It has been quite a journey. Just for fun, here's the year in numbers:
- One new home. I am still loving my little apartment here - it's funky and cozy and it just got a new coat of paint so it's looking kind of spiffy outside.
- Two daughters much closer and sharing the same seasons.
- Three visits from my mom! (Although I was only the main draw in one of those visits, I still got to see her, and since I have been to visit her twice, I have seen her five times in one year!)
- Four different visiting individuals or groups from Texas - thank you so much! You can't imagine how much more it feels like home now that my friends have been here.
- Five books with my new book club.
- Six months of parking in the garage.
- Seven visits with my sister (I think. . . including one lunch intersection on a road trip.)
- Eight Sunday School classrooms prepped, staffed, and supported.
- Nine new crock pot recipes worthy of repeating.
- Ten kids who get get excited when they see me. . .
Some colorful ways to look at the year:
Fall - everything I'd hoped for - cool, leaves changing, apple crisp, pumpkins, small town Halloween, Reformation/Confirmation, soup, football with sweatshirts and hot chocolate. . .
Winter - everything I dreaded and more. Cold. Brutal. Harsh. Feet trapped in socks and shoes all day, every day. But also hushed, clean, sparkly, and beautiful. Baking and cooking, Christmas as it always is in my imagination. . .
Spring - filled with blossoming trees, crocus poking up through the snow, the days growing perceptibly longer. Shedding coats, jackets, sweaters and socks. And green, green grass, soft and begging for bare feet. . .
Summer - filled with festivals, food on a stick, parades, music, and picnics. The length of the days is incredible, sun rising before 6am and sunset not arriving until nearly 9pm. And sunshine nearly every day. . .
It's been a monumental change. Some days I have feared I was too old. Some days I have wondered what possessed me. But most days I have marveled at God's abiding presence, and the general goodness of people everywhere and been thankful to have landed so well.
For those of you who have traveled through this year with me - I am grateful for your friendship and your prayers. To Janis who inspired me to look for things to love in my new place in the world - a million thanks. To my 36 new facebook friends from Blooming Prairie - I'm so glad we met!
So I'll close out this year with some words from Joni Mitchell:
And the seasons they go round and round,
And the painted ponies go up and down,
We're captive on a carousel of time. . .
We can't return, we can only look
Behind from where we came,
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.
Heading into another trip around the circle - forward, always forward.