I made it! When 2015 began, I decided to write a blog post each day no matter what. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But with everything going on in my life — a cross-country move, a new job, a different climate to test my gardening skills just to name a few things — I figured I would have enough to write about.
A few things that I’ve learned along the way (in no particular order):
- It is possible to uproot your teenager from every friend she has ever known and still have her be happy. In fact, happier. Don’t get me wrong, the move was not without much angst. But awhile back, I asked daughter if she wanted to move back to Wisconsin, given the chance. She said no, she had made so many good friends here.
- The same goes for husband and me. We were working in the garage and yard a couple weeks ago, (both wearing short-sleeved shirts ) when almost at the same time, we looked at each other and asked why we hadn’t moved south sooner. Neither of us miss the snow and cold of Wisconsin. Not even a little bit. Sure, I do miss my family, who all still live in Wisconsin. But, they make these things called airplanes, and we’ve found they get us back there pretty quickly when needed! Not to mention that living in Texas gives them a chance for a warm-weather vacation.
- There are jobs out there where you don’t have to work every holiday and/or weekends. I was a journalist at print and online news organizations for almost 30 years. I worked a lot of holidays and weekends because, well, the news doesn’t stop. I was used to having to work odd hours. So it’s really been strange in my new job to have normal Monday-Friday hours. And to be able to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. I had to ask my boss three times if she was sure it was OK for both of us to be gone at the same time. Being the newest manager, I would have totally understood, even expected her to tell me I had to work because she was taking time off. But here I am, enjoying the paid time off. And loving every minute of it.
- I enjoy flower gardening more than I ever thought I would. While I’ve always liked growing flowers, they kind of took a back seat to my vegetable garden when I lived in Wisconsin. I love, love, love my-tried-and-true zinnias, cosmos, petunias and marigolds, but I’m having a lot of fun trying new types of flowers that grow in zone 8 (central Texas) but wouldn’t have done well in zone 5 (northeastern Wisconsin). I’m giddy at the idea of having blooming flowers outside in December (and January and February…).
- Vegetable gardening is going to be a challenge for several years while I get acclimated to central Texas. I’m going to have more failures than successes while I learn about the zone 8 climate. In Wisconsin, my garden basically was on what used to be a cow pasture. I had zero problems growing almost anything I wanted on the 1-1/4-acres we owned. Here in Texas, I live in a brand-new subdivision with crappy dirt (if you can call it that). My raised beds (with somewhat better quality dirt) share the tiny backyard with #darndogChloe, our beagle/Australian cattle dog pooch who also was used to 1-1/4-acres. Throw in different pest challenges and an entirely different growing season, and, like I said, I’ve got a lot to learn. Fortunately, it’s a challenge I look forward to.
- Speaking of the brand-new subdivision, it also has reinforced my desire to live in the country. I feel guilty and somewhat sheepish/greedy/spoiled that I have a new house and I complain about it. It’s not that the house isn’t nice. It is very nice — in a cookie-cutter sort of way. Because of the cross-country move and my having to stay behind in Wisconsin with daughter to finish the school year, sell the house, etc., husband did the house shopping in Texas. And in central Texas, the housing market is red hot. So we had to move fast to find something in a good school district, and I was OK with that. I also know that in a few years, when daughter is off to college, we can look for something in a quieter neighborhood that is more my style (can you say fixer-upper?).
- As I mentioned earlier in this post, it takes a lot of determination to write something every day. And truthfully, I don’t feel like I did as well as I should have. There were days when a post was simply a reblog of another person’s post I had found interesting. While they were all great posts, I’m not sure if they count as my writing. There were posts that were simply photos. There were days when I got home from work and really didn’t want to blog, and I know that showed. And there were some subjects that I didn’t feel comfortable writing about, so I didn’t. If there’s one writing goal at the top of my list for 2016, it’s that I need to be more willing to open up about personal issues or feelings and less afraid how others near and far might judge me.
So, during 2016, you won’t see daily posts from me. I’m not going to set any quotas other than I’m only going to write when I have something to say. I know it will probably be mostly about gardening. And there will be photos of Texas clouds, sunrises and sunsets, because I’m so infatuated with them. And whatever else trips my trigger.
I hope everyone else is looking forward to 2016 as much as I am. And whatever the new year brings, I hope we all can greet it with grace, courage and openness.
Happy New Year everyone!