A new year always means new calendars for me. I like all the blank squares just waiting for me to write fun or exciting new events on them. Fortunately, I received three calendars for Christmas. The one on the right was made by my eight-year-old granddaughter Lou. It’s a self portrait done in “mixed media.” The whole family thought it was “just stunning.”
The calendar on the left is the second annual (yes, I’m already hinting for next year) photo calendar made by my son-in-law. It features our granddaughters at the top and then each family member has their picture on the date of their birthday. The third calendar is the one I carry in my purse to help keep appointments straight.
There will be many good events added to those 2014 calendars. The most important event I’m looking forward to is the celebration of my husband’s and my fiftieth wedding anniversary. Yes, you read that right – 50 years. How did that happen? How did that many years accumulate so fast? Time really does fly.
Since Jay and I aren’t big party types, our celebration will be a big family camping trip in Grand Teton National Park. It’s where we spent our honeymoon and the site of many camping trips over the years. For those of you unfamiliar with the mountains, I’ve included an image of my Favorite Places logo. The mountains in the background are the Tetons – located in northwest Wyoming, just south of Yellowstone.
There are other things I’m looking forward to this year. That includes my activities in a local Toastmaster’s club where I’m currently vice president of education. My husband and I belong to a Senior Writers Project where everyone is over sixty. We meet bi-weekly and work on writing our memoirs. This year we’ll publish a book with contributions from everyone in the project. My husband and I are also working on our own “He Said/She Said” memoir that we hope to have done in time for our big 5-0 celebration. So yes, lots of writing this coming year.
What else is coming up? Reading, of course. I can’t give up my life-long love of time with the books. 2014 is already lining up to be filled with special books for me to read. I like discovering new authors and I hope to do that in 2014. But – there are some new books out written by some old favorites and I can’t wait to charge forward with them. For instance, Amy Tan and Fannie Flagg have new books. Did you hear that a long hidden, never-been-published novel by Pearl Buck was discovered? That one has me intrigued.
I belong to two book clubs and we have chosen our books for the first half of the year. We tend to like a mix of the old and somewhat new. A few of the books we plan to read are Nemesis by Phillip Roth, Over the River and Into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway, XX by Pat Conroy, and a collection of connected short stories by Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro.
There are so many books to read and, this time of year, I tend to get carried away with buying new books and putting holds on too many books at the library. So, to help me control myself, I’m accepting the Triple Dog Dare Challenge. In this challenge I pledge to read only those books I already own for the first three months of the year. Since my eyes restrict me from reading small print, I only read books on my kindle where I can adjust the font size and audiobooks. The rules of the challenge require that I can only read or listen to those books I owned prior to January 1. I’m determined to succeed on this one.
(Click on the title to link to the challenge for nore information.)
Finding enough to read isn’t a problem. I already have a large amount of audiobooks downloaded from the library plus the audiobooks publishers have sent me. My kindle also has an embarrassing number of backlogged books on it. What I need the challenge for is that carrot dangling in front of me to keep me focused. The challenge will be my carrot. That, and the promise of a bunch of new books on April 2nd. I’ve joined six new reading challenges. I’ve set that up in a separate post which I will share with you tomorrow.
As you can see, I’m looking forward to the year ahead. There are some really big events, some smaller events, and all the other pleasures that come each day. I’m so glad I’m retired. I don’t know how I’d cram a job into the midst of all this! Whether you have a job or are joyfully retired like me, I hope your 2014 will be filled with special events, loving people, and loads of good books.