It’s January 2, and I’m posting my New Year’s reflections. I’d like to say I’m writing on the second to avoid the day one rush or the cliche of all those New Year’s resolutions on the first day, but really, I was just procrastinating. This certainly leaves an opening for my first resolution, but I think I’ll just side-step that one. Must be realistic. I’m really more interested in looking back on 2012 than in planning for 2013, which is not to say that I won’t attempt both.
Yesterday I spent some time reviewing my previous blog posts. I started Sausage Soup a little over a year ago, actually on October 31, 2011, the anniversary of my Mother’s birth. At the time I started the blog, the idea was that it would be a forum for cooking and other creativity for my extended family. Rebecca and I first then other family members had talked with much enthusiasm about the concept and after some time and study (see comments about procrastination in paragraph one), I got it up and running. Since its inception, Sausage Soup has seen just one posting from someone other than me. So, I think perhaps the group blogging concept is flawed, at least in this instance. I think perhaps individuals have their own priorities. Perhaps blogging by nature is a personal rather than a group endeavor. Maybe it was a marketing failure on my part. It doesn’t really matter. I’m enjoying the opportunity for personal reflection that blogging offers, so the evolution of Sausage Soup is really rather lovely. A blog is a living thing. It is what it continues to become. If the others wish to contribute, they are welcome. If not, I’ll carry on with my own rather intermittent postings. I’m not very good about the self-discipline required for developing habits, but I’d really like to be more consistent in posting. (OOPS! Was that a New Year’s Resolution slipping out?) I really do live more consciously and reflectively when I’m planning to write. (See this post.)
There were so many significant happenings in my life in 2012; some I wrote about, some I didn’t. For my own record, I list a few of the latter below in no particular order.
- My friend of over 30 years, Laurel Rold, died of ovarian cancer on December 5. She was just 64 years old. Our children grew up together. Laurel was a force of nature – strong, passionate, bright, witty, outspoken, honest. Her loss is overwhelming to those of us who were fortunate to have her in our lives.
- I took a trip in August with Corinne Smith and Ann and Wal Wallis. We flew into Budapest, Hungary, and spent several days there before boarding a river boat for a cruise down the Danube to Prague with visits to several countries in between. It was a wonderful experience, and I plan to share pictures from the trip (of course!). The problem is that I am attempting to process my pictures using the Adobe Lightroom program. This means I’m trying to learn the program while editing the images from the trip – and it’s taking far too long! However, I’m determined to make it work in spite of the absurd delay in the final editing project.
- I began volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club assisting with after-school homework and (primarily) teaching cooking classes. It’s really great fun and I’m becoming very popular because the kids love to cook and eat and share their creations.
- I took an Art History course at Ivy Tech. I learned a lot about early art – an area of weakness in my education since I usually avoid all that at museums in favor of more recent work. I also learned that I need to audit classes in order to avoid things like tests and papers. I’ve already written enough papers in my education and career, and I’m retired now! I also audited a Basic Photography course – I took the course many years ago for credit, but wanted to learn more about Lightroom.
- My colleagues and friends Mary Jo Dentino and Mike Petty retired from Ivy Tech. Their official retirement dates are this month. Mary Jo was the Dean of the School of Business and Mike was Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Mike hired me 26 years ago and was my boss throughout my years at Ivy Tech. I learned a lot from Mike. Mary Jo’s career spanned the years I was there and evolved from adjunct faculty to School Dean. She has been colleague, mentor, and friend and will continue to be the latter. I mention these retirements both because of my personal interest and because I consider this to be the end of an era at Ivy Tech. Both of these individuals grew the College and grew with the College. It’s a very different place now than when all of us began there. Mike and Mary Jo made extremely significant contributions to the College. Their contributions will remain even as they move on.
- Tom Ferrari, husband of my friend and colleague Constance, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure, but Tom is receiving treatment to prolong the length and quality of his life. It has been a rare and touching experience watching these two people face and plan their present and future with such courage and love.
- I’ve blogged here extensively about Rachel’s marriage in June to Bret Aaker. I think, though, that my acquisition of three grand children by virtue of that marriage deserves its own mention. Henry (12), and twins Lucy and Frannie (8) are such a joy in all of our lives! In fact, I’ll end this post today with pictures of them.