An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

December 31, 2017

The Last Sunset of 2017

     I am generally a glass half full person, but this past year has me reevaluating my portions. I am not sure I have ever wanted to see a year close more than I have wanted this one to do so. Unfortunately, like many years do, it is leaving a lot of unfinished business for what follows. This was the year hospice took over the care of my mother-in-law, saying she only had weeks to live. That was in early April, and she has been proving them wrong since. Defying expectations imposed upon her has been Greta's modus operandi for most of her life. During that same week we had to have a leg removed from our dog Penny. She is fine now, but the night we brought her home is forever etched in my memory as we spent it trying to keep her from hurting herself while she thrashed around screaming. The lowest point of 2017 came with news that someone I would give my life to - someone I gave life to - had made some extremely stupid decisions. Decisions that have altered the course of his life, and decisions whose final repercussions have yet to be determined. Decisions that make loving a greater effort - but I love still. As if I didn't have enough to occupy my mind, the dire straights in which this country finds itself cloud everything.


     I am not usually one to burden others, so apologies please. Not everything is dire. I finished an overdue article today on ambrosia beetles. I am sipping really good beer in a handsome tumbler embossed with images of a kraken, both Christmas presents. The house is warm, and outside my Edgeworthia and winter daphne are both full of buds.

     Here's to glasses half full, and a happy new year for all of you!
   

23 comments:

  1. I so hope that the worst is behind you and 2018 will be much better.

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn. I do hope it will be better.

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  2. Les - take heart - and this too shall pass. Only three more years of Trump!

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    1. I hope it will be less than three!

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  3. I hope 2018 is better for you. I agree with you about 2017. I have had more uncertainties and anxieties this year than any other.

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    1. Phillip, I hope you have a good 2018, and that you are enjoying your new home.

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  4. Gook luck accepting what comes and changing what you can.

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    1. Thank you, James. Your words are what I try to live by.

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  5. Oh dear, I do hope 2018 will be a much better year--for all of us, but especially for you. Enjoy that beer! I had some myself, and it's a good, solid beverage for ringing in the New Year! Cheers!

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    1. Beth, I appreciate your sentiments. A good beer makes any day better.

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  6. Les, I share the feeling and the losses, and wish you and your family peace and strength and more than half full.

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    1. Lynn, good wishes to you as well.

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  7. Sheesh, what a rough year you had. The kayak and bike trips helped you get through it though. Next year has to be better on all fronts. I hope you find solace tending to your garden and have the time and energy to share it on your blog.

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    1. Thank you, Chav.! Yes, the kayak, the garden, and the bike are great helps.

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  8. Oh, Les. I came by wondering how this crazy weather might be affecting you. Clearly not a major concern. My husband and I are both "orphans" at this stage so we know what you are going through. Though we are not parents, we have been trying to help a niece and nephews who have made bad decisions and gotten into some real trouble. They still struggle but things are much improved, though it took time. Our niece, in particular, has come so far that it is a joy to see her and her family. She's coming over this weekend to inherit our guest bed and bedding. I am old enough that I remember 1968 which I always said was a year I wished I had not lived through and never wanted to do so again. We are now 50 years on and I am trying not to be "glass totally empty" about what the future holds. But it is hard somedays to be optimistic. Hope things improve this year for you and your family and our country.

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    1. Linda, that you for taking the time to comment. Since this new chapter in my family's life began, people have been relating similar episodes, people like you, and it is nice to know we are not alone. It is also good to hear that people grow and change, hopefully growing from their mistakes. Happy new year to both of you!

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  9. I know, I know... some years it just seems to pile on doesn't it? I lost several family members, and multiple friends, this year and a half. There were three surgeries and a hospitalization between my husband and I, and our cat! And I too have a family member who's made bad choices, and all we can do is hope for better, and care for the ones she's tangled in the mess she's made.
    But time passes and things happen. And they're sometimes good... sometimes even very good. So I hold on to those moments of love and laughter. And I look around and take joy in the people, animals, plants, and more that surround me. A glass maybe just a little more than half full...
    I hope 2018 brings you a (metaphorical) waiter to fill that glass up just a little more.

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    1. Kathleen, thank you for taking the time to write. I am sorry you have lost family and friends recently, and I hope that you and your husband have healed, and your cat! And yes, time does pass, and things do get better.

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  10. Dear Les, As a parent, of someone who made some awful choices which did alter the course of his life, I feel your pain. I can only offer that some of us are slower learners than our off spring and continue to think we can fix and repair that which has been broken. We can but pray they learn from their mistakes and come away a better choice maker. On that cheerful note I'll just say you are blessed to have winter Daphne in bud. I'm anxiously awaiting the blooms of various daffodils and day lilies, newly planted in 2017, which are currently buried under a foot of snow! Thanks for the beautiful photos you shared during 2017 and I'm wishing you and yours the best in 2018. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you, Vikki. I appreciate your comments and their sentiments. I do hope that my wayward child learns from what he has done, and it will be one of those things that will make him a stronger person in time. I was out looking at my garden this evening, and am anxious to see what damage the snow has done, if any. I do not fret about it, because I know there is little I can do about it, and if anything needs to be removed, it just makes room for something else. Happy new year to you, and I hope to see you around the Garden.

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  11. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I can't commiserate about your son but I can somewhat about your dog. It's terrible to see an animal suffer (especially yours) and not be able to make them feel better.

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