It’s been over a year since I started this blog.  It’s whizzed by faster than a Vespa in Florence (it must be time to get another dose of Tuscan life). 

True to my personality, I was quite ambitious about how frequently I wanted to contribute to my blog.  In august last year, I made 10 posts.  Some months since I’ve had to rush just to make one. 

Frequency isn’t important to me now.  But the mindset to mark life’s experience is.  I’ve been a little distracted at times this past year, and have not always stopped to savor and really experience the things around me.  That will be my goal this next year.

As I look back on the past year, several losses stand out.  In a conversation recently, I had told someone that we had been in Seattle more than usual this spring because of Mabel’s illness.  When asked if she was better, I paused, and realized that yes – she was better.  It’s those that are left behind that may still struggle, but I know that she is better.

Probably the good fortune of our year was Dylan coming into our lives.  He was a miracle dog right from the beginning.  Our lives have clearly changed for the better.  Stay tuned for what I intend to be the well documented 10 day road trip with Dylan coming up in September.

When I look back on my first post, and my self description in “About Me”, I have a good feeling about the past year.  If I were describing my self again, I probably wouldn’t start out writing about my professional life.  That in itself makes a strong statement about getting better balance in my life this past year.  My attitude towards work and aging have changed for the better.  I hope this next year will reveal progress in evolving to a well-balanced and appreciative state.

I let a lot of things get the best of me today…  needing to go into the office on a Sunday, a few extra chores, a less than sympathetic husband, the winter cold.

But then, on the simplest of weekend duties  (walking Dylan),  the unexpected happened.  Fireworks.

At first I thought it was gunfire (not entirely unusual around here during hunting season).  But the rapid repetition made gunfire seem unlikely.   Then Dylan and I rounded the corner towards home and we saw it:  fireworks.   The big, bold, fourth of July type fireworks.   In the middle of winter.  Somewhere in our neighborhood.   What a beautiful sight.

And if I hadn’t gone into the office in the afternoon and consequently walked Dylan a little later than usual.  Or if Tom had decided to do that weekend duty for me.  I never would have seen fireworks in February.

There is something good in everything.

Have you ever been kissed by a complete stranger?  Someone you’ve never seen before and have no idea what his name is?  It’s incredible.

French Photo and FrameEven if I had to bend down to receive it.  You see, this kiss was from  a shy (well, not too shy to ask for a kiss!) French boy about 3 1/2 feet tall.  He was smitten with me.  Or so his mother said as we encountered each other in the garden of the French villa we were staying at.

It was one of those perfect moments that creates a sharp, clear, and smile-producing memory.  Ah, France.   Ah, the kiss.

… it’s all a series of experiences, isn’t it? Some good and some not so good. Some memorable, and most not. That’s the reason I decided to start a blog. To acknowledge the experiences. To celebrate them. They don’t have to be big experiences (but sometimes they are). They can be every day experiences. But those experiences make up our lives and deserve to be remembered.