Farewell to 2016

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For many reasons, 2016 is a year that can’t end soon enough. Not only was a misogynistic, racist serial liar (just to name a few of his well-documented traits) elected as the next President of the United States, but the world lost some amazing artists as well.

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Sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty around us when so much bad stuff is in the news.

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But I see the light of hope shining in the efforts of so many people.

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The darkness cannot overcome the light.

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And even in the unpleasantness, there are moments of beauty to be enjoyed.  We only need to be watching for the opportunities that surely await us.

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My Town Monday: Historic Reflections

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On  Thursday evening, my friend ~A~ invited me to join her at a small concert in a privately owned historic home. We met there after work, shedding warm coats and settling into a row of dining room chairs to enjoy the dulcet sounds of oboe and piano and a soprano.

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This was my view straight ahead, with the large reddish-orange star hanging from the eaves on the front porch and the lights from indoors reflected in the window.

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The home was built in 1909 and has been beautifully preserved. The current owners pointed out the recurring theme of the Maltese crosses, the original lighting fixtures and told us that the beautiful woodwork had never been painted over (unlike some fixer-upper historic era homes).

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It was such a lovely evening that I did not notice that my ankle was badly swollen until I was leaving to go home. I’d brought my cane with me to help me manage the many stairs from street level to the house, and it was definitely needed for the trek back down to the car.

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At home I attempted to massage out the swelling while sharing with my husband how beautifully perfect the evening had been; a few hours later, I was using his foam roller to release tension in my calves and feet — an the effort to achieve sleep. In the morning I headed off to my regular water exercise class but once that was over, I was done for the day. A full day of work plus the evening concert on Thursday caused me to be overdrawn on my Pain & Abilities account. It’s been over a year since my surgery and apparently this is my “new normal.” The things I was able to do just 13 months ago are no longer possible. I know this — I’ve experienced it before — and yet I continue to forget or else stubbornly try to do things. I can attend a concert in the evening or have a busy day, but I cannot do both without paying the consequences in overdraft fees for that Pain & Abilities account.  After my class at the YMCA on Friday morning, my kind husband assisted me into stranded turtle position (ankle on pillow on overturned laundry basket) and massaged out some of the swelling. I spent the afternoon looking out the window at the falling snow, much as I did one year ago.

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Let there be light

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In church this morning, we sang an Advent song about light and pain and confusion in the world.

Reading in bed this afternoon, snuggled under layers of sheet and cotton blanket and comforter, my brain registered a sudden downpour of rain quickly followed by strong gusts of wind. The rain sounds grew harsher, sharper — turning to sleet. Then the world quiets once again and I return to my book while snow falls softly beyond my window.