2015: A Look Back at the Highlights

When I look back and try to gauge what kind of year it was it helps to take it month by month. It also helps me to realize that through the hardship (which I left out of this post, by the way) mostly my life is pretty sweet. I’m glad I took the time to do this.

In January I wrote my most popular post to date when a friend opened a bakery in town; New in Town: Tippy’s Bakery . A year later she has signed a new lease and continues to impress me with her passion and her compassion. She’s begun hosting some painting parties and I hope to make it to one. If I do, I’ll let you know.

Last year I posted My Travel Wish List for 2015. Right out of the gate my good friend Carole wanted to help me check some things off and so we went to The National Gallery of Art in January.

A Girl with a Watering Can; Renoir

A Girl with a Watering Can; Renoir

In February I made a solo trip to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley that spawned six week’s of daily posts about Hubcap Art.

My friend Kathy and I took a driving tour of the county one sunny February afternoon and she showed me some of the places she grew up. We were searching for coffee beans but found hops.

We were searching for a Coffee Shop on Swover Creek when we spied these. We didn't know what it was until I posted it on facebook.  These are hops.

We were searching for a Coffee Shop on Swover Creek when we spied these. We didn’t know what it was until I posted it on facebook. These are hops.

For Valentine’s Day weekend I was with Carole and Vonnie again and we found love at Ducard Vineyard in the form of a Virginia is for Lovers art work sign.

A LOVE of wine bottles

A LOVE of wine bottles

I also saw the Shenandoah University production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with my friends Carole and Vonnie. It was a rousing good time!

March came in like a lamb but went out like a lion. The first few weeks were slow but the last two were jammed packed! I met up with my friend Linda and we went to Culpeper for the day. Wine, shopping, chocolate, and seafood; a yummy good time!

The following week I headed for the eastern shore. I checked into my motel in Annapolis then spent the day with Linda again. It was a grey windy day so we spent most of it indoors, first trying some gelato then later sipping a cocktail. That’s what I call good girlfriend time!

The next morning I headed to my step mother’s house to celebrate our Annual Easter Get Together. It was Eggscellent!

Fruit Pizza..the overhwlemningly dessert favorite at this years Easter Eggstravaganza

Fruit Pizza..the overwhelmingly dessert favorite at this years Easter Eggstravaganza

The first weekend in April I took my grandson to The Discovery Museum in Winchester. He’s big for his age and on the cusp of being too old for this so he looked a little out-of-place, but he never complained and he was always generous and helpful with the other children; letting them cut in front of him and helping them. A few of the parents commented about his manners. We had a nice time.

This is my grandson Nathan. A big for his age 11-year-old who plays well with others.

This is my grandson Nathan. A big for his age 11 year old who plays well with others.

The following weekend I went with Kathy to see (or hear?) The Vagina Monologues. I’d heard of this playlet before but I had never been. It was very good and she was the perfect person for me to see this with. We connect on so many levels!

One of my goals for 2015 was to take a class, any class. I took a glass mosaic class at the Old Town Stained Glass Studio in April. Not exactly what I had in mind when I set the goal but hey, I got to cross it off my list so…

Artsy(w)# (1)

Another goal was to spend time with cousins. I achieved that the last weekend in April at Burnside Farms’ Tulip Festival. That was fun enough to do again!
Intricate(w)

May started on a wonderful note when I gathered with most of my siblings and many of our offspring for a three-day weekend near a camp-sight we went to as children. It was a memorable and very successful weekend. Shortly after I was challenged to do five stories in five days. I used the antics of this weekend as the subject of my stories. You can read them here.

The following weekend I joined a bus trip with three of my closest friends to New York City. We went to the Statue of Liberty. It was wonderful and exhausting. I can’t wait to do it again!

It was in May that I tapped out my most popular 100 words of fiction. A Peaceful Drive in the Country has the most hits for 2015 in the creative writing category. I’ve learned so much from this weekly exercise. 100 word stories every Wednesday; right here.

