Saturday, January 17, 2015

Reflections 2014

Happy New Year to ALL.....

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.                                                                            --Maya Angelou

Home had many shapes for us in 2014.   As we traveled between our homes in Tucson and northern Michigan, we also felt at home during twenty or so visits to family and friends.  It was also a year we celebrated milestones-- twenty years ago we met, ten years ago we retired (dividing our time between MI and AZ) and began building Sweetwater Lodge, and five years ago we bought a home in Tucson.    
We started the year in Tucson, where we enjoyed a warmer than usual season.  And, with the rest of the country experiencing just the opposite, we had an abundance of guests in the apartment of the house we are rehabbing.  We traveled a couple of times to real winter weather-for wonderful visits to Pittsburgh—gotta have that time with the grand-girls!

In May we meandered north,  with stops in Texas, Missouri,  Pennsylvania and lower Michigan,  before  we landed  at Sweetwater Lodge (Bois Blanc Island/ northern Michigan) in late June.  While in Michigan, we traveled frequently between there and Ann Arbor/ Dexter to be able to reconnect with dear friends.

Sara turned 40 in July (another important milestone!) and we had a wonderful time helping her celebrate at the delightful party Todd organized at their home in Pittsburgh.   We (Peter, Klara, Fern (9), Rose (7), and Sara) continued the party at the Jersey Shore with several days of camping. 

From New Jersey we traveled to New York for family gatherings, including a wonderful reunion of the Dooley siblings—Mike, Peter and Carol.

We were on the road so much of the summer that we decided to rent out Sweetwater Lodge for several weeks.  (Link to Sweetwater Lodge Facebook page: ).  Since 2015 will be another year of frequent travel, we plan to make it available again for much of the season.  Of course we still welcome our friends/family to join us when we are there! 

I headed back to Tucson in September, with a lovely stop in my hometown—Columbia, MO-- to visit my mother, family and friends.   Peter had several work related activities, mostly in the east, and arrived in Tucson the end of October.

We attended the American Public Health Association annual conference in November, and had a great time with colleagues and friends in New Orleans.
We finished 2014 by getting settled again in Tucson, reconnecting with the people and activities we love here.   Peter’s consulting practice, LaborSafe, and his work with National COSH keeps him busy and actively engaged with worker health and safety issues.  He also enjoys Spanish classes, organic gardeners meetings, and a daily swim.  I volunteer at BioTouch as a certified practitioner, attend a weekly writing workshop, a monthly blogging group, a photography class, meet friends at the pool almost daily, and occasionally write on my blog, 

It was a year of milestones.  It was a year of important connections/reconnections for us.   You greeted us,  welcomed us, warmed our hearts. You danced with us in the streets of Ann Arbor, played with us on the Jersey Shore, watched a glorious sunset on the beach at Sweetwater Lodge, hiked with us in Tucson, listened to Missouri roots music on a blanket….and so much more. Thank you, dear friends and family.   

In 2015 may we all strive to ease the craziness around us with acts of tenderness and love.  

Happy trails to you….until we meet again.

The house you live in will never fall down if you pity the stranger who stands at your gate.                                                                                                     ---Gordon Lightfoot