I hope this letter/post finds you all well and getting some much needed rest from another challenging year.
2021 has felt like a true journey and as such has had it’s moments of rest and moments of stress, anxiety and the need for a stiff drink or two.
Burke, Fritz and I continue to navigate our way through life during which this last year we found ourselves in many new, yet familiar, surroundings.
In March, we stayed at a house in the Columbia River Gorge and enjoyed (Burke and I) going on several hikes in the area and relaxing and playing board games (Fritz – in particular) at nights. Despite the constant company of ants throughout the house and losing power the last night, it was nice to get out of the house even if it was only 45 minutes away.
In June, after making it through a challenging and complicated school year, I took the boys to Arizona where we got to spend Father’s Day with Teresa’s family and the boys stayed with her parents for a week while I retraced, and redrew, the trip that Teresa and I took on our honeymoon 20 years ago. Burke and Fritz loved hanging out with everyone in Phoenix and swimming in the pool. I appreciated the opportunity to spend some time alone while remembering Teresa and the memories we made on that trip while also learning to move forward a bit on my new path.
A couple of weeks after getting back from Arizona we flew to the Big Island of Hawaii to visit my sister and her family. It was a great time visiting with family and watching the boys experience the island for the first time. Besides the great company, the highlights for me were getting to watch sunset from the top of Mauna Kea and hiking into the crater of Kilauea with Burke.
We ended the summer by spending a few days in Bend, OR which had been one of our favorite family spots. The boys got to dig for fossils in the aptly named town of Fossil, OR and we also visited the painted hills on the way to Bend. We enjoyed visiting the shops and antique stores in and around Bend though, our favorite part of the trip was hiking at Smith Rock (Fritz wanted to go back for a second hike but the air quality was too bad due to nearby forest fires).
Fritz started his final year in elementary school in September and has been excelling as always. Besides being happy to be back in school and being around his friends more often, Fritz has enjoyed playing games online with his friends while also being on Zoom. Fritz continues to keep us occupied with board games and always does his best to keep us smiling and laughing…except when I make him hike too much.
Burke started his last year of Middle school in September and has been keeping busy with his school work while diving head-first into the world of sports. This fall Burke played in his first football league and really enjoyed it. He played mostly defensive line and enjoyed spending time with his friends on the team. After football ended with a close loss in the first round of the playoffs (Fritz and I are still attempting to regain feeling in our fingers and toes) Burke took a short break from the sports world before joining a wrestling club. While he enjoys being around his friends in Wrestling I think he prefers football between the two. Besides school and sports, Burke continues to be a big help around the house and enjoys reminding me that he is taller than I am and has much, much more hair than me. Despite this, I still love the guy.
I continue to work for Pinehurst Management as the Controller and am grateful for my job. I enjoyed the various trips that we went on this year and enjoyed having Teresa’s parents in town for my birthday. I also completed my first 10K a few weeks ago and am told that my knees may stop hurting around the same time that the Chicago Bears win the super bowl. I’m happy to have done it though and may even try it again sometime.
As 2021 comes to a close tomorrow and 2022 begins, I feel that, despite the difficult times, I am grateful for this life and who/what I have in it. I miss Teresa everyday but am grateful for her love and the example she set for living a good, and kind life. I’m grateful for Burke and Fritz and their companionship and love. I’m grateful for all of the love and support that our family’s have shown the boys and I. I’m grateful for my friends and their willingness to listen and to hang out. I’m grateful for all who have been a part of the support system I have needed to navigate life and to continue to learn and grow. I’m grateful for the new folks that I have met this year and getting to learn what they have to share. I’m grateful for all that we are given each day from others and from the earth itself.
I hope that we can all find our way to a place in life that is less divisive and more inclusive, caring and kind. We all deserve to be heard and held in love.
I wish you all a happy and safe 2022 and hope that you all weather the year better than my knees.