I really thought 2012 was going to be my year. However, beginning in the summer, life began to change for the worse. I had a few health scares and issues. I had to move suddenly due to leak and mold issues in the place I had lived for 16 years. Out of the blue, my partner walked out of my life after 15 years together. Then in August, I learned that my college program, Liberal Arts, along with my 23-year teaching position, had fallen victim to the the bad economy a mere 14.5 months short of retirement eligibility. Both the program and my position were eliminated effective December 15, 2012 due to a budgetary reduction in force, so I had to put on a happy face and finish the semester at an institution that no longer valued me.
In spite of all that has happened, I vowed to move forward and enjoy life. I traveled to destinations such as Denver/Keystone, Austin, Houston, St. Louis/Ste. Geneviève (Missouri), Seattle/Woodinville, Victoria (British Columbia), Asheville, Napa and Sonoma, Charlotte, Williamsburg/Norfolk, San Francisco, Finger Lakes Wine Country in New York, Chicago for Thanksgiving, Philadelphia, and back to Asheville for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In a span of three months, I earned my Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 Award in Wines (High Achievement) and Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits (With Distinction). I ran/walked my first 5K, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Tri-Cities, in 50:13.4 minutes, an average of 16:12 minutes per mile. I flew on my first seaplane, Kenmore Air flight 320 from Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia: tail number N606KA, a 1954 Dehavilland DHC-3 C/N 37 (Otter). I also gained a new winery travel client.
The wines I’ve sampled this year have been great learning experiences and have kept my mind off of the challenges. I am thankful for the opportunities provided by ThirstyGirl’s #TGTaste events, as well as others such as Jeff Gordon Cellars, MTGA Wines, #CabernetDay, WITS Technology Showcase and WineTwits Virtual Tasting, and #ChardonnayDay.
The readership of this blog has grown immensely this year, and I thank you for being a faithful supporter and reader. I will be forever grateful to Shari Stacy for taking care of my cat when I travel, Gourmet Rambler of theBrideScoop.com for sharing with me a taste of Chicago’s nightlife, Chef Robin White for including me in her Thanksgiving celebration, and long-time friend Nancy Skinner Adams for including me in her Christmas Day celebration at The Grove Park Inn.
I am not sure what the future holds, but I am determined to have a new career that involves travel, wine, writing, social media, hospitality, education, or a combination thereof. In spite of great adversity, I remain thankful for what I have and hopeful for the future.