As so many do, I reflect on the year just gone by.

I’m happy to report that the eleven octogenarians whom I love and adore are still with me and going strong on this last day of the year. I am so grateful for that. I’m surrounded by hundreds of years of wisdom. Good people.

I’ve certainly had my health challenges and this year added a new wrinkle to that. At the end of February, a pain developed in my flank area directly right of my tummy button. I’ve been through all the tests known to mankind and they haven’t decided what it is yet. These tests are continuing on into 2022 booked out until April. So, I live with it.

I am an active member of three writing clubs and that keeps me hopping. I’ve been invited to share various parts of my current novel, Murder on Belcut Mountain, through zoom. It’s been encouraging to see the response.

My grandson got married at the end of February and they had a beautiful baby girl on July 1. I became a great-grandma. I wish Norm was here to see this. It would be a great day for him, too.

My beautiful sister, Valerie, died from a diabetic event on March 15. I miss her so much it hurts every fibre of my being. Then, her wonderful husband, Ted, died on April 14th, only 30 days later. This loss has really devastated my family. The grief just comes in waves and knocks us down and beats us up. It’s horrible. There’s no getting around that. In between, I live my life.

I had my first Covid vaccination on April 16, the day after my son‘s 50th birthday. My next one was in June, and I had my booster last month. I’m good to go. I’m very careful.

My son turned 50. Good grief! Yikes, she says even louder. He’s a good man and I love him so much. We have supper together regularly.

Most months find me painting, writing, cooking, and playing with Bella. I see my friends a few times a month for lunch. It’s a good life.

On June 8 I shared the stage with some of the best poets around. I was honoured to be there. I read several of my poems and listened to many other people read theirs. It’s heartening to know that poetry is alive and well in the Tri-Cities.

On December 1st, I did it again, only this time I was surrounded by some awesome Murder, Thriller, Mystery writers. All so talented.

At the end of June, I almost died of heat exhaustion, but I didn’t know it until later when I spoke with my doctor. After sweating for days, I stopped sweating altogether. Intuitively, I was prompted on what to do and I did it although sluggishly. I started applying cool compresses, got a spray bottle and sprayed myself and Bella almost continuously. She wasn’t doing well either. It was 103 in our living room and 115 on my porch. I began taking sips of water several times in a row until my heart calmed down. It was at 125 for quite some time. I put all of the fans in the living room pointing at us. We were lucky. I barely moved for several days. The headache was unreal and it felt like I’d run a marathon.

I bless ZOOM every day. This last year I’ve been able to talk to my cousin Beth in Scotland and my cousin Dorothy Jean in Chicago. These zoom meetings have kept me going. My 12 step meetings, art group, and writers‘ groups have met regularly throughout this last year on zoom.

Bella turns 70 tomorrow January 1, 2022. She was 13 in human years on July 1. I turn 70 before her on July 8. YIKES! I am 70 years old, she says a little louder. Good grief! That’s OK I’m still alive and kicking and that’s the important part for me.

My sister Valerie and I were Irish twins. I was born on July 8 and she was born 364 days later on July 7. I really missed her at our birthday time this year.

My stepdad turned 90 in August. Wow, I hope I get to live that long. He’s holding his own.

This fall we were all shocked to see that we have yet another variant with the Omicron Virus. Even more contagious than the last one but not as deadly thank God. Everyone is still buckled down trying to see this thing to the end with the most people standing as we can have. But it’s decimating business is everywhere and that’s quite concerning.

In November, we went on flood alert here. I was ready to go at a moment’s notice. I left the house with much trepidation as to what would happen to Bella if it happened while I was out getting groceries? I didn’t sleep well. I kept waiting for that lapping sound from my childhood when we lived half in and out of the Fraser River in a house on stilts. My anxiety issues started to mount.

On November 26 my book Murder on Belcut Mountain was published on Norm’s fifth death date. I planned it that way. We loved watching these kinds of shows and always said that we could write them. And so I did. I honour his life by doing so. I know he’d be very excited by this. On Tuesday, January 4, I start book two, Murder in River’s Bend.

I’ve also written Waking Up to the Life Left in Me, which has been five years in the making and is a book on grieving, growing, and giving myself the green light to move ahead with my life. Hopefully, that will be published by February. And the other book that I have done this year is A Month of Fractal Bliss, which probably won’t end up being much more than a London Drugs coffee table book for me because there are so many coloured fractals in it, it would cost too much to publish. Ah, such is life.

Aaron and I had a lovely Christmas day together. Good food, playing crib together, laughing. I always enjoy his company.

We’ve had a ‘bloody great dump of snow’ as my husband would’ve said. It’s beautiful. These cold white sunshiny days are the stuff of dreams for me. I can’t be in the sun in the summer because I get blisters, and I get too hot. I have lupus. I’m allergic to bees and wasps. And it goes on and on blah blah blah. But winter is beautiful for me. Every time it snows, I get out there and at the very least drive around the property expanding on my driving skills in the snow.

I’ll sign off for now with a very Happy New Year to you all. It’s quiet for me tonight. Just Bella and I, as it has been for the last six New Years. Maybe there’ll be fireworks later to watch out the window.

I hope you enjoyed your evening.

Love Lyn

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