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Goodbye 2013 and Hello, My Lovely 2014

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Now that was a fun little exercise in commitment. The (Almost) Every Damn Day December challenge was fun and a bit of a stress, but not bad. I missed 3 days, and I apologize, but I can’t help thinking that it’s really okay, because it was in 2013 and THAT YEAR IS OVER!!!!

You’ve only known me since March (except my family & friends who jumped on board with me), but you’ve probably caught on that I’m a bit unpredictable and spontaneous. Tomorrow morning (in a few hours) I’ll get on an airplane in Seattle, Washington. I’ll land in Juneau, Alaska for a brief layover/photo tour, and then on to Anchorage, Alaska that evening. I’m staying until mid-May.

Here’s the unpredictable, spontaneous part. I SHOULD have spent the last 2 days of the year writing my AEDDD posts and getting ready for my long stay in Alaska. Any semi-normal person would have. Not me. I put on my BRAVE cape, packed an overnight bag, opened Maggie’s door and stepped into a 2 day adventure. You’re gonna love this. Am I even sane? Well, yes I am, just a little…oh yes, spontaneous!

My first 2 stops were pure pleasure. I got warm hugs from my tall, handsome boy (okay, young man), Jon, and got to hold and snuggle my sleepy twin step-granddaughters. Their mom sat back smiling, as the girls opened Christmas presents from Grani…that’s another story.

Sara, Caleb and my impish little Cameron were next. I had a blast playing with Cameron. He’s hilarious in his antics, a ball of energy and brilliant to boot! (No Grani prejudice at all!) Sara helped me unsnarl my rat’s nest (tangled, knotted hair), then I took a long, glorious shower (Maggie only gives me a quick 3 minutes). Of course, my new best buddy, Cameron, had to get in on the action. He’s our water baby and he sat happily playing in the water at my feet, while I enjoyed the warm spray of water pelting me.

Once we were out and dry, Sara gave me a heavenly pedicure and topped it off with pretty toenail polish. It probably took 8 times longer than a salon, but they don’t have to stop and nurse and play with and fight off “help” from an almost 2-year-old, like Sara did.

The next day I tracked down my aunt and “Smitty” and got about 10 hugs. She helped me map out and contact her kids, my cousins. I simply had this strong urge to see them all before I left on my long journey to the north. Soon, 4 maps turned into one, as all 4 agreed to meet me at one cousin’s house that evening. I love it when a crazy spontaneous plan comes together!

I’m sorry that I never did track down my uncle, so he’ll have to be my first stop when I get back from Alaska. My next stop was not so great, but was an ending to a long, happy/sad story. I had to get the last of my belongings out of the home Paul and I had shared, then say a final goodbye to that place and that chapter. Our fun, loving and happy home was now just an empty house.

Another bittersweet part, was that my little granddaughters came with their dad, who was helping me. We were only there a short time, but the girls shared their memories of living there, and even “Papa” memories. Nola and Cora got a step stool and removed their drawings from the wall. They explored every nook and corner for memories and lost toys. We got a photo of the girls and me in front of the house, then we all left.

A map and a few phone calls later and I was greeted by my 3 beautiful cousin/sisters. We were not only raised together in Alaska, but I’ve spent most of the last 25 years encircled by their family here in Washington. They have been along, in one way or another, for almost all the good and bad times of this large chapter in my life.

We hugged, and hugged some more. We caught up a bit and I told a few stories. We reminisced about our young selves and laughed a lot, while trying to get a good photo of the four of us. The atmosphere was calm, soothing and filled with happy and sad shadows of the past.

Their brother couldn’t make it, so we made plans to try and meet the next morning. The 5th cousin just became a new dad in California, hopefully we will cross paths one of these days soon. I’m not that spontaneous (or wealthy). My last stop on this long and emotional day was to renew a lost friendship.

I’ve written about my 4 best friends here before. Leslee is one of them. It had been many years, but seeing each other again was a balm for both our souls. She’s been very ill and is tiny, but as beautiful as the last day I saw her. Six weeks of healing from a life-saving surgery and she was on her way back to good health.

We laughed, cried, hugged and kissed, then did it all again, until late into the night. She fed me love, warm soup, a potpourri of cookies and candies and wise sisterly counsel. In the morning I had another long, glorious shower, but not before jumping in my truck to find a place to buy my addictive morning cup of coffee.

Of course, I told her the story of the two fifteen-year-old kids on a first date. I mentioned a possible 40-year-later meeting. That very day. Possibly. She wanted in on the story. Badly. The morning felt just like the old days when Leslee was singing in a band, and I was her best friend/sister/groupie/hair, costume and make-up assistant. She primped and slathered me with blusher, despite my protests. I kept refusing the pink coral nail polish, but once she noticed my painted toes, she wouldn’t stop until I finally handed over my finger nails for her loving application.

