2019 in Review

Come January, I usually try to sum up the previous year in blogging. One of the easiest ways is to link to a favorite or meaningful post from each month. That’s the approach I’m taking this year, and here it is.

January: In January I considered the idea that I owned too many books. It did me no good. I insisted that I’d order more books, and I did. I suspect I always will, because I love owning books, even after I’ve run out of room to store them.

We have to talk about our book problem. . . .

Talking to Myself 1/8/2019

February: In February, I considered an old dream. I’d always wanted to learn to speak French. I did, at a limited level, for a while, but that ability has faded with time. I think I’m OK with that, though I will always love the language and keep alive the possibility of relearning it someday, and I will cherish all the words still remaining to me.

. . . I was never fluent, and I’ve lost all claim to being conversant. However, I do think I could pull off a rather startling monologue. It would go something like this:
I am American.
Let the good times roll.
I love you, and also croissants. . . .

Parlez-vous francais? 2/17/2019

March: In March I gave some thought to strengthening my writing. Knowing that “concise text is good text” doesn’t make it any easier to delete your own beloved words (i.e., to “murder your darlings,” as it’s often been put). Word hoarding is a strong temptation. I can’t say I embraced a resolution to be a harsher editor for my blog, but I accepted the necessity of it for any text I ever hope to publish elsewhere.

I very much know how little “very” contributes to my writing, and yet I want to keep it, just like I want to keep every magazine and newspaper, and every piece of children’s homework, and all their art, and their cute little paper worms for which I have no use and no room to store, really (really—also not a big contributor). But I want them anyway. Like they say, the heart wants what it wants. . . .

Paper Worms 3/9/2019

April: In April I participated in a limerick contest and won a prize. It gave me an amazing feeling of satisfaction to have worked hard on a writing project and to have been rewarded for it. It was a huge confidence boost! I wrote about the experience (and about some of the individual limericks) in a series of posts in early April, starting with this one.

On Saturday my husband reminded me that there was a limerick contest that I had wanted to enter. The deadline was Sunday. So, as crazy as it may sound, I spent much of my weekend writing limericks. . . .

Weekend Rhymes 4/1/2019

May: My husband and I began to focus on getting our house in order, to great results.

While we were furniture shopping last week, we also bought a bunk bed for Marshall. We ought to have gotten him one long ago, when he was younger, but at least he is not yet too old to enjoy such things. . . .

Step 1 5/7/2019

June: I often write about the many ways the children contribute to the daily happenings here. Everything they bring to our lives enriches our experience, sometimes humorously.

. . . After a while, I heard Livia call to her brother. “Look how many bubbles I have, Marshall!”
“Whoa!” responded Marshall, after viewing the soapy marvel.
In my office, I was thinking to myself, “This can’t be good. . . .”

That’s a Lot of Bubbles! 6/20/2019

July: Life isn’t all sunshine and kittens, and it’s OK to talk about the negatives, as I did here in July.

I got out of bed this morning, and I fed the children their breakfast, and I packed up their lunches. That was 100 times more than I felt like doing, . . .

Victory 7/18/2019

August: Sometimes I write about the random, everyday things going on in my life. Those posts often feel lame at the time of writing, but I’m always grateful for them later, because each one is like a snapshot of my life at that particular time.

I am eating cantaloupe. It’s not my favorite fruit by any stretch of the imagination, but . . .

Random Summer Thoughts 8/4/2019

September: In the late summer and early fall I spent a lot of time walking, taking pictures, and identifying plants. It was a pleasant and educational way to spend that part of the year, and I wrote many posts about it, such as this one from September.

I enjoyed my recent walks so much that I wanted to document all the wildflowers that I saw. There were so many, I don’t know if I will be able to get to them all. It may help to group related plants together, and with that thought in mind, here are the four clovers that I found along the walking trail. . . .

Four Clovers 9/25/2019

October: The fall not only brings cooler weather, but often, deeper thoughts.

I learned a lot about plants as a child. I lived in a quiet suburb, down the road from a farm, and not far from the woods. . . .

While It Lasts 10/20/2019

November: Politics made their way into my blog more often in 2019 than I would have liked. I couldn’t escape the world of news and, honestly, I was afraid to turn my back on it, afraid of what might creep up on me while I wasn’t looking. That’s no way to live, and I wish for 2020 to be a less worrying year, with no need to write posts like this one.

Today was a big day in U.S. history, because it was the first day of public hearings in the impeachment of Donald Trump. I had to work today, but I was able to listen to parts of the broadcast because my husband was watching it on television downstairs. . . .

All That Matters 11/13/2019

December: In December I reiterated my belief that, if I want to help the world, I need to start with the things that are within my immediate sphere of control. I made progress in 2019, but I have more to do. There’s a battle coming, and we all need to gather our powers in whatever way we can.

Have you heard the old joke about the idealistic teenager who tells his mother that he wants to clean up the world and she replies, “Good! You can start with your room!”? . . .

Starting With My Room 12/31/2019

It was an interesting year, and I’m glad I wrote about it as often as I did. Writing more was a positive change, and I hope I can continue it in the new year. I wish all the writers of the world a Wonderful and Wordy 2020!

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