2023 in Review

December 31st, 2023 by Jan

2023 in Review
So, here we go again…My Sisyphean life up for review! I will say, for the most part, 2023 was a good year. Ken and I are happy, healthy and grateful.

The Year in Review in simple question and answer form.

What did you do in 2023 that you’ve never done before?
Shared High Tea at the Empress Hotel
Joined the board of directors of our local quilt guild as Vice President.

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions/motto, and will you make more for next year?
No resolutions to speak of. I do have a few goals in mind for 2024. I’d like to get our affairs in order, actually they are in order, but could use an update.
The motto of Do Good stands well with me.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several friends got more grandchildren.

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. And sadly, this list is only going to get longer each year as we get older. In 2023 family, friends, teachers, friends of ole and spouses of friends died.
Let me say their names.
Ron Parker
Lloyd Zeust
Robert Peters
Diane Kehoe
Larry Loucks
Wen-Mei Yu
Kathy Keenan
Richard Granada
Theresa Smith
Deb Hopson
Janice Skeels

And some good dogs died as well.
MuMu, Purty, Bonsai, Ruby, Roxo, Henri, Suki, Honey, Maggie, Browzee

What countries did you visit?
The better question is did I leave the coast? And the answer is YES! Four times!
I flew on a seaplane and vacationed in Victoria with Andrea.
I was a guest at Marian’s birthday party on Bowen Island.
Ken and I drove into Vancouver. It took nine hours and we went to one store!
I attended my 50th High School Reunion in New Mexico, with a stop in Las Vegas to visit Art, Mittens, and the Isola Peak Ave. gang.

What would you like to have in 2024 that you lacked in 2023?
I don’t lack much – anything I do miss out on is because I get lazy or my being an introvert kicks in and I’d rather stay home.

What events from 2023 will remain etched upon your memory?
Our dog MuMu was fine and then dead a mere 3 hours later. Her death shocked us with zero prep. I know we all think we would like to die that way, but it really sucks for those left behind.
Going to my high school reunion was great fun and dancing with my childhood friend Dorcas while we caught up was a real highlight. Almost running into a bear with Trina was exciting, hiking with Susie and Aspen was delightful. Talking story with Clevenger and Zelinski was just grand. I was really glad I went.
Also, anytime spent with my brother Art is good.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I don’t set out to achieve – However, I do keep count.
I read 43 books and listened to 75.
Hiked 1740 km most of them solo or with MuMu.
I kept my girlish figure, within a pound or two all year.
Gave away 13 quilts as “random acts of fabric” and continue to raise money for our food bank selling and sewing tote bags.
I can bake a mean loaf of bread now.
I continue to take painting lessons with Jess Rice and see I’m slowly making progress!

What was your biggest failure?
Happily nothing comes to mind too quickly.
I was totally surprised when I was shown a particular Pilates move, then when I tried it – I was flabbergasted that I couldn’t even come close to performing it! (I used to have a smarter body).

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Gratefully, Ken and I are well and healthy.
We have aches and pains that come with the luxury of age.
We both had colds this year and are still in the “not yet” category when it comes to Covid.
I have a jar of CBD cream on my counter that helps a lot with the chronic pain and noise from old injuries.

What was the best thing you bought?
Sandy’s Bakery in Gibsons has these peanut butter and chocolate cookies that are worth mentioning.
Ken bought a fancy new lathe
I got new hiking boots.
We have a full wood shed and a freezer full of food.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Flo Lindsey, Tammy Totman, Art Hudson, Jess Rice, Anna Michael, Kathy Granger, Allyson Appen, Trina Raper, Mike Clevenger, Kas Sears, Gary Worrell, and of course my BFF Sandie Moss!
I continue to cheer the everyday actions of my husband Ken.

Whose behaviour appalled you?
You know who you are… (and are probably not reading this!)

Where did most of your money go?
We are fortunate to be able to say most of our money goes towards making life easier for ourselves and others.

What did you get really excited about?
Eating New Mexican green chile for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Biscochitos, and Christmas cookies!
Writing to pen pals and dancing with old friends.
Spending hours alone in the woods.
Receiving letters and packages in the mail.

What song will always remind you of 2023?
Hey Baby (they’re playing our song).

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?  Happier
ii. thinner or fatter?  I’m still in my self-imposed weight range.
iii. richer or poorer?  Richer in all ways that matter.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Great question. I tend to do what I want.
Off the top of my head I wish I had eaten more cheese.

Did you fall in love in 2023?
Ken has my heart. Our life together is good. We celebrated 40 years of marital bliss this year.

What was your favourite TV program?
I record TV shows, then fast forward through them. I finally got around to watching The Office.(meh) I like Annika, Silent Witness and Midsomer Murders.

Have you let go of any resentment or have a regret you cling to?
I continue to resent selfish, stingy and narcissistic people in general, Specifically, I’m done. Not mad, not bothered, just done.
I still regret never learning how to make tamales.

What was the best book you read?
I read a lot this year – a few favorites were:
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
Riding the Lightning by Anthony Almojera
Ducks by Kate Beaton
Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel
Women and Power by Mary Beard
Fayne by Ann Marie Macdonald
The Five Wounds by Kristen Valdez Quade
The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister
The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia
Hotline by Dmitri Nasrallah

What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?
I’m not very adventurous when it comes to music and go days without listening to it. However one of my paintings was used for the cover on the latest CD for the Art Hudson Band!
I do like hearing Ken sing when he plays guitar.
Playing music trivia with Art Hudson is beyond fun!

What did you want and get?
New Mexico green chile.
Time spent with old friends, including a reunion with six friends who were in the same kindergarten class as me!
Thirty-friggen-nine years of sobriety!

What did you want and not get?
New furniture for the living room. (we tried, but “supply chain” issues.
Evening snacks!
I’m still on the hunt for a new ironing board cover that fits my ironing board.

What was your favourite film of this year?
I think the only film I saw this year was Oppenheimer. I’m glad I read the book American Prometheus and also knew the story from growing up in Los Alamos. I was disappointed they filmed it near Abiquiu and not up on the hill.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 68 on May 20. I got a lot of attention, cards, cake and a bird bath for the yard, plus I went for a hike! It was a good day.

What one thing made the year immeasurably more satisfying?
One thing – dancing with Dorcas!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2023?
I continue to literally wear the same ole, same ole.

What political issue stirred you the most?
I stir easily. It’s best for me to keep my head down.
Yes, I know my privilege.

Who and what did you miss?
Who I miss –
My friend Kas moved off the coast and took her dogs Oliver and Rodney. I miss them.
I miss hanging out and laughing with Art and his silly kitty Mittens.
I miss MuMu
I miss having a cat
I still miss my mom, Kim, and Patti.

What did I miss?
Not much. However, please remember when dealing with your introverted friends… We may not go, but we still want to be asked!

Who was the best new person you met?
Shelly Elston.
Shelly lives in the neighbourhood and we’ve seen her walk her dog Ava. This year, Ken made a table for her and in trade she offered cookies and a few Pilate’s classes. Well, I fell in awe of her skill, knowledge and humor and I signed up for regular Pilates lessons now.
A shout out also goes to Cheryl, Glenn and Teresa.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2023.
It’s not that hard to be kind or generous.
A small gift is never inappropriate
Take joy in the minutia of a day. What we do daily will determine how we look back on our life.
If your friend writes a book – buy it!
We never finish grieving the death of a loved one. We learn to live without them and it sucks.

What happens when you die?
First off, the people who love me, will cry and miss me. Then hopefully they will come and clean out my stuff.

On we go, with love


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