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December 31, 2013: The Year in Review

The year in review is taking place on the radio, television, and in the newspapers. The odd thing is thess reviews aren’t really a part of my reality. I don’t know any of the celebrities, famous people, or politicians that made this year memorable. And while it makes me sad to hear about the myriad disasters that occurred in the world, they didn’t have a direct effect on my life. Some stories, reviewed, do make me smile, like the one about the Toronto mayor who after being identified on video as a crack smoker, said that because he was drunk at the time, that he wasn’t responsible for his actions.

I wonder what it would be like to go for a year without listening to any kind of news coverage. This would include tuning in to the NOAA weather radio station – which around here is a primary form of external entertainment. All news, which would come from other people, would be hearsay.

My past year – this is what’s relevant to me, and to my dispatch readers. The year began with my writing a fairly negative dispatch. I should have changed it, made it more upbeat. But I didn’t. It’s one of my dispatch writing rules, to leave things as they are. This year will be better.

2013. Well, we did a second long horse trek. This trip seems like a blip that is until I focus on a specific event, like our staying at Keystone Stables or riding in the Holy Cross Wilderness area.

We rode unsupported for three weeks. As Pete said, this would be the trip of a lifetime for some people. Then after the death of Mr. Siggi, we rode with truck and trailer support. Along the way we met many wonderful people. We’re still in close touch with CJ and Dave, who own Synergist Saddles. They may in fact visit us in 2014.

Mr. Siggi is now Stardust. Pete and I both continue to miss him something awful. But I am grateful for two things. The first is that we didn’t have to euthanize him. And the second is that the rest of us remained safe. I can’t fathom what it would have been like to have lost Pete.

Peaches the Goat also passed on, as did a handful of chickens: Henrietta, Snooki, and Henny Penny Palin were killed by an ermine.

During our journey we acquired another dog, Ryder, a border collie who’d been left behind at Coyote Meadows trailhead.

I wrote early on this year about feeling like I was stuck. What I subsequently discovered is that doors don’t automatically open. Rather, you have to step up to them, turn the knob, push them open, and step over the threshold. This isn’t easy. Of course, we’d all prefer to have the doors opened for us.

I am now pushing hard on doors. Raudi and I will be doing group lessons this spring, with a very kind and patient instructor. And I’m now involved in a variety of activities with Ryder – doing things that I always wanted to do – obedience, agility, herding, and, finally, search and rescue.

As for my career – I might, very shortly, start working in the local college writing center. This will at least pay for summer hay. And I’m working on application for a one year job at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, teaching composition. As for my writing – I guess I need to push harder on some doors. Rather than see this as impossible, I see this as possible.

It was a good year. And the next one will be even better.

Next: 1: 1/1/14: January 1, 2013: Looking Ahead