Saturday, December 31, 2016

other thoughts of 2016

I am so ready for 2017!  New opportunity, travel, food.  Thinking back on the last year.  What a year.  Different for me.  Different reactions, emotions, challenges.  I returned to Kansas, twice, to visit my sister and old boss, Carol.  I had forgotten how long that drive is.  Seven hours of little interaction.  Just driving east.  Feels lonely until Hays, maybe Salina.  Manhattan definitely is an improvement.  Spending time with my sister was awesome.  Her kids are adorable and it was fun to see their daily life.  Home cooked meals and time with the kids.  My niece, Emma, calls me her cousin.  Cracks me up!  She was so much fun to spend time with.
Of course, I spent some time in Lawrence.  I wish I had had more time to visit my old stomping grounds.  Maybe see some more college friends.  I taught a class to a group of twelve year-olds about the importance of travel and how it has impacted my life.  My circle of friends and opportunities.  I probably should have spent more time researching the countries I spoke of.  Yet, I took away from the experience a cultural impact.  I met three incredible people with different histories/experiences while in Southeast Asia.  Their stories brought joy to my life and how I could help them in the future.
Back to Kansas, perhaps next year will present another opportunity to do that.  I am Mason's godmother and so figure I will be spending time in Kansas.
I visited Santa Fe six times.  The appeal of Ojo Caliente makes that trip possible and recurring.  Drank many silver coins.  Introduced Sara to friends and Maghan to my life there.  Bought a new car.  Well, new to me, at least.  I do enjoy how I cultivate relationships.  I never would have found this smoking deal and Calliope had I not kept in contact with my mechanic in Santa Fe. 
Spent three weeks in Southeast Asia.  Saw Key West for the fifth time.  Phoenix and then NOLA for the fifth time.  Attended a graduation in Oregon and spent a weekend with Seattle Jean (another friend from college).  Overall, it was a wonderful year of travel.  Reconnected with many co-workers from the Bull.  Saw some friends commit their love for each other.  It's been lovely! 
Best photo of the year was probably from NOLA.  Celebrating my birthday. 
I have great friends and a good life.  Excited for 2017!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

some reflection of this year

2016 has been an interesting year. 
Some loss, grief, adaptation, new car, new friends, visiting Kansas twice (which has not been the case since I was out of college).  Loss and grief happened early in 2016 and occurred on memorable days.  I was t-boned and lost Veronica (my beautiful bertone) on superbowl Sunday.  I toured Vietnam with a black eye as a result.  It was fun.  I loved that car and had driven it for ten years.  Part of why I loved it so much was that Brian picked it out.  Despite the fact that it was becoming more costly for the upkeep, I was stubborn and chose to put more money into it.  My dad thought I was crazy and repeatedly told me I should invest in a new car.  He even offered to give me a car at one point.  Still, I had faith that Veronica would last forever.  And she did until that Sunday when a girl was texting and rammed into me in downtown Denver.
As noted, I went to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos sporting my injury from the accident.  And not knowing how to proceed.  Did I want to buy a new car?  Would I consider an alternative vehicle to Volvos?  I contemplated and sought out some mechanics in Denver to see if they would be refurbishing any Volvos in my price range.  At that time, they were not.  I called my old mechanic and Santa Fe for his advice on my buy out and asked him if he was fixing up any Volvos.  Ironically, he was and we agreed to reconvene after my venture to Southeast Asia. 
I returned, extremely jetlagged.  I was dogsitting for Tiffany and so I had their car for an additional week before agreeing to buying Kurt's car in Santa Fe. I had another interesting experience on a friend's birthday.  Probably never forget that date or experience. 
I was reflecting on my trips.  I have spent a good portion of this year in Santa Fe.  Five or six trips, in fact.  It's a quick drive and I love it.  I visited, solo, and then once with the WP to purchase my new car, Calliope.  And another time with Sara Jo.  Sara's trip was fun and I exposed her to some of my friends and favorite restaurants.  She met the I suppose that city did leave its mark on me.  I just spent a few days there to celebrate life. 
I love Ojo.  Always feel rejuvenated after soaking.  Thankfully, I spent Friday morning there with Melody.  Afterwards, we managed to find some silver coin margaritas, enchiladas and salsa.  Such a great day!
I am looking forward to 2017.  New year and opportunity for travel and cultivating friendships. I have been thinking quite a bit about where I am in life.  Back in Denver and in a different position then when I left. I learned more of my craft while in Santa Fe and Phoenix.  I mellowed out a little, too. 
Next year brings immediate passport stamp in January followed by a trip to the west in February.  Post the start, possibly, a return to Ojo.  I am up for anything and hopeful that there will be more adventure and abundance in every aspect of my life. 
I visited Santa Fe thinking I would find a necklace.  That evaded me as I chose to spend time with friends instead of peruse the silver there.  I guess I will be visiting again.  It is time to wear a new necklace.  I am off to spend some time with friends before work.  Celebrate, enjoy and taste life~