Looking back, it was really a mixed year of some big changes. Building our house really too a full year, from signing a development contract to getting the grading fixed - and were not there yet. It's pleasing and comfortable, warm and cozy. Still more decorating to do (I'll be playing with a new mat cutter today, preparing to frame some woodcuts Karen purchased on ebay). And, perhaps, this week the excavator will bring in a load of fill dirt to dump in a sink hole that developed atop our septic tank and is serving as a conduit for rain and snow melt into our crawlspace. For the past few months, out builder has been pumping and drying out the crawlspace (but the tree frog down there is still alive and croaking).
During the construction, I had been worried about being able to climb up our 10-12% half-mile driveway following snow and the formation of ice, but the combination of snow tires on both our vehicles and a plow blade on my ATV has taken that worry off my platter of concerns.
I brought Pepper home a few weeks later. He's a loving, manipulative dog, something of a clown, but usually quiet in the house. He's made walks more enjoyable and made our mud room even more of a necessity.
We were relatively healthy this year. I had only one trip to the hospital, but it was just catch and release for dehydration - careless lack of water intake at a burn pile. Karen's got some joint aches and pains, but that's the trade-off for aging. I turned 62 in October and received my first Social Security check in December. Could I have waited? Sure. Would I be alive at 65? Who knows. Speculation aside, SS more than pays for our new mortgage.
Both our mothers are still floating in that twilight between cognitive life and physical death. Karen's mom has been in assisted living with dementia for nearly five years; my mother with the same condition for four and-a-half. Thank heaven for Medicare and Medicaid.
Finally, the re-election of President Obama was a vote for fiscal and social sanity (a concept better left unspoken here in northern Idaho) and a reprieve from Mitt Romney as our commander/social conscience/consoler/inspirer-in-chief.
Here's looking to a stellar 2013.