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2013 has been a rough year for many of us. In our own small circle there have been way too many deaths, especially of young people. Too many job layoffs, especially again among young people. Our dollars aren’t stretching as far as they used to, and fewer of them are coming in. I caught myself rejoicing a couple of weeks ago because gasoline had dropped to $3.27 per gallon…then I remembered with amazement when I rolled my room mate’s Volkswagen back in 1969 and “wasted” a tankful of expensive Paso Robles gas (for which I had paid $.27 per gallon), and walked away unhurt! After ten years as a Creative Memories Consultant, I watched that beloved company file bankruptcy and mutate into an unrecognizable entity, and I sadly said goodbye.

Some wonderful things happened this year, too, though. We had two baby boy cousins born in the spring, and our baby girl cousin turned one year old. Olivia started preschool in the fall, and Lily began dance lessons. Now that they are older, their grandfather is spending more time with them, which is good for everyone involved. My children and their significant others were here under one roof for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the joy of being together was indescribable. Two very precious young people were finally married. I’m just beginning a new business as an Independent Consultant with Close To My Heart, and will continue to teach the importance of family storytelling.

And thanks to NaBloPoMo’s November and December challenges, my very catch-as-catch-can blogging has become a daily event. Very soul-satisfying to this word-loving grandmother!

I’m writing earlier than usual this evening, so that I can spend time with Olivia and Lily as they “stay up for New Year’s Eve”. We will share popcorn and sparkling cider while watching television in our jammies. I brought home a bag filled with their Great Grammy Pender’s vintage noise-makers, so they can make a lovely racket outside at midnight. We will say “Goodbye 2013” together, and look with hope to a fresh, new 2014.

Happy New Year to all!