Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ringing It In

The last few months of 2015 weren't bad, necessarily. I got to experience many good things — even wonderful things — over the holidays of the year's last quarter. Halloween proved more than enjoyable for Kimberly and me, downright sublime, even, with a couple of excellent days at the View Cabin at the Stonewall Bed & Breakfast in the mountains of Virginia. Our festivities included visits to Villa Appalaccia Winery and Chateau Morrisette. After a warm and relaxing Thanksgiving at the old homestead, Kimberly and I returned to both Villa Appalaccia and Chateau Morrisette, which proved even better than on our previous visit — and en route, we went after a geocache called "Trout Slayer" that took us to one of the most beautiful locations I have ever visited in the state of Virginia. My extra-long Christmas/New Year's vacation has been largely relaxing, with several much-needed days to myself, as well as gathering with friends and family. Kimberly and I enjoyed a fabulous, if overly expensive New Year's Eve dinner at The Golden Leaf Bistro in Danville. In their ways, these experiences could not have been better — or better timed.

Over all of this has hung the specter of a most loved one in prolonged distress. I won't go into detail here, not now; but I'm sure that any of you who have faced the severe decline of a parent or other family member can relate to what this feels like. It's the heaviest, most grievous burden I've ever had to bear. And it's less the immediate burden than the fact there's no true resolution on the horizon; just a long, slow, downward spiral leading inevitably to death, not to mention a whole new and very unwelcome uncertainty about the future. I've never felt such a sense of loss, even when my dad passed away in the early 2000s. Yes, the stress is taking a terrible toll on my sleep, on my health in general. I'm tired.

Of course, I will press on, and at some unknown time in the future, new life changes will replace those of the present. Some for the better, others not so much. This is just part of that journey we all undertake — a particularly rough stretch of rapids in the river, the terminus of which remains unknown, thankfully offering a few small pools of tranquility amid the rocky shoals.

Amid it all, good things have been happening on the writing front (and on that note, there's only a couple of days left to pick up Gods of Moab for your Kindle for only 99¢); I have geocaches to hide and seek; activities to pursue with my favoritest, loveliest lady; the world's best friends; a day job where my work and personal presence are valued. What was that blog I wrote the other day? Oh, yeah: That Which Doesn't Kill You....

I may need a lot of those burgers coming up.
Sunset on Christmas Day, 2015, viewed from the place I have always loved most.

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