Squirrel on a wooden fence in a back yard.
A squirrel in my back yard.

My past year on this earth was a bit of a whirlwind. Facing down the COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy on any of us. But, years from now, I think I’ll remember the good stuff. My life has changed for the better in so many ways.

I am in my second year of writing for WP Tavern. The opportunity to continue building my skills as a writer — and get paid for it — is a blessing, even more so when so many others have been out of work.

My car finally died around September. We had a good 13-year run together. This was also a blessing because I needed something bigger and newer for hauling boxes to my new home in December, which sits on 2.5 acres just a short drive outside of Alabama’s capital city of Montgomery. The new place is only a couple of miles from my parents’ house.

I am thankful that Oreo, one of my six cats, came back after he was lost twice last year. The first time was a couple of weeks. The second, he was gone for two months. He is now safe and sound with his family: Smeagle, Jane, Panther, Simba, and Twinkle.

I spent the morning trimming weeds around the house. Tomorrow is my official housewarming. Family will gather, eat some home-cooked carnitas, and see the new place.

It comes at a rough time for one side of my family. It will be exactly one week since my grandparents’ house caught on fire. Fortunately, no one was injured, and they only lost their kitchen. We have had many holiday dinners sitting around the table. I know that my Granny will eventually get herself a new kitchen, and we will make new memories. However, it is still heartbreaking to think about what was lost.

When I write these birthday posts, I always feel like I need to post something profound — share some life lessons. However, I’m a bit tired today. It has been a long week. Long months, really. Home ownership is a lot of work. And, attempting to be a good steward of the acreage I own has kicked my butt here and there. I have so many plans and never enough time to see them all through. I realize that it is a years-long project. I cannot build it all overnight, but that does not mean that I’m not shooting for it.

I am going to let myself off the hook today and save those profound thoughts for another day. I will watch a bit of TV, play some Halo, and enjoy some ice cream (Blue Bell’s pecan pralines and cream). It is my birthday, after all.

Until next time…

Previous years: 36, 35