In January I got to spend some time with my grandson Nathan. He is the only grandchild that lives somewhat close to me so I relish any time we can get together, even if it is just lunch at the IHOP.
In February my friend Kathy and I took a day trip to Berkley West Virginia and then on into Maryland for some shopping and sightseeing.
The following February weekend my friends and I discovered several new wineries and visited the little town of Waterford Virginia.
In March I was able to squeeze some time in with my friend Linda to brag about my 15 minutes of fame when I was published in Shenandoah Living Magazine.
Then in April I was finally able to get with two of my besties, Carole and Laurie, to celebrate Carole’s retirement in January. In our defense at the delay, Carole originally wasn’t going to retire until April but the lure was too much and she left shortly after her December birthday. And she hasn’t stopped since!
If it’s true that “if you never slow down you never grow old” Carole is younger than all of us!
Speaking of young at heart, in May Carole and I took our friend Vonnie out for her birthday.
We hit a couple of wineries and then had Mexican for dinner (with a celebratory Margarita!).
Last year I began a project replicating photographs of landscapes painted by the artist Andrei Kushnir and in early May I began sharing my finds. This project has led me on a few road trips by myself and with friends. I’ve hit a bit of a snag since my last post but I haven’t given up. Expect to read more about this adventure in 2018.
In the middle of May I met up with about 35 members of my family for a weekend of camping that started with a chili cook off and ended with 30+ bouts of a stomach flu. It was not pretty..and yet we have plans to do it again, hopefully without the vomiting and diarrhea.
The end of May I discovered the little town of Occuquan Virginia, with the help of my grandson. He was adequately rewarded.
The second week of June, Linda (she is also a June baby) and I got together to celebrate our birthday month. We met at a Wegman’s Grocery because I had never been there. My mouth was agape as we picked at meats and cheeses to take to the winery. Small town gals, like me, act like that sometimes. Thankfully Linda is more worldly and led me around. It was a hot day but there was an art show inside where it was cool. We took that in and met the artist, a fellow photog with a different eye.
On another June day, Carole and Vonnie took me out for the day for wine, dinner and my first visit to a Krispy Kreme!
The next few weeks I used my birthday freebie coupons to dine with some of my favorite people, including my grandson who enjoyed this free birthday desert.
The July 4th weekend we spent listening to music and drinking wine; well sort of. On the 3rd we saw one of our local favorites, Robbie Limon at a winery near us. We enjoyed Sangria and Chardonnay, laughter and sing-a-longs (okay the sing along was mostly me but it always is).
The next day we were at Woodstock Cafe to hear Amanda Wilkins and friends. The Cafe is known for its wide variety of wine and I pre-ordered two bottles of Rosé but our hearts weren’t in it. We honestly did not drink that much the day before but it seems we have become a bunch of light weights these days. It took four of us three hours to sip one bottle of the Rosé. I took the other one home. Funny how that is. Oh well, the music is the best part anyway!
July and August is peach season here in Virginia. I love peaches and so this year I decided to immerse myself in the season. I made it a quest to try to capture images of the ripe peaches still on the trees and also to use more of the fruit in my cooking. My grandson was with me the last weekend in July and he had his first peach ice cream cone. If you have never had a fresh made peach ice cream cone you do not know what you are missing.
The first week of August, out of the blue I decided to take a solo day trip. I found an area where there was a winery and a Virginia LOVE sign and headed out. I had an enjoyable day and found a restaurant with an outdoor patio and live music. Of course I would rather have someone to go with me but I’m not letting a little thing like lack of companionship keep me from doing things. Life is too short for that!
September was quiet around here. I had a respiratory infection that kept me down. Then on October 3rd I fell and the next few months were pretty rough while I healed. Fortunately I have great friends who, when I was able, helped me get out.
We had tickets for a train trip since April, I didn’t want to miss. The autumn colors were disappointing but the company made up for it.
On a Tuesday evening in October my friend Kathy took me to my first meditation experience. It’s not as easy as you might think; (and to quote Kathy, because I love this quote) “not climb a mountain hard but hard!”
Then another day Carole and I went looking for love. We drove all the way to Orange Virginia to find this one and two more on the way back.
In November my best friends daughter had her baby shower. I was feeling pretty miserable at this point from my injury and finally on the 14th they did surgery. It’s been a long process and I am still healing but the pain is nothing compared to what it was before the surgery.
Christmas has been trying this year. It is every year really, being single and with most of my family living so far away, but this year I’ve been living on disability pay checks for months, and although I am thankful that I have a job that provides them, it doesn’t leave much for presents and plum pudding. My injury has also kept me tied down more than I would like. Friends, as always, have been there and I was able to enjoy most of the Strasburg Home Tour this year, with help, a winery visit or two, a few dinners out, a few dinners in, a few surprise visits from friends and family, and a visit to meet the new baby!
So my Christmas like my future turned out to be merry and bright. I hope you can say the same.