Sunday, January 2, 2022

Mosaic Monday #162: 2021 - That's a Wrap!

Thirty minutes to midnight on December 31, and I have been pondering the year that was 2021.  How to capture 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days?  12 favorite posts?  Key accomplishments?  The best photos of the year?  Or perhaps a focus on loose ends?  Resolutions for the New Year?  So many options!

The temptation to make a matrix is almost overwhelming, but it is possible to over-engineer these things!!  So, let's just go and see how it develops!

Our year was filled with many blessings, and I can think of no better way to start this than to give thanks for my rock, my partner in crime, the guy who puts up with my many foibles with a knowing grin.  2021 marked 30 years of marriage, and the adventures continue - hiking, skiing, camping, traveling.  

After 2 years' absence, we finally returned to the UK and, with great relief and joy, were reunited with my in-laws.  Weekly video chats are better than a phone call or no communication at all, but hardly substitute for a full-on body hug at the airport!  We made up for lost time, walking in the countryside, visiting our old haunts, and a week-long getaway to the Skipton area.  I know I shed a tear or two, watching my in-laws stroll arm in arm in the woods near Skipton Castle.

Together with Man with Hat, I logged 105 miles of hiking, including three back-country camping trips.  Trust me when I say it was downright difficult to choose one picture that represents the beauty, solitude and glory of Montana.  In the end, I chose a photo that was taken by my nephew the day before we started our epic back-country camping trip in the Belly River.  The picture below is in Glacier National Park - Hidden Lake with Bearhat Mountain in the background.

Did I mention 2021 was filled with blessings?  In early August, #1 Son received the long-awaited news: he landed a job, a nuclear engineering position within the Idaho National Laboratory.  I jumped up and down for joy; he has been in job search mode since May 2020, and all of us were thrilled for him that his patience and perseverance paid off!  On December 21, just in time for Christmas, he was informed that his security clearance came through and that he would start work on January 17.  Praise God!

It is inevitable, with adult children, that they will develop lives of their own, and family vacations get more challenging to arrange.  So, we jumped on the chance to be together in Santa Fe in October.  Each of us had our favorite aspect of the trip - Bandelier National Monument for Spousal Unit and me, Los Alamos for #1 Son, Mexican food almost every night for The Boyfriend.

But I think it is safe to say that the trip will be forever remembered as the site of The Engagement!

2021 was not all wine and roses.  On April 28, my Mom went to heaven.  I was so fortunate to spend time with her a couple of weeks before she died, and it was cathartic to write this post in her memory.  Since then, she often crosses my mind.    I miss her, and it makes me sad that she won't be here to see #1 Daughter get married.  Mom, I love you, and I take some consolation in knowing you are watching over all of us!

One of my brothers had a heart attack in November, and I traveled to Ohio to visit him in the hospital.  He is home now, but has a long road to recovery.  Maybe it's an inescapable aspect of getting older, or maybe it is down to COVID, but it seems we hear more frequently about friends and family with serious illnesses, or worse.  As I wrote in my December 5 post, "Life is not simple, or predictable.  At any moment, life can turn upside down.  I can't take any pleasure in the fact that it's someone else who is in the hospital, but I can count my blessings every day."

With that in mind, I turn my attention to 2022.  How will I make the most of this year that lies in front of me like freshly fallen snow, untracked and ready to be explored?  Some things are given, such as reveling in time with my Dear Neighbor Friend - skiing, walking, kayaking or chit-chat over a coffee. 

I will probably do some cross-stitch.  At last count, I have one project underway and at least six others to choose from!   I also hope to try my hand at Spanish Blackwork.

I will continue volunteering - the 63rd Whitefish Winter Carnival kicks off formally next weekend.  You'll also find me at the North Valley Food Bank, the Whitefish Historical Museum and serving as co-leader of the Flathead Chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby!

You can be sure I will be outdoors, whether it is in the garden, hiking or kayaking.  Who knows what new critters we will see?  Each year we get a few surprises, such as the pygmy owl that crashed into our windows in June (and survived). 

We are already planning travel for this year - beginning with a late February ski vacation/visit to my brother and sister-in-law in Utah (and we will pop in to see #1 Son on the way down and back).  In the Spring, we will fly to the UK, partly to mark the 61st wedding anniversary of my in-laws in April!!  After that, avoiding most of the "mud season" in Montana, we hope to finally complete the long-awaited family scuba vacation to Grand Cayman - we should have been there in May 2020 to celebrate the college graduation of #1 Son.    

Sounds busy, doesn't it?  Of course, contemplating a New Year is not just about WHAT we plan to do, but HOW we plan to do it.  I thumbed through my prayer journal from the last 12 months, and the following words spoke to me: gratitude, faith, understanding, "do not be afraid", forgiveness, mercy, compassion, patience, discernment, good cheer, encouragement, letting go.  A tall order, to be sure.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."  LEO BUSCAGLIA

"If the will to walk is really present, God is pleased even with your stumbles."  C.S. LEWIS
I hope and pray that, together, we can experience joy, thankfulness, compassion and good health throughout 2022.  Happy New Year to you and yours!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. ...stay safe and happy in the new year.

