As this year comes to a close, it provides a time for reflection about what this year has held for us. And it’s been a doozy. There are been times of great joy and excitement, but there have also been times of great heartbreak and sadness. I guess let’s start with the bad first...
So in true Felice McLane style, here’s a recap of some of this year’s “great stuff”...
Mark and I bought our dream house in the beautiful hills of Dundee, Oregon, planted rows and rows of lavender (and laid rows and rows of weed cloth and irrigation), reconnected with old friends, made some wonderful new friends, and got to know our great neighbors, read lots books to our sweet neighbor children (and got lots of hugs in return!), started new jobs (DW Fritz for Mark and Portland Community College for me), celebrated Mark’s mom’s successful battle against cancer and his father’s successful bypass surgery, got to know our goats Laverne and Shirley, hiked Silver Falls 4 times because it’s awesome, went wine-tasting or explored our new community with anyone who visited, learned a little about permaculture and food forests, watched our children learn and grow as they explore the world, and were thrilled when our daughter Lauren decided to move to Dundee.
Though this year gave me whiplash with all of the extreme highs and lows, in the end, I have learned to be grateful for every experience in life, both good and bad, because there are always lessons to be had:
- This year reminded me to slow down, to cherish each moment, and to be present. To find comfort in the beauty of the natural world, and to notice the little miracles around me every day: the white daisies in our field or the roses hidden in the blackberry bushes or the birds forming patterns overhead as I am working outside.
- This year I realized that the thing that gives me the most joy is watching my husband or children chase after their dreams and that I am happiest when I am able to put a little beauty or kindness out into the world. I’ve learned to focus on making a difference where I can make a difference and not let the noise of our world eat at my soul.
- This year I learned that just when you think you’ve got things figured out, life can throw a curveball that dispels that illusion. But even though the world changed for me in many significant ways this year, the love of my husband and my friends and family was strong enough to steady me. I am eternally grateful for the texts, the photos, and the words of encouragement that seemed to arrive just when I needed them most.
- And this year impressed upon me how important it is to cherish the relationships in my life and not take them for granted.
So thank you friends for being in our lives and for the love and encouragement that you have shown us over the years. Our hope is that we will see you sometime in the next year and that you will experience lots of the “great stuff” in the days and months to come.
With much love,
Pam and Mark (and family)