On a very hot day in June I met up with my friend Linda for some wine and music and to celebrate our joint birthday month but it was too hot for the wine and the music so we opted for chocolate.
Tilted Chocolate(w)

The final weekend of the month my grandson and I made a trip to Maryland to celebrate my nieces graduation. Then I ended the month in Washington DC visiting The Building Museum with Carole and Kathy.
Bldg Museum Windows(w)# (7)

In July my grandson Nathan and I got to hang out several times. He spent the fourth of July with me running errands but a few weeks later we visited New Market Battlefield in the hopes of learning a little more about the Civil War and this summer’s burning topic, the confederate flag.

Last week my grandson and I toured the New Market battlefield and had this cadet from the Virginia Military Institute as our guide.

Last week my grandson and I toured the New Market battlefield and had this cadet from the Virginia Military Institute as our guide.

The month ended on a high note when my friend Kathy scored some discount tickets to see one of my favorite musicals. The Music Man at the Shenandoah University Summer Theater did not disappoint.

My brother came to visit me one Saturday in August a rare treat. I just adore him!

Love my brother! This picture says so much (to me) about his personality.

Love my brother! This picture says so much (to me) about his personality.

The following weekend I decided to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather we were having and planned a day trip to Afton Mountain. It was Inspirational.

My best friend stays pretty busy in the summer traveling and visiting family so I was ecstatic when she found time for me the weekend after her daughter got engaged at their family reunion. She text me, of course, and I saw the pictures on facebook, of course, but nothing beats hearing the details in person over a glass of wine (or two).

Okay so the view is not perfect. The cell phone tower is on the horizon (which I don't mind because I like having service) and the grass in the forefront needs replenishing. But this place only opened a few days ago so let's cut them some slack. The wine was good, the company, even better.

Okay so the view is not perfect. The cell phone tower is on the horizon (which I don’t mind because I like having service) and the grass in the forefront needs replenishing. But this place only opened a few days ago so let’s cut them some slack. The wine was good, the company, even better.

At the end of August I found myself with a couple of extra days off so I headed to Pennsylvania to spend some time with my siblings. My sister and I toured Harrisburg, had a lovely dinner in the hotel and went back to our room to sort out the problems of the world with a bottle of wine. It was a very productive evening.

Chicken quesadilla with guacamole and sour cream (just in case the quesadilla is not fattening enough).

Chicken quesadilla with guacamole and sour cream (just in case the quesadilla is not fattening enough).

In September I enjoyed a brief but long overdue visit from my oldest son and his family. For two days I was in heaven!

A rare picture of my two sons together. Photobomb by my youngest grandson.

A rare picture of my two sons together. Photobomb by my youngest grandson.

Soon after my visit I headed to Roanoke to hang out with my friend Debbie. This is my second visit to this southern Virginia city and there is still so much to see. This year Debbie wasn’t feeling as well and it rained the whole time I was there but we made the most of it and I was able to capture another piece of LOVEWORK.
Inanimate LOVE(w)# (5)

October was about wineries and leaf peeping. What October should be about, in my opinion.

Tastes like Autumn

Tastes like Autumn

In November I spent a day with my best friend and we made the trek up Afton Mountain. It was nine hours of wine, food, sights, and conversation. It went by quickly.

Autumn on Afton Mountain

My friend Kathy planned a wonderful day trip to Hagerstown where we discovered history at the C&O Canal and art at The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
IMG_7997

For Thanksgiving I had dinner at my sister’s house and the next day she met me in Lancaster PA for some sight-seeing.
Schenk's Mill Covered Bridge

After several attempts my good friend Carole finally got me to the Library of Congress in December. Thank you Carole!

One of the reading rooms in The Library of Congress.

One of the reading rooms in The Library of Congress.

The following weekend Carole and I attended A Christmas Carol at Theatre Shenandoah, where our friend the talented actress/musician Amanda Wilkins was starring as Mrs. Cratchit. We love Amanda but truth be known we were eager to catch the performance of her young daughter, just recently turned 11 years old. She was wonderful and I look forward to seeing her perform again soon.

Christmas was kind of quiet around here but that’s okay, I’ve still got my JoY!

IMG_8739

I hope 2016 is just as sweet, for each and every one of us!

10 thoughts on “2015: A Look Back at the Highlights

  1. You had such a busy and eventful year! It was fun to read this recap and weird how many things from early in the year seem like they just happened. I was shocked to find out the visit to the gallery with the hubcap art happened back in February! I hope 2016 brings you as many wonderful outings with friends and family!

    Like

Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.