Skip to content

2023: The Living

I’m doing a year in review this week, focusing each day on a different hobby or part of my life. Today we are talking about . . . The Living. Or, the things that happened in my life this year that will stick with me.

Of course the biggest thing this year was that we lost my father-in-law, Jack. He was 97 and, while it’s certainly not a tragedy and he lived a long and glorious life, it’s still been a very sad time of adjustment. Dale misses his daily visits with Jack terribly and I miss so much about having him in my life and as my neighbor since we lived right next door. Just last week, as I was planning my Christmas baking, I felt the grief wash over me when I thought about not sending over Jack’s favorite treats like cardamom braid and lussekattar and Swedish rye bread. I miss his advice and his smile, and the safety net that came with knowing he always had our backs.

The other thing that happened, and I haven’t shared it here yet, is that Hannah moved back home with us for about 6 weeks last fall. She is now settled happily (and contentedly) in her own adorable apartment, living on her own for the first time in her life, and thankfully still less than 10 minutes away. It’s really not my story to tell, so I won’t be going into any details, but I’ve been sharing stories about Hannah since she was 12 years old and it felt wrong not to share this, too.

I spent a fair amount of time gardening, growing dahlias for the 2nd year in a row and loving the whole process. We went camping a lot but it still didn’t feel like enough. My OLW was a bust but some years are like that. We watched a lot of great television, enjoyed many nights by the fire, toasted every success, and accepted with grace the things that didn’t go our way. We celebrated out town’s bicentennial all year long. And we had a glorious summer of connection, entertaining friends under our pergola every week, going to concerts and events, and making the most of the longest days of the year.

I guess, looking back on everything, I feel . . . satisfied and grateful. And those are really great feelings to embrace.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. The older I get, the more holidays bring back memories of all the people we’ve lost. It is the order of things but it often lends a bittersweet remembrance to the holiday preparations. I know you remember Jack with love and satisfied and grateful are good feelings to wrap up a year with.

  2. I loved those dahlia’s you shared over those weeks! Your last sentences with feelings of satisfaction and gratitude… are the best things to feel as a year draws to a close! Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year!)

  3. Even with some significant hard things, it sounds like a life fully lived this year. Something I admire about you and Dale actually.

  4. What a lovely and positive post about acceptance and contentment, Carole. Thanks for sharing! There are lessons here for all of us.

  5. The dahlias are one of my favorite things about your 2023; thank you for sharing them and so much more with us. I was wondering about Hannah … so happy to hear she’s on her own and doing well.

  6. Full lives . . . are full of both good and bad, easy and challenging, happy and sad. You have a very full life, my friend. And I’m so happy you share it with us! XO

  7. Life has a way of keeping us humble with its never ending cycle of ups and downs doesn’t it? One of my summer highlights was to spend a beautiful day in Maine with you and Dale. We look forward to seeing you again in 2024! <3

  8. 2023 just felt like a year of “loss” for a lot of people. It had it’s good points, but I’m not sorry to see it go. My daughter is living on her own for the first time also this year after a tough break up with the man she thought she would be marrying. She also is living close by (about 3 minutes away actually). Life doesn’t always go the way we planned – but we try and find the good in it all. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2024!

Comments are closed.

Back To Top