  2. My good wishes to you and yours for a Happy and Healthy 2022.

    All the best Jan

  3. Looks like it was a very good year. Best wishes for 2022!

  4. One of your best! Bravo! Happy blessed New Year! Love you!

  5. This year was kind of strange all around but I hope you have some wonderful adventures in 2022. Happy New Year from all of us!

  6. 2021 certainly was a year of mixes! I hope all your plans for 2022 come to fruition. Happy New Year.

  7. Happy New Year, Angie, to you and yours. I see so many wonderful blessings in your life but the passing of a mother is existential, indeed, and for me in my twenties earth shattering. No matter what age it happens, suddenly you’re not a child.

  8. A Happy and Healthy 2022, Angie and family! This was a wonderful review of your year past all the good and sad events.

    I am back from my pre-Christmas blog break. We had a wonderful holiday but the year almost ended in disaster as we had a wildfire close to our neighborhood, and then only a few days later a horrific wildfire brought great destruction to the suburbs north of us. I've learned a lot about preparation since then.

  9. It's good to look back into the last year with a tearless view ... and at least, to hope of better days now in 2022.

    Where is the time? And what will be next?

    Let's have a hopefully mood for us, the own family, for our neighbours and the World around.

    Wish you from my heart a healthy 🍀🍀🍀🍀 Happy New Year,
    hugs by Heidrun

  10. I am sorry for the loss of your mother, our beloved are always with us. Otherwise you had so many wonderful experiences in 2021. I wish many great hikes and experiences in 2022 too!

  11. Hope 2022 is kind and healthy and happy. A big, strong hug.

  12. Wishing you and yours a happy and safe 2022. Thank you so much for the linkups during 2021 and keeping us connected. In these days of isolation for some, it is very important. Thank you.

  13. Hello,
    What a wonderful look back at 2021, life is filled with ups and downs, sad and happy times. I am sorry for the loss of your Mom and I hope your Brother is recovering well. You had some great trips and hikes! Beautiful photos! I wish you all the best in 2022, a happy and healthy New Year!

  14. Angie Dear,
    This is truly an amazing look back at the 2021!
    Wishing you once again Happy New Year,
    I'm sending hugs and more hugs across the many miles
    XO Daniela at ~ My little old world ~

  15. A great review of your year, Angie. It was good to remember it all and be glad that you are over the not so good parts, and relive joyfully all the good ones. Than you for sharing and for hosting.

  16. And another year begins, let us start recording... :-)

  17. You have lots to look forward to in this new year! Thanks for our Mosaic Monday fun! Happy new year, Diane

  18. Sorry for the loss of your mother. There are always ups and downs in our lives. I wish you many wonderful adventures in 2022 and I'm looking forward to the stories on your blog. Happy 2022!

  19. Dear Angie,
    that really sounds like a year filled with blessings and wonderful experiences. But also a year of sadness. I didn't know that your mother passed away in 2021 - she still looked relatively young and healthy! My mother died in December 2020 - ultimately of Covid-19, but she was 94 and had been paralyzed for a long time, mentally reduced and in need of care. How touching the picture of your in-laws. My parents just missed their 60th wedding anniversary: ​​They married on July 7th, 1947 and my father died on January 7th, 2007. Now the two are together again. And they are both "present" all the time, due to the way in which they have lived their lives in a lively and joyful way. From this I learned a lot and also see my past year as one that was probably not always happy, but still filled with blessings and joy and love for life. May this year be a good, joyful, blessed one for you and me and all people in this world!
    Hugs, Traude

  20. It's always good to look back over the year. A very Happy New Year to you and yours. Hopeful for good things coming to us this year.

  21. Beautiful pictures! You made the most of a challenging year.

  22. Losses and joys...may you have wonderful days with your rock and your family in 2022! ♥♥

  23. Angie, Happy New Year! Sylvia D.

  24. Wonderful photos!

    So sorry to read about the loss of your mum. 2021 certainly has been a year of ups & downs.

    Happy New Year!

  25. Bearhat mountain is so beautiful.
    Congratulations on your son's job starting January 17th. It's really important.
    The reflection on the old year is wonderful, it is great to recall beautiful experiences, especially in the now.
    I wish you a happy new year, may many of your wishes come true.
    Viola sends you many greetings

  26. All best wishes for 2022 Angie. Your coming back to Blighty again? It must be a great time for all concerned. Hugs with no Covid by then.

  27. beautiful recap. Your family is so beautiful too...

  28. 2021 was filled with a lot of joy for you...but sadly the loss of your mom, that is such a hard loss. i enjoyed sharing little tidbits of this well spent year, and seeing the picture of you in the pretty purple dress!!

    i too thought about doing some type of recap and then became overwhelmed!!

  29. Each year has its blessings and challenges, and yours certainly illustrates that. I hope that 2022 brings you much joy!

  30. Things happen and make our life upside down. We struggle and eventually accept. You have lots plan to do in 2022. Wish you and your family a peaceful, joyful and healthy year.


  31. Great post on your 2021. I had several uncles work at INEL back in the day plus some friends who got training there when they Navy had their nuclear reactor training facility there. They all seemed to like it. I hope he likes living in Idaho Falls. I loved visiting there when my parents were still around.


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