This was one year I was thrilled when it finally came to a close…for many reasons.
I started out 2017 in Arizona, but escaped for a week to attend the NYC Women’s March in the latter part of January. I’m so glad I captured my thoughts and feelings in an earlier posting because I can honestly say – a year later – nothing has changed. I still feel we have an idiot running our country and I still feel the need to not get into the weeds of what’s happening. Yes, I stay engaged at a high level, but it’s no longer my primary focus. It’s taken me most of the year to get this point…but I’ve come to the realization that the only thing I can do is learn about the candidates representing me and VOTE.
February was another visit to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. I continue to be amazed and humbled by the people in every single one of these countries.
March was not a good month at all. In fact it was the worst ever experienced in my 60 years. My mom fell one night resulting in multiple fractures. I spent over three weeks in Virginia to advocate on her behalf. Our healthcare system scares the hell out of me and has given me lots of thoughts to ponder regarding the aging process.
April was spent in Arizona to begin the re-do of our family room in our Scottsdale home. We’ve been in our home for 20 plus years and it was time! No more iron-on patches for the chairs and sofa. Yes, it was time…way past time. Because of travel (pleasure and to see my mom) my goal was to pretty much have the re-do completed by the end of 2017. It’s not 100% as of this posting, but very very close.
May was back in NYC – my favorite month ever to be in my city. I also slipped away for a week to Virginia to help celebrate my mom’s return home from the rehabilitation center and her 90th birthday!
June was back in Arizona to continue with the family room re-do and to begin putting plans together for a complete backyard redesign. After 20 plus years of living in this home, the plants were tired, the tile was tired, everything was tired. Imagine day after day of 100 plus degree temperatures. It takes its toll. I’d be looking a little tired too. It was also an opportunity to eliminate a lot of grass (less water!) and work towards more native plantings. Oh, and to construct a view to our mature desert we’ve worked so hard to develop over the years.
July brought a visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico to experience the International Folk Art Market – 160 master artists from 53 countries. Such a wonderful opportunity to visit with the artists and learn more about their handmade traditions. So many of them had never traveled outside their small village in their country and here they are communicating and selling in the United States. Powerful. I especially loved meeting people from countries I’d travel to and seeing their eyes and smiles get big as if they were seeing a long lost friend. So special.
Towards the end of July and into August I returned to Oregon for my second visit. This time meeting up with friends, as well as adding the area of Bend to the destination list. Unfortunately the smoke from the fires in Washington didn’t allow for much hiking nor for many gorgeous scenic images the state is known for. After my return from Oregon I headed to Virginia to spend some time with my mom.
The months of September and October were all about spending time in Arizona to not only work on the home projects, but also to do all those medical tests one must do including the horrible colonoscopy. Unfortunately the phlebotomist had lots of issues finding my vein during the prep and I suffered shooting pains up my right arm for over two months after the procedure. Thank goodness it finally went away about a month ago.
November was off to spend time in NYC with another quick trip to the farm to check on my mom and spend a little time with her. It’s so much easier to combine my Virginia visits to see my mom when I’m in NYC. It’s a quick cab ride to LaGuardia and and hour flight to Roanoke, unlike the all day affair flying out of Arizona, including long layovers in connecting cities.
December was filled with time in Mexico. This was my first trip to Oaxaca and I totally fell in love with the city and surrounding communities. It was just a taste this time, but I’ll definitely return for a longer stay in the future. (I’m working on something way out of my comfort zone.) The remaining two weeks were spent visiting my “sista by choice” in San Miguel de Allende. I love Mexico. Then to finish the year I headed to Virginia to spend Christmas with my mom.
My last blog entry in October I documented what was happening with my mom and how the stress had just done a number on me. Honestly, I had never understood what stress was capable of doing to the body. I am happy to report that I finally signed the paperwork on the reverse mortgage at the end of November while I was in NYC. I can’t even begin to explain the relief of getting that completed. Now there will be enough money to hopefully keep my mom in her home another year before I have to consider putting her in a nursing home and selling the farm. I’m sleeping better (and DREAMING!!) and my hair is no longer coming out by the handfuls. The constant worry has been reduced significantly.
I looked through my photographs taken during 2017 and concluded this particular image was my image of the year. It represents what the Arizona desert gave me in return throughout the year. My body, mind and soul needed solitude and peace and the desert provided – even if it was simply watching the sun set and rise. I must say…”desert bathing” at it’s finest.
Whew…now I feel like I just finished one of those end of year letters that some people put in their holiday cards. I always admire people who do that!
So 2018. I’ve been contemplating my blog and I’m not ready to give it up yet as I’m heading towards my tenth year of blogging. Besides photography, it’s one of the most consistent (well when you average it out, ha!) things I’ve ever done. As much as I’ve tried, I’m horrible at daily journaling. Having said that I do recognize the importance of keeping some diary of my life for when I’m old and can’t remember shit!
And yes, I’ve enabled comments until I decide to turn them off again. 😝