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December 31, 2022: Goodbye 2022

In my mind, the New Year begins during the winter solstice, the time in which the days begin to grow longer. There is no numerical coefficient attached to this – I like this too. Yearly coefficients, they feel contrived to me.

The days are already growing longer. This evening I got home from town, and it was light when I took Hrimfara for a walk. As horse and owner walked, owner thought about the past year.

It was up and down. The Bright Lights Book Project continued to grow and acquired more of a life of its own. Now it’s a town mainstay.

The Wheels on Ice anthology also came out. This was my big writerly accomplishment.

Both Pete and I got Covid. It seemed to me to be like a very bad flu. I felt like I felt when I got my first Covid vaccine. I had flu like symptoms.

Tinni with kids

It was odd, as soon as there was an announced downtick in numbers, everyone stopped wearing their masks. Just a handful of people are continuing to do this. There is now something called Long Covid, which is extended Covid-like symptoms.

Our neighbor Jim died this past year. He kept to himself in his last few years. We remember him every time we eat his home-made applesauce. I also remember him every time I look out and see our bird bath.

Animals, it was not such a good year. It pains me to think about, much less to write about it. Tinni died very suddenly, on a sunny fall day. It was as if he’d made up his mind to go. And he made it easy for us, dying outside, on the lawn, at dusk, not too far from his final resting place. He went when I told him he could go. I miss him something awful.

And Ranger died not so suddenly, on a cold winter day. I got the sense that he was hoping to make it until spring. I didn’t tell him he could go because I thought he might get better. For a while we were lifting him up in the mornings. And on a few days, he accompanied the other goats down to the horse enclosure and back.

This past year, our chicken, Louise also died. This left us with four chickens. Thelma is the odd one out because like Louise, she’s white. Ruth, Bader, and Ginsberg are gold colored.

I suspect that now, wherever Tinni, Ranger and Thelma are, that they are both glad that they left here when they did. The snow, the cold, the wind, it would have been hard on them.

And we didn’t have to give them any drugs prior to departure.

Tinni is buried next to the compost station. He’s there with a few chickens, and Stormy and Rover the goats. Ranger is still in the compost heap. Pete and I have decided to bury him in the manure pile up behind the hoop house.

We didn’t do any horse trekking trips this past year. I didn’t get out of the neighborhood. I have vowed that it will be different this year.

No, it was not the best of years, it was not the worst of years, but perhaps next year it will be one hell of a party.

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