The timing of milestones and important events are easy to forget. It can be hard to answer questions about which year things happened or what was done at a certain time. I had to consult my calendar to write this post.
Here are my key moments from 2018, or at least the ones that currently come to mind or were on my calendar.
- My dad passed away on the 18th, at the age of 87. I was able to drive down and see him before his passing, though he was already non-responsive. I nearly lost my mom the same night, but my friend, Susan, a nurse, checked on her for me and sent her straight to the hospital. I spent the week in Greenville, SC, planning Dad’s funeral with his wife, Pat. Friends rallied to help and two of Mom’s sisters swept in to care for my kids while Mom was in the hospital.
- Lori and I went away for a weekend of reading, writing, and conversation. We were blessed by friends’ use of their lake house.
- We held a graveside service for Dad, in Harrisonburg. The service was lovely and relatives came from all over. It was a sad occasion, but it was wonderful to be together. I think it was the first time all us cousins were together.
- The next week, I hurried down the sidewalk to meet a friend for coffee, stepped on a piece of loose cement, and severely sprained my ankle. I discovered that I had previously broken that same ankle, and those pieces of bone were loose again. I spent six weeks in a boot. A friend loaned me a rolling walker that also had a seat. My students loved pushing me around the gym or having me push them.
- I had arranged a personal day from work to go on a STEM field trip with Conner on April 6. I decided to go anyway and took the walker. It worked perfectly. I could put my knee on the seat and ride it like a scooter to keep up with the kids, or sit on the seat when the need arose.
- I went to my first SWAG (part of the Virginia Writers’ Club) Open Mic Night, in Staunton, where I listened and observed.
- Conner and I went to a Gray Havens concert in Christiansburg, VA. We first heard of this group when we heard them in a Jenny and Tyler song.
- I don’t like speaking in front of crowds. Nevertheless, I took a chance and read at the monthly SWAG Open Mic night. This will get easier, right?
- I went to the International Poetry Festival at Bridgewater College. It was another growing experience as I was once again the inexperienced beginner. I didn’t do any readings, but sat and talked with a whole table of poets at the banquet.
- I sold a piece of property that I had bought many years ago. With the help of family and friends, I had built a cabin on it and enjoyed spending time there. Once kids entered my life, it was used less, due to lack of electricity and bathroom. Selling it would give me the money I would need to pursue another dream.
- We had already completed 15 puzzles for 2019 but we accepted a new challenge with a 3000 piece Star Trek puzzle. We had to cut a piece of paneling because our table wasn’t big enough. It only took us 3 weeks and we enjoyed it! Yes, for real.
- I bought a new motorcycle! I’d been thinking of getting a bigger bike because the 250 cc is tough for more than around town. I bought a gorgeous Kawasaki Vulcan 900. Conner loves riding on the back of it.
- I completed my 29th year of teaching and realized I was starting my last summer where I’d have to return to school in the fall!
- Our summer began with a trip to the Creation Museum and the Noah’s Ark Experience. I highly recommend both. I especially liked the ark.
- The cousins from Maine came to see us! It was HOT that week, so we mostly stayed inside and enjoyed playing games and enjoying each other’s company. Jenny and I pored over and discussed the foreclosure properties coming up for sealed bid in her town as we had been dreaming of us having our own place up there, to spend the summers.
- Mom and I went to the John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, N.C. I took a writing class and she took a woodturning class. I was in a class with wonderful women that I wished lived in my own town. It was a splendid week.
- I sent in my sealed bid for a house on two acres in Bradford, Maine. Jenny went to the town meeting to witness the opening of the bids. I won! My bid for $13,000 was the only one. Conner and I left the next day. We, along with the Maine cousins, spent the next 2.5 weeks working on the house.
- Katelyn started band camp, which kept her at home while Conner and I went to Maine. The color guard started a week earlier than the rest.
- School started. It was my last “back to school” because I decided to retire at the end of the year.
- My friend, Jess Pierson, died suddenly. It’s still hard to believe she is gone and I miss her.
- We began to wrestle in earnest with plans for the future, as far as where to live next. I knew we’d need to downsize after my upcoming retirement.
- Watching Katelyn perform in the color guard was a treat, as always. She is amazing! She made both the saber line and rifle line, which require extra skill. I escorted her for Senior night.
- Every year, the band perform the show for the parents, usually during band camp. Due to rain, it was after a regular game this year. The seniors get to choose someone to take their place, typically a parent. Conner wanted to do this instead, much to my relief!
- I took a couple of days off from school to travel to my Aunt Marie’s 90th birthday party. Due to dementia, she had no idea who I was except when I introduced myself. She is still a delight with her bubbly personality, love for God, and her thankful spirit. The trip was a highlight of my year as I spent time with her and many other family members.
- Our church hosted a women’s retreat. I ran Powerpoint for the worship team. The retreat was lovely and I especially enjoyed my time with the rest of the worship team. I hope this retreat will be two nights in the future, rather than one.
- We had a snow day, in November! Woo hoo!
- Julie and I spent a respite week at the Natural Bridge Hotel. We watched some videos, read, wrote, talked, and went for a walk. I treasure our times together.
- Katelyn, Conner, and I traveled to Fredericksburg for the Mersiovsky birthday bash – three birthdays in three days! I am honored to be included.
- Conner and I spent a week as Bird scooter charges. We made $200 but I was exhausted by the morning hours. They have to be placed before 7 a.m. It was, however, a fun mother-son activity. We may try again in a couple of months.
- My other brother, Don, came for Thanksgiving, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone he was coming! I wish I could have done of video of the reactions of the others when he showed up at the door!
- The kids and I thought a Christmas party sounded fun, so we had one in early December. We ended up with a combination of Mom’s friends and mine. We had a fun time, but it sure was a lot of preparation!
- The younger kids and I went to see our favorite singers, Jenny and Tyler, in Vienna, VA. It was their last show of the tour. We were concerned about possible snow, but the show was in the afternoon and it didn’t snow there. We made it home safely and had a snow day the next day!
- There were five of us for Christmas morning, Mom, Dallas, Katelyn, Conner and me. It was fun opening gifts together, chatting, and playing games. Mom’s friend, Helga, joined us for dinner and fascinated me with stories of childhood in war-torn Germany and her transition to the U.S. in high school.