers most often. Everywhere – even in hotel rooms – we were encouraged to conveniently compost, recycle, and re-use. I wish we’d all follow their lead!
In August our Executive Edge family worked together for the 23rd and last year. What a run it’s been! And what a privilege to hang with my best friends I got to see once a year! See my post Here’s to Twenty-Two! to appreciate just how much this annual experience has meant to me and all of us who became such a close-knit family. We question the new direction our client will take next year because we’re proud of the work we did with them, but plans are absolutely afoot for the next purple-shirt gathering of our clan.
In October – on a whim inspired by a $4 magazine – Ray and I decided we really needed to attend the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis. No, we did not buy a boat. We wisely spent our money on oysters and crab cakes instead. It was great fun to look at boats we’ll never be able to afford though and bask in the fall sun. We took the chance to spend a day walking the mall in DC and visited the Antietam Battlefield on our way home. Ray and I can cram a whole lot of fun into a mere four days! And yes, it did turn out to be an expensive magazine!
We have fun at home too, especially in summer. We still like our little 14-foot sailboat despite our time on bigger waters. So what if our boat would fit across the beam of the 70-footers we sailed on in Seattle and Annapolis – with room to spare!
What’s in store for 2020?
Look for my second novel, Home Place. This one returns to my midwest roots and setting my family still calls our Home Place though none of us have lived there in decades. A few other circumstances related to that setting are factual and everything else is pure fiction. It’s been fun using the story to refurbish the old place and imagine a different ending for it than the golf course it became – and equally fun creating challenges for the fictional characters I invited to live there. Stay tuned! I just need a few focused days and a great cover artist to push this book to completion. (But there seems to be a conspiracy against finding those few focused days!)
I hope to write more when my teaching load drops to two courses next fall. Since my next novel will be set in our own Finger Lakes wine country, I’ll need to do a lot of tasting, um… research! Maybe you’d like to join me? Research assistant positions now open.
Meanwhile, we’re grateful for health, ease and comfort as we nestle with our books, a glass of red in our long winter’s sojourn, and thoughts of dear friends and fam flung far and wide. May your holidays bring joy, beauty, peace, and plenty to you, yours and to our troubled planet.
P.S. Savor more pics of our beautiful world…