December 30, 2021: A sunny Thursday morning in Colorado brings with it the promise of a white New Year’s Eve and Day. I sit in my newly renovated kitchen and ponder about life, as 2021 is dwindling.
“The vid” is still running around doing its thing, screwing up people’s plans and minds, but we go on. I haven’t been “home,” to Romania to visit with family in three years, and I hope that 2022 will be the year when we’ll resume our international travels. Other than that, thankfully, we fared 2020 and 2021 well.
There was the heartbreak of losing our two dogs to old age—Kylie, the Border Collie passed away in September of 2020, shortly after we moved to Colorado, at the age of 15 and a half; Roxie, our Mini Dachshund, got tired and just wanted to sleep forever at the age of 16. But, we still have our “Catasaurus”: my 21-year old cat, Gypsy, so we relish her (loud) presence for as long as she’s around.
We managed to buy a house despite the crazy housing market, and after months of living through extensive reno, we made it into a cozy and comfortable home. We are extremely blessed and thankful every day for the amazing community that our neighbors provide. We continue to enjoy the extensive sun shining days of Colorado, and David even ventured out skiing.
We miss traveling, and our families and dogs, but as we settle into our house and lives in Colorado, we look forward to resuming our RV (and otherwise) travels. Meanwhile, here are the 2021 highlights:
A visit from my bestie and her hubbie, the magic of Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanical Garden, the beauty of a winter drive through Rocky Mountains National Park, elk and eagles, Unions Station, crisp air, something hot out of the oven, cozy kitties and puppies.
Warm walks, delicious food, Roxie’s artful ear displays, cuddles with kitty, making a new friend in the neighborhood (Bear, the Aussie dog), fresh snow, fireplace, good beer.
A visit to Tennessee, friends, friends’ dogs, David’s mom’s birthday, spring weather and flowers in Tennessee, a sweet reunion with dance buddies, a freak snow storm that dropped 2 feet of snow on Denver area (luckily, we missed it because we were in Knoxville), and of course, puppies and kitties.
Pleasant evenings on the patio with “the kids,” trips to Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, fancy hairdos and ballroom dancing.
Apple blossoms, a trip to New England (NH, VT, MA), catching up with good friends, yummy poutine and chowdah, good days with puppy and kitty.
Return to Denver (circle the airport for a while before landing due to wind; vibrant sunset on the ride home), colorful blooms, sweet smelling roses, peonies, lilacs, and linden trees, a porch party with the neighbors, buy a house and make reno plans.
Move into our house, comfort soup with the neighbors, beautiful nature walks.
House renovations, heartbreak as Roxie goes over the rainbow, house renovations….
Impromptu road trip up the mountain to catch some Colorado gold before the cold front comes in, sunbathing kitty, making a backyard friend (a squirrel I named Squirrelina), back yard bonfire, roasted eggplants, stalking our old house in Tennessee, MBA school girlfriend reunion, a hike in the Smokies with my bestie, delicious Full Service BBQ, hanging out with Tennessee friends in Denver.
Beautiful fall colors in the Rockies, making progress on the house reno, unpacking some boxes (found my foreign language books!), fun Halloween party.
Hike up the Flatirons with David’s sister (absolutely amazing!), Van Gogh immersive expo, countertops in the kitchen two days before Thanksgiving (yay!), Thanksgiving with friends, house really coming together now (see the before and after photos), Hanukah with neighbors, housewarming party with neighborhood friends.
Celebrate Romania’s National Day with friends, T-shirt weather walk, cozying up by the fire, Christmas lights at Chatfield Farms, a Christmas concert (featuring our neighbor’s amazing brother and kids), Christmas celebrations with friends (David got stuck in a snowstorm and barely made it to Christmas Eve—but they skiing was good!), homemade traditional food: cozonac and sarmale! (read more about Romanian Christmas traditions). Ready for New Year’s celebrations with friends and maybe snow.
2021 was a glass-half-full kind of year, and mentally I’m in a much better place than I was two years ago. I look forward to joyful opportunities in 2022. I think that our travels and the change of status quo (and maybe age?) brought about a different approach to living for me, so, without delving into the deets, I leave you with this:
Change is inevitable and can be really good; be open to new experiences and keep your heart open for goodness—it’s still out there.
I wish you a Happy New Year
filled with joy, goodness, and love!