At home, after a wonderful dinner of paella, toasting every time zone up to ours. When your family and most of your life-long friends are far and wide, it's become my favorite New Year's Eve pastime.
This fine year of 2012 is one I will remember fondly. It would be the year I turned 60. Last year at this time, I thought about making it really count. The main focus was Election Year. And re-electing President Obama was front and center, for SO many reasons.
I visited my Keara in Austin in February, and got to see a few friends in Houston. I do not miss Texas but I really miss my friends there. And I relearned that Texas in February is really really nice when you live in a cold snowy place. I could make a habit of that trip...
I ran for, and won, election as a National Delegate to the Democratic Convention in Charlotte. I will not underestimate myself ever again! I had never been to a National Convention, and I had never been to Charlotte. Both were fabulous.
I organized our Precinct Caucuses and County Convention, and went with a full complement of County delegates to the Congressional District Caucus and the State Convention. Our little band of Klickitat Democrats really gelled and even when I was out of town, they took care of business.
For my birthday in June, we played Tourist in our 'hood, and took an afternoon sternwheeler cruise on the Columbia from Cascade Locks. In the rain. It was fun. Really, it was. And the captain of the vessel was a young woman. It did this former seafarer good to see that.
Also in June, I traveled back to Boston for the 'Class of 70 Turns 60 Birthday Bash', reuniting with folks from my high school class. I'd been in touch with but a handful over the years. We started a Facebook Group in advance of the event, so that by the time we all met, we were not strangers.
July meant some family time...with my mom, brother, sisters, and Alina. And with Concord Cousins on the 4th of July. And with the Cape Cousins on the 7th of July, a big cookout planned at Dad's funeral back in Feb 2011, just like the old days...Pat even wore Uncle Jim's cookout hat and apron. I'm still smiling thinking about the big cousin bash. I am grateful that my daughters know their cousins, because cousins are really special. This trip I also got to spend a few days with the McKevitts in Chatham, with Alina. Another great Irish family in my life.
I was back in White Salmon in time for the Art and Wine Fusion and the 14th LD Picnic we organized at our city park, and for the fun of Jamba Marimba gigs. I do love my marimba band gals! We all need music in our lives.
Summer also means festival booths. My band of KD's took care of several in my absence, and we had a fine booth at the County Fair. And did I mention, I worked on Saturdays at Springhouse Cellar with the awesome Carolyn, with whom I discovered many connections (including fisheries and NOAA). I love it when new friends have 'old' connections. God, I've had so many lives! That's what happens when you are 60. BTW I'm back on Fridays now at the winery.
September's travels to Charlotte and Boston were off the charts. To spend almost a week in Charlotte with my fantastic delegation, and my old friend and mentor Susan from Ft. Bend, was a dream come true. Celebrating my mom's 85th birthday with both of my girls and most of my family was also very special. Then to top it off, I found out the end of the month that I had won the honor of a Magnussen Award for State Committeewoman of the Year! Can this get any better????
October was our 31st anniversary, and we FINALLY got to the coast. It was a perfect camping trip, perfect weather, perfect hiking with the most awesome dog ever, Brindle. Even at more than 14.5, she was up for long daily walks on the beach and a 5 mile hike thru the woods to Cape Lookout Point! On that trip I got word that we would be able to have a Dem HQ in downtown White Salmon. Seriously? Can this year get any better?????? And then all the days of manning the office, and phone banking (which I hate) paid off...with the best election night for me in a long time. I was flying from Boston to Portland on election night 2008. Found out Obama won as we touched down at PDX. This time we took over Los Reyes Mexican Restaurant in Bingen. A very good night indeed.
The weekend in Seattle for the Maggies was fabulous. And then, in November, my sister Mary called with the sad news that her husband had to be in Spokane, so there was a spare ticket to see Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball Tour stop in Vancouver BC on Nov. 26. Bad news...my passport expired Sept 26, in the frenzy of the political I'd neglected to renew...but the passport office and PO came through. I got my passport renewed in 12 days (expedited). So off I went, driving to Blaine, staying with friends, and Bolt Busing to BC from Bellingham. It was worth every penny, and every mile of driving. Bruce and Mary-time. So good. Added bonus of Humphreys (and the Banff Film Festival).
So yeah, it was a great year. The downsides? Losing Brindle after Thanksgiving. I was in Blaine. But we'd said our goodbyes after her October stroke. She knew I loved her. She was the Best Dog Ever, and had a good long life. Losing my cousin PJ. after a long battle with Hepatitis C. She had that twinkle in her eye you thought could never be extinguished. I saw her in July, when she was waiting on the list for a liver. There was not enough time. There is never enough time, so we all need to use ours wisely. Not having Keara and Alina here at all for the holidays. But they were with family in Boston, and we'll do Xmas in March in Texas.
On the whole, 2012 will go down in the annals of Lorrie History as an excellent year. A very excellent year. Look out 2013, I still have a ton of positive energy rolling here...
PS: I hereby resolve to write more in 2013.