It’s that time of year once again to reflect on this year that seemed to fly past in a blur. While reading Doris’ annual news letter, she reminded me of all that I had done this year and I began to shudder in relief that it was over.
Doris’s journey through this year began when she and John decided to achieve their long planned move from Washington, DC to Colorado. Years back, they had purchased land near his family and held onto it until they were ready to retire and build their home there. The house was completed and the move begun in the early months of this year. She wrote, “Getting here was an adventure that truly tested our mettle. In late December 2009, we drove west to relocate the minivan to CO. In the middle of “nowhere” Kansas, the sky dropped several tons of snow in our path and brought our trip to a full stop. We spent days in a motel waiting for the highway to reopen. We ate Christmas dinner from a vending machine.
The return trip to Virginia was another adventure. Amtrak’s California Zephyr was hours late arriving in Grand Junction to pick us up. Once on board we learned the dining car was not in service. Since we had paid for meals as part of our tickets, the crew picked up sandwiches at stops along the way. Then came …… Nebraska, which has long been the bane of our cross-country travels, and this trip was no exception. At one point, we stopped to allow a westbound train to pass. But the westbound train was snowbound many miles to the east and waiting for the track to be cleared. Notice the word “track” is not plural.
By the time the westbound train and track were free of snow, our crew had been on duty beyond their legal limit of work hours. So again we waited, this time for a replacement crew to be brought in – but not before I overheard the conductor asking someone on his radio, “Can’t we just leave the train unattended?” Finally underway again, we climbed into our bunks to be rocked to sleep by the rhythm of the rails …… only to be awakened by another stop and another wait in Iowa where the train had hit a truck that was stranded on the track. Luckily, no one was injured and we continued on our way to Chicago, arriving only 19 hours late and with tales to embellish and tell our grandchildren in years to come.
Taking the second car to Colorado was not quite as eventful, but that trip did initiate Doris into winter driving in the mountains, as it was her turn to drive as we went through Vail Pass during a white-out. The remainder of the year pales in comparison.”
Oddly enough, my year was for the most part about traveling and moving, too. In February, I visited Kansas City and Independence, MO while April found me in Phoenix. In June, I met my new granddaughter in North Carolina while September and October included a trip each month to Tennessee. January was spent packing personal household goods, February and part of March were spent getting the interior of my house painted and the last of March involved selling or donating furniture and more household goods. April was all about my son’s wedding and May was spent sleeping and catching up with myself and Emma. The summer months were for surviving the heat with August really testing all of us. Just as I had given up on selling my house this year, it sold. Then, the final packing and purchase of another home pushed me into a full blown tizzy. Now, two months later, I just don’t want to move or go anywhere. Go figure. The new year will begin with all of us settled and snug in our homes. That puts a big smile on my face. It was all worth it since I really enjoy my new location and life. May the new year see my daughter and her husband have the same luck as we had this year and may it bring us all peace and joy. Happy New Year everyone.