I know that you’re dying to know if I ever caught up with my other cousin. You may even want to read whether or not my BRAVE cape and Leslee propelled me and my pretty painted nails all the way to a rendezvous with Mrs. M’s son. The thing is, this post is already over 1300 words, it’s after 1 a.m. and I have to catch a flight in the morning. And tomorrow is a long drive to the airport, a photo tour and two airplanes. The next day is mom’s hip replacement surgery…so I will try to get back and finish the tale of my last day of 2013 as soon as I can.

Peace Out, Really!

Patti

Here is my New Year’s welcome:

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson

That is my word for the new year: Hope.

My arms are wide open for the good, wondrous and unknown things that await me in this new year.

I hope that all my friends and family (and yours) stay safe, healthy and full of LOVE in 2014.

I hope that I am calm, brave and loving when the previous hope falls short; after all, we’re only human.

I hope I choose the best path for me, when I stand before the crossroads that are offered up this coming year.

I hope I am successful in living in the present moment; not one foot in the past and one in the future.

I hope I use hindsight and foresight to make wise decisions, for even these have a useful purpose.

I hope to learn more (about you and me and the world), see more (of the magic in you, me and the world), share more (of myself and the magic and what I learn about you, me and the world) and be more (of myself; to stretch and reach and pull in all of the good stuff).

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2014!!!!!!

Author: Patti Hall

Writer, daughter, sister, mom, niece, grani, and friend. Works-in-progress; 3 children's books, some poetry and a memoir series, "Souvenirs from My Heart." Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the beach, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy. I am a widow (2009), lost my sis in 2012, my aunt and a precious grandson in 2013.

25 thoughts on “Goodbye 2013 and Hello, My Lovely 2014

  1. A delightful little family/friend gathering Patti. I hope 2014 is a year full of Love and Laughter for you. Safe journey.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  2. I love this post! Happy New Year, Patti. Safe travels to Alaska (where I guess you already are). May your mum have a swift and uncomplicated surgery and recovery. May you enjoy every minute of your stay there. I’m looking forward to enjoying your company more in 2014. Stay safe, well, and happy.

    • Thanks, Marie! I hope your new year began and continues to be good to you. Yes, I’m in Alaska and mom’s surgery went perfectly. I love the new gravatar photo! Love seeing that smiling face. I am also looking forward to getting to know you and others in this place better. I always enjoy your part here. Sending thought back to you for a safe, well and happy winter.

      • So good to hear from you! Thanks for your comment about my new gravator. I have very few photos where I’m actually “smiling out loud” so I couldn’t wait to put it up. I’m glad to hear your mom’s surgery went well. Hope she has a speedy recovery as well. Big hug and enjoy yourself!

  3. Don’t apologize for missing 3 days in December. You do have a life! Safe travel to Alaska. I guess we will be hearing /seeing more about that adventure in your postings very soon, Patti.

    • Thanks, Marian. I really wanted to meet the challenge, but no stress; I did my best. Travels went smooth and am enjoying the beauty of this white world and the company of my family. After these replies. I’ll get a new post up and catch up with others on their own blogs as I can.

  4. It was a wonderful surprise to see, hug and spend some time with you my beautiful cousin. I enjoyed this post and can’t wait to learn more about Mrs. M’s son…

    • Heather, It was wonderful to be with my beautiful cousins and share some memories, laughs and hugs. Mom is having surgery right now and I will be back for update. Love you!

  5. The more I follow you, the more I feel like you are family. I follow your adventures with relish. Happy New Year. Maybe this one will be better!!

    • Hey, a new photo of you! I like it. I insist that this year is a good one! So far, so good:>) Thank you and I agree that this feels like a family. I think about this family and get excited to share photos and happenings with you, as well as getting caught up with your life. Hope all is well for you and Garry and that you are cozy and warm.

  6. I love the “Hope” in your words. Every day posting is way challenging. Especially if you are trying to come up with something creative and not simply a Facebook status update…LOL…I don’t know many who could keep up with that! We did love the beautiful pics. It is nice to see the real world where people live and not just the media enhanced one we hear about.

    • Thank you, Susan, it was a great challenge and I feel pretty good that I ONLY missed 3 days. I had big plans for the last day, but had issues getting online, so I had to give up. I hope to get back on track with my writing focus, but in the mean time it will just be these travel notes and photos. I also love to see where people live and spend their time. It just makes our friendships online so much more real. Hugs, Patti.

  7. Have a great time in Alaska!

  8. Of course you have to leave me HANGING…. save travels!! Oh yeah finish the story!! xoxox

    • This one really cracks me up. Since you are my sister, you are one of few people on here who could actually call me and ask for the rest of the story…but, no, you hang on with the rest. Love that:>) And you. Travels went well and mom is doing great, as I’m sure you do know. xxxoooo

  9. Well deserved getaway Patti! Enjoy your time and we will all be here when you return! xo

  10. Patti, I can now report in that 2014 is officially a crummy year for me. I had high hopes for it, but they have been repeatedly dashed within the past 3-4 days. on top of it all, my old kitty was injured by a fall or a scorpion. 😦

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