Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014, Remembering

This was originally published in early December for a reflection in an online advent group, In the Edges of the Day.  We were asked what we would like to remember from this past year.  I'm republishing it today, January 1, 2015, and joining in with Emily Freeman's What I Learned in 2014. I found things in different areas of my life like creativity, friends and family, and our homesteading venture. Some are good memories and some not so good, but even through the difficult times there are things I have learned.

One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to fill an art journal even though it was a new form of creativity for me. I realized that you don't have to be an accomplished artist to create in this way. It has been such a good way to release tensions and is a healing and inspiring activity. This is definitely something worth remembering and I plan to work in my art journal on a regular basis. Here are some samples.

Another goal was to begin writing a memoir. Thanks goes to my daughter, Jamie, for encouraging me to actually start and share weekly on my blog. Looking at old pictures is bringing back so many memories. At first I didn't think I'd remember enough from so long ago, but the more I write, the more I remember. It's really been a lot of fun and worth the hard work of putting them into stories. Here's where you can find my memoir stories: Memoir

A third goal was to publish a book of poetry. I have not yet done that, but writing poetry has become a regular activity for me. Sometimes the poems have been very simple and sometimes more meaningful. There have been times when they seemed to write themselves. I've found that poetry can be a way to express thoughts buried deep within that might be hard to express using ordinary language.  She Flew  is an example of when the words came almost faster than I could write them. Another one that seemed to write itself is Beyond Comprehension.

Finding out that I enjoyed photography has been a bit of a surprise. When Jennifer Upton encouraged me to take time each day to slow down, notice ordinary things and take pictures, I had no idea of the joy I would find in photographing simple things around my home and in nature.  Enjoying the Beauty of Now  is an example that illustrates what I mean. 


One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to meet at least 5 story sisters. I'm happy to say that in September I met Hope, Jennifer and Abby. 

Then in November I was able to see Jennifer and Abby again and also meet Marvia, Morgan and Elizabeth. It was so special to finally meet them in person!

These events will have a place in my memory for a long time. We hope for more times to get together as our friendship grows. Speaking of friendships, I and some of my oldest friends here in South Carolina have resumed our monthly lunch visits which are always fun.

(Mathis, Steve and Robert)
Our family made a new friend this past summer as we welcomed Mathis Gonon, a French exchange student, into our home for a few weeks. He, Robert and Alan will surely remember the white water rafting trip when both Mathis and Robert fell out! The funny thing is that Robert lost his paddle, but Mathis caught it and used it when he was rescued by another boat. Our Quest for the Waterfall tells about another adventure we had with him.

At the beginning of this year we had two goats and added another one in hopes of building a small herd to keep us supplied with milk. We encountered health problems of our own along with the goats becoming more needy, and it was getting harder to care for them properly. To top it off we lost one shortly after she gave birth to twins and had to bottle feed them. We realized that even though we started off with good intentions we were not going to be able to continue with the goats. Eventually we were able to sell them all which brought quite a relief. 

One reason to include this in things to remember is to remind me that it's okay to try new things even if they don't work out. It was a learning experience giving me a greater appreciation for those who work hard to provide food for the rest of us. 

On a happier note we still have chickens who supply us with fresh eggs. This seems to be something we can handle without much difficulty. Also with the help of a couple of our daughters we got a good garden going and are still enjoying the fresh greens it is producing. We are very thankful.

I am so thankful for my family. Many of us have had to face hard things and disappointments this year, but everyone rallied around to continue to love and encourage. It fills my heart to overflowing to see their love for God and the love between us all, even in the hard times. The best memory is the whole family being together for Christmas including my 91 yr. old mother. That's 27 of us! We had a wonderful celebration including a white elephant treat exchange. It was great fun.

Take a look at Emily Freeman's link up to see what others have learned this past year!

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