I've been tagged by Catherine to select 5 highlights of 2009. I don't ordinarily do memes. I don't know why. I get started and then led astray, but I told Catherine I'd give this one a shot. If you haven't been by Catherine's site, you should go visit. It's where I go when I want to see what's going on in Ireland and in Catherine's very interesting life.
Last year was monumental in terms of change, so this shouldn't be too difficult. Not all change is good though and sometimes, it's hard to select high points when upon reflection, all I can see at the surface are the lows. In that case, it's an excellent idea to scratch below the surface.
1. How could the number one high point in last year be anything but the success we achieved in turning our own home into an assisted living arrangement for our daughter and 3 other young women? We've had a few bumps along the way, but all in all, it's been wonderful for everyone including Rachel, us, the women who moved in with Rachel and their families. It was nothing short of a life changing event for all involved. This was the most important thing we've ever done to assure that our youngest child would have a secure and home-like living arrangement for the rest of her life. For months before and after, I had a hard time sleeping and my anxiety levels were always bubbling at the surface, but somehow, we've made it through this transitional period and everyone involved seems very content. If I ever question myself, I've only to make a nursing home visit to a patient to see what happens to impaired children of parents who failed to plan. There are plenty of mentally impaired young adults residing in places like that. I did the right thing even though that never seems to be the easy path.
2. If it weren't for number one, I'd never have learned to spin yarn. Learning this survival art has been a goal for many years, and frankly, I wouldn't have had the freedom, nor the time before we made those changes last year. I've made wonderful new friends by joining a spinning circle that I seldom miss. I live for Saturday mornings now and the community I've found with like minded women. Being able to make my own yarn has turned out to be nice, but the circle I belong to is the best thing about Saturday mornings.
3. Maybe, just maybe, I had one stellar personal achievement last year, and that was winning the blue ribbon for my Michigan State Fair entry of The Cap Shawl. Yep. That was incredibly satisfying. It was bitter sweet, for last year's fair turned out to be the fair's last year. With the economy in Michigan crumbling, there is no way to keep an event like this afloat. If things turn around economically, perhaps the fair will return. One can hope.
4. In September, I went to Virginia with my brothers. Over that long weekend, we drove to the place of my grandmother's birth and had a lot of fun poking around in our family history. I have to say, that was pretty enjoyable. While there, I took my first (ever) knitting class with Jane Slicer Smith. Awesome.
5. In a when one door closes, another opens kind of way, I've made a new friend in my neighbor's cat, Mr. Mocha Latte. While it's not this Siamese cat's real name, it's what I call him. He greeted me the first day we moved in by peering into my front door and waiting patiently for me to invite him in. He's visited often ever since our first meeting, and oddly, it's always at a time when I seem to be intensely missing my dog, Duke. This cat is no accident in my life and while sure, I admit I feed him treats here and there, what he seems to like best is to nap in my bed. He came by just a couple of days ago. It was bitterly cold outside when I got up early and after 5 minutes of being up, I decided to go back to bed to get warm. As I was passing the front door, the cat was there meowing to come inside. He was freezing, too. We both went to bed and slept a few more hours with him nestled in the crook of my knee. I'm going to miss that cat when we move.
There you have it. My life, lemons and lemonade.
Since this is a meme and the number five is involved, I am going to tag five people to play along. Sometimes, we humans tend to linger on the negative, I think it can be a challenge to think about good things that have happened. This was an excellent exercise for me in singling out the good and reflecting on things that, while maybe not so great on the surface, really did have positive outcomes. Thus, I throw down the High Five gauntlet to the following bloggers:
- Rose at Sand in My Yarn (This is a new home for Rose which proves that the lemon/lemonade thing works. She ditched her old site and made a new one that has the best name even though these days, it's not sand, but snow in her yarn).
- Brenda at Days of My Life
- Lisa at A Really Simple Life
- Gail at At the Farm
- Betty at Life is Good
Thanks Catherine. I really enjoyed playing along.