Obviously, every day is significant in its own way, but when I look back on 2019, here are some milestones, way-markers, cairns to memorialize the too-quickly passing time.
- We started meeting as St. Ambrose. Technically, we began initial meetings at the end of 2018 in our living rooms, but things really got going this year: we got into a building, began hosting communion services, won the arts grant, and performed our first baptisms. I can’t believe, when I look back at the amount of imaginative space (and sheer time) Ambrose has taken up in my mind, that it’s only been a year. It’s the best church that ever happened to me, and if no other significant things had occurred this year, I’d still mark 2019 as a winner if only for this.
- Lucca Halloweened as an orca and Amber as Audrey Hepburn.
- Visit to our friends’ vacation house on Whidbey Island.
- And Lucca started First grade! (Also known as The Year I Started Getting up at 6:30 every Morning to Make Lunches)
- The first time I taught the Imaginative Writing class at SPU.
- This was the year I flew to Texas, seeing Waco and Baylor for the first time, and catching up with my Uncle Ken.
- After two years of waiting, the city finally opened the new David Rogers Park near our house.
- The one where we got a glimpse of teenagerhood-to-come at Lucca’s beach birthday, when she sunbathed and gossiped with three girls from her class.
- This was when we saw my friend Preston Singletary’s show at Museum of Glass about the Raven Cycle.
- This was the year when the documentary about Amber’s killer whale ballet, Apex, was created, debuting at the Friday Harbour Film Festival.
- It was also the year of her first choreographed play: Hart Island, which was so devastating and powerful.
- For our anniversary, we took a trip to Chicago and saw Hamilton! For the kids, this event is know as “when Nana and Papa came to watch us.”
- I spoke well at the NASSR conference, badly at the Armstrong-Browning multi-site conference (I had a minor tech-induced panic attack)and as among friends at the SPU College of Arts and Sciences Retreat.
- Come to think of it, this was the year we planned the faculty retreat too.
- This was the year when we stayed on the farm and Lucca slept in the fox den.
- I saw Rose Blossom Punch in concert (which was crazy b/c they stoped making music 20 years ago) and met Scott Hunter from Poor Old Lu, my all-time fav
- The year I discovered the band Luxury.
- We saw my brother’s family in Port Townsend!
- My Dad’s 60th birthday party in AZ!
- Trip to Leavenworth and the snow.
- This year I published these essays: Indian School Road; Student Help; The Magic and some poems in Relief, in between bouts of working on Festus
- In 2019, I was at the Hugo House all the time: for my own poem reading with Scott Cairns and Jennifer Maier, for James K.A. Smith‘s with Garth Greenwell, for Marylin Nelson‘s winning the Levertov Award.
- When these were the best records providing my soundtrack to the above-named activities.
- The year I signed a contract on a new poem book w/ new publisher.
So that is what a year looks like from a certain angle (eminence?). I’m grateful as ever for all of you readers and friends and am looking so forward to the next one.
Happy New Year!