Happy New Year!
A friend of mine wrote a long Facebook post yesterday reflecting upon the last year and looking forward to the next. I know…that’s common for this time of year. There is usually a little distance between those writers and me, though. When a friend does it, I feel more motivated to take a changing-of-the-year reflective look at myself.
2014 was full of exciting changes and events. Music, writing, road trips, and more…woo-HOO!
I advanced more as a guitar player than ever before in a similar period of time. Being committed to gigs does that, I suppose! ‘Gigs’ might be the wrong word, I suppose. ‘Gig’, to me, implies a paying job with the purpose of entertainment. Patsy and I were playing regularly for Sunday morning service at our church. We increased from only playing once in a while to playing at least two Sundays a month. The challenge was to increase the range of songs we could play every month. I was learning new chords, new chord progressions, and techniques to cover the new songs. In May or June I picked up an inexpensive electric guitar at a local pawn shop to increase our range of presentation. Pretty fun! An electric guitar really is a different animal than an acoustic. I’m still figuring out those differences.
However, in October we lost that gig. (There I go, with the ‘gig’ thing again!) It was time to move on to another church. I have continued playing, but not nearly so much as when I had to because I would be playing in front of people in ten days. Hopefully, I’ll find another outlet in 2015 that allows me to participate in music more.
Speaking of church changes, we think we have found one that we will fit in to. The teaching is Reformed Baptist. Sounds like an unusual combo? It’s essentially Presbyterian or Dutch Reformed, but believing in believer’s baptism. Think ‘Westminster Confession of Faith…with some editing in the baptism parts.’ Some of my early Pub posts talk about those things, and I’m sure I’ll be posting more in the future. (BTW…it’s possible that the word on the street is that we left our previous church because of doctrinal differences. That most certainly is not the case. Other issues were involved that I am not going to go into on a public forum, but doctrinal differences were not the issue…from my side, anyway.)
I actually sat down and started writing more in 2014. Obviously, this blog was more active than it was in 2013. I plan to continue this blog as an outlet for whatever is on my mind—cultural issues, music, books, and whatever else might motivate me to knock out up to 1500 words at a crack. I do plan to spend more time on local Northern California arts and events. That will be fun!
Some of you may be aware of my other blog, Three Years with the Cs. If not, go have a look. I blogged about my summer on a CCC Backcountry trail crew. I used my journal, the crew journal, and my memories sparked by those journals to lay out a framework of that summer of 1987. This year I plan to finish that project and have a completed manuscript for the entire Backcountry summer ready for submission to agents and publishers.
Grace and I took a fun road trip in 2014. We did a loop into Oregon. We went north through Redding, then northeast up 97 through Klamath Falls, Oregon to get to Crater Lake from the east side. We spent a few hours at the lake, including the loop drive around the lake, and then came home through Medford and Ashland. It was a fun day, and we’re planning more road trips for this year. I’m think of one really long one at the end of August heading east…and that’s all I have to say about that for right now!
I keep saying I need to get off my butt and get more active. Last year I did, but not as much as I’d hoped. Grace and I went for a few hikes up in Lassen Volcanic National Park. We’ll be doing more of that this year.
We made the move towards more fresh foods and less processed foods in 2014. We will continue that in 2015. More farmer’s markets. Maybe this is the year I learn to can and preserve.
It is now only five years before I am eligible to retire from state service. Oh, how I would love to meet that goal! I’m not sure yet if we will really be able to afford to retire, but if I can get the writing to take off, that would definitely be a step in the right direction!
Have a great 2015, everybody!