Friday, December 31, 2021

A Homer's Travels Look Back At 2021

2021 … From a burning dumpster fire to an epidemic of stupid.  I entered this year with some modicum of hope but it seemed the idiocy got in the way at every turn.  All I could do as the year progressed was shake my head in disbelief and turn off the news.


Let's look back at 2021, shall we:

  • January: The Blue Jays finally found my yard.  They made several appearances in my backyard this year, more than all our years in Omaha combined.  I started a journey of one thousand miles with good intentions.  Cookies welcomed the new administration.  A little hope in poetic form.
  • February: The joy of a frosty morning. I went a little bird nerdy at the beginning of the year as demonstrated by this picture of a Junco. Cold days visited us this month.  A visit to Mars.  A symbol of Q and things to come that finally came down six months later.
  • March: My first COVID-19 vaccination and the start of Spring.  We were so innocent then.  Who knew the vaccination would be so controversial?
  • April: On the second anniversary of starting my Appalachian Trail attempt I decided to go back and finish it.  With the second shot and a couple weeks the end of the tunnel was in view … briefly.
  • May: I was in a funk but travel plans were coming together.  I was two days late commemorating the tenth anniversary of my first Camino.  I had no good excuse for being late.  Another new bird visited our backyard.
  • June: We went on our roadtrip to the southeastern USA.  The first two weeks of the month we drove nearly four thousand miles.  The remainder of the month I documented our trip and we hosted the Wife's brother and niece as they volunteered at the Olympic swim trials.  It felt good to be out of the house even though where we went evoked many mixed feelings.
  • July: I finished documenting our southeast roadtripI aged another year.  The Wife and I watched more Olympic coverage than we usually do (which is a lot) and I suggested a change to how they run the games which I'm certain no one involved took note of.
  • August: I added the multitude of magnets collected during our southeast roadtrip.  We had a wasp visitor bearing gifts.  A storm came through and dumped a lot of water on downtown Omaha.  This storm had followed one that knocked out my Mom's power for nearly five days.  Following the storms and summerly hot and humid weather our air conditioner gave up the ghost and was replaced along with our similar aged furnace.  I admired some street art on a parking garage.
  • September: I finally caught up on on my backlog of podcasts (a result of the Appalachian Trail hike) and read my first book in nearly a year and a half.  I remembered the twentieth anniversary of 9-11 by looking at how I had remembered it the prior years and considering the mess we are in.  My hikes took me back into nature, the first since I left the Appalachian Trail, where I was saddened by what the passing of time had done to a once mighty tree.  I welcomed the cooler weather of the autumnal equinox even though summer hung on a little longer.
  • October: The Wife and a traveling nun had something in common.  My eighth Caminoversary was not forgotten this year.  A couple bird feeder bandits were caught red handed.  The month ended with a ghostly visitation.
  • November: We had our first snow flurries of this unusual winter.  The month went by in a blink so I summarized what I'd done.
  • December: I was surprised by the first bloom of my Christmas cactus.  We finally had our first significant snowfall even tho it didn't last long.  The month was unexpectedly warm until the last week of the month.  I didn't post about it but my Mom's husband passed away this month just short of his one hundredth birthday.  It was a sad note just before Christmas.
  • Walking: I started the one thousand mile challenge thinking it would be easy for me to accomplish.  I did not take into account the heat of summer or the disinterest of the fall that really slowed my progress.  I hike831.12 miles over 79 hikes.  It was the third highest annual mileage since I started keeping track in 2007.  I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't complete the challenge but I still managed to hike quite a few miles.
  • Biking: This year I didn't ride my bike at all.
  • Books: I spent most of the year catching up on podcasts that had accumulated after my Appalachian Trail attempt. Once I'd finally caught up to the present I started back into my reading though this wasn't until September.  I didn't set a goal like I'd done previous years since I wanted to ease back into reading without any pressure.  I did pretty good (for me) reading eight books.  Here are my Goodreads Stats for 2021.
  • Concerts, Shows & Music :  COVID-19 … need I say more...again?  No live shows at all this year.  I almost went to a free Elvis Costello concert but the heat and humidity … and frankly crowds kept me from doing it.  Like last year I did listen to a lot of music on Spotify.  Here is my Spotify 2021 Wrapped if you want to explore what the shuffle button did music-wise this year.
  • I posted 61 times this year.  Like last year I found it hard to get myself motivated to write. The summer roadtrip helped a bit.  I still didn't want to talk about the pandemic.  I still didn't want to post about politics.  There was too much of that out there and everything else was overwhelmed.  I didn't feel like adding to the amount of stupid that inundated us in 2021 so I didn't.
What will 2022 bring?  I have some health issues that will have to be straightened out.  I want to spend more time with Mom.  The Wife is retiring at the end of this school year.  Health permitting I will finish the Appalachian Trail.  We have a big adventure planned for the early fall.  In other words, there will be a lot of change coming this year.  With great change comes great adjustment.

Here's to a Happy, Prosperous, and Healthy New Year for all.  May all your dreams come true in 2022.
(That last line rhymes!)

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