Goodbye 2022

Cooper on a day when Christmas had passed.

Christmas this year was a lot like past Christmas holidays when we got tons of presents under the tree. In our case it’s due to free-spending grandparents who have too few kids and grandchildren to buy stuff for.

So Christmas was uneventful. But as I look back, I think that 2022 was a good year. My daughter Sophie went off to college. Nicholas is still finishing college.

I joined a Meet-Up group that went on hikes. The people were fit and friendly and gave me a great thing to look forward to. I met a pretty woman who I started seeing, and in March I hiked in the beautiful mountains near Seattle with Jaye, a friend that I met the previous year on RAGBRAI, the bike ride across Iowa. She invited me to stay at her home, which was then a yurt, and I left with many fond memories.

Then I met Bonnie. She’s a wildlife conservationist by trade, who can point out and name rare and common plants we encounter on any backcountry path. Maybe our most memorable time was when two turkey vultures circled above us on a dusty trail as if they were waiting for us to become carrion.

She has helped me to more completely know and love the land in San Diego, nearly 25 years after I moved here.

The previous few years were tough. My marriage broke up and then COVID forced all of us to the suffer the isolation that can kill your spirit.

But in 2022 things got better. I no longer had to drive my kids to school during rush hour every day (God, I did dislike that!) and that feverish hustle of raising kids, caring for elderly parents and working full-time that comes with middle age seemed to ease up.

I remember a counselor I saw, when I was trying to get a grip on my life after the divorce, told me that we should try to have an attitude of gratitude. She joked about the corny phrase but it struck a chord with me. I think I was able to displace the anger that was too often controlling me by remembering there are people I love and my life was pretty good.

My ex-wife and I are still friends and when we gather with the kids we are still a family. I hope for another woman in my life. And, of course, there is my dog Cooper, who loves me.

The year that just went by was a good one. If 2023 is as good, that’ll be good enough for me.

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