On this, the final night of 2011, I've spent a couple hours going back thru blogs I've written at the end of each year as far back as December of 2007, which was just before John entered my life.  (I didn't delve into my initial blog from the years prior to that, some memories are best kept boxed in the attic.) I am amazed at the transformation that has taken place in my life in four years time, far beyond anything I could have hoped for or imagined. 

Once a dedicated daily blogger, I've lapsed into sporadic posts interspersed with months of silence.  I've changed, what I choose to share has changed, and the blogging world itself has changed greatly, with Facebook luring many blogging friends away. Yet always, the words build up inside me, thoughts piling one upon another and clamoring to be written down.  Writing has always been my therapy. Blogging and the true friends I've made here, have preserved my sanity or what remains of it, and it could well be said have saved my life.

It is my nature to go silent when life is complicated, when all of my energy is required to get thru the days and at hand. I often feel boxed in, overwhelmed and searching for direction.  That has always been a part of my life. Sometimes explanation requires too much effort, and even communication is more than I can accomplish.  But through it all my heart remains that of a writer, and eventually I always emerge from my cave to write another day.

At the end of 2006, I had just moved out on my own after thirteen years of a very difficult and destructive relationship. At that point in my life I didn't even have a clue who I was anymore, I was just grateful to be alive. A year later, at the end of 2007, I was just days away from meeting John, though I didn't know it or anticipate it at the time.  The end of  2008 found me in a new city, with a new job and married to the love of my life.  December 30, 2009 brought the death of my father and a New Year's trip home to Dakota for his funeral. The end of 2010 marked our first New Year's Eve spent on our own little piece of land.  Now as 2011 draws to a close, I find myself unemployed for the first time in twenty five years.  I'll be working on that situation in the coming weeks, and prayers are appreciated! 
So here we are, at the end of another year.  To say that 2011 has been fun would be far from true.  Actually it's been a struggle not only for me, but for many people I care about.  Maybe that is the common theme of life now, struggle. But I am if nothing else a survivor, and a determined one.  I preach the gospel of believing in the future while taking life one day at a time.  Fear debilitates, hope gives us life. And so we journey on.

We choose to see the New Year in quietly, at home after a nice dinner out, curled up together on the sofa with movies, snacks, and our five beloved furkids gathered around us. In another hour we will toast the new year with American Honey Wild Turkey - my new most favorite drink, and pray for peace in 2012... peace in our world, and peace in the hearts and lives of those we love.

May 2012 bring blessings, good health, and happy memories in the making to each of you who stop by to visit here.  Hopefully, we'll be meeting on my blog more often in the year ahead!