I am returning to blogging after taking a long break for Christmas. I had nothing to write about, and we muddled through the holiday with the mother-in-law in her dark, depressing house in the run-down borough adjacent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
What we just endured for Christmas culminated how I felt about the year 2016 — a year I would rather forget. But I worry that 2017 will be far worse. (However, remaining consistent with my self-promise, I will not post anything about politics on this blog any more.)
So for 2016, this was my life in boots, leather, and life….
* January: we experienced a blizzard that dumped a meter of snow, which for us, is exceptional. Moving that snow caused me to experience a severe pinch on my sciatic nerve, and that was a very painful experience. It took months to feel better and be able to lift anything heavier than a sheet of paper.
* February: not much but work at work and taking care of the spouse and looking after my little old ladies in tennis shoes (LOLITS). Unfortunately, one of my favorite LOLITS died this month, and I served as a pallbearer in her funeral.
* March: not much but work at work and caregiving some more. Went into DC for the first time this year looking for cherry tree blossoms, but caught dawn instead. I also bought another small house for renovation and rent to community heroes.
* April: House I bought was completely renovated and finished. Rented it to a firefighter. Also in April, I won first prize in a local photo contest for this image ==>
Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC, at dawn, taken March 23.
* May: very cold month, no riding my Harley (much). Then Wham! Bang! on 31 May, I experienced my first (and hopefully only) motorcycle crash.
* June: man, three broken ribs hurt! But fortunately no other injuries or abrasions from that crash. Spent June recovering.
* July: more recovery. Trip in the middle of the month to my favorite Caribbean island, Puerto Rico, for work was this month’s highlight. End of the month, I had recovered enough to ride the Harley to the place where I have it serviced for a complete check-up. No damage, just scratches. End of the month found me in the U.S. Pacific Northwest for a week-long meeting.
* August: recovered enough to get the okay from the boss (my spouse) to ride the Harley again. But weather got in the way of enjoyment. I cannot tolerate heat above 95F (35C) while wearing full gear, which is a self-imposed requirement. Not much riding when it is hot and when it is dark … with the safest yet awful recognition that I should not, cannot, ride my motorcycle in the dark any more. I do not see as well as I did in my youth and the risk of another crash is too great. No more commuting to work via Harley since it is always dark when I go to work at oh-dark-30 each weekday morning. 🙁
* September: remained really hot at home first half of the month, so little Harley riding. I continued to work and care for the spouse during a real bad setback, health-wise. By the end of the month, Spouse was stable and I enjoyed some motorcycle rides with my kid-bro cousin on weekends.
* October: multiple trips to doctor’s appointments for the Spouse occupied most of my time outside of my full-time job. I took a short work-related trip to a U.S. Southern state to deliver a plenary address at a conference.
* November: all was generally quiet and okay until November 8. Disaster struck. I went quiet.
* December: I remained quiet so as not to emote (much.) But December was “not good.” At all. Period. It’s done.
During 2016, my life continued with my full-time job, which I still enjoy quite a bit, taking care of my Spouse, who I love with all my heart, and looking after my LOLITS, family, and community. Not much else. I am grateful to have what I have and count my blessings every day.
May we have a year of 2017 without being blown up by … (again, no politics, BHD!)
Life is short: keep on truckin’