I’m always amazed, envious really, at your ability to capture the best moments of the past year in a single card. Sent on time — even early. I love your cards and letters. Your children are beautiful, your travels exciting, and your new puppies adorable. Your words and photos shine with light and hope.
I can’t remember when you received a card from me. Did you ever? Thank you for keeping me on your list. Yes, I’m still here with a few very brief highlights of the last year.
New travels. This year, we decided to visit and support our beautiful National Parks. Gary likes to plan our trips, and he spent many hours organizing. We flew into Jackson Hole and stayed at Jackson Lake Lodge in the Park. We saw Yellowstone and Old Faithful and stared in awe at the Grand Tetons. That’s us rafting down the Snake River – not the part with the rapids. This is the lazy part, for us not-so-athletic sightseeing types.
New studies. I started the MFA program in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. I spent much of the first semester learning how to be a student again. I took classes in Poetry, Creative Nonfiction and Contemporary World Fiction with accomplished and generous teachers and talented MFA candidates. I feel fortunate to study in this stimulating and politically conscious environment.
New poetry. I was invited to join the poets of The Kitchen, our San Francisco Jewish community. I am the novice in this group of poets. They opened my eyes to poetry everywhere. I’m not speaking metaphorically. On my recent trip to NYC, I flipped over my MetroCard, and there was “Dew” by Kay Ryan.
New friend, new name. When my new friend, Atlas (age 1), came to play with Rico and swim in our 87 degree pool, I asked Kim (Atlas’ aunt) if he could call me Tia.“No, I’m Tia,” Kim told me. “You can be Novia.” No one has ever called me that, and it’s about time.
New Life. I held two cuddly newborns in the last month. My nephew, Aaron, and his wife, Bethany, named their baby Hannah Ruth, after both my mother (Aaron’s Omi) and Bethany’s grandmother. My mother would be pleased and proud. Hannah Ruth starts a new branch of our family tree. She’s the next generation, my parents’ great-granddaughter.
Gabriela’s close friend, Krystle, and her wife, Flor, named their baby Leila Gabriela. Gabriela (my daughter’s real name) touched the lives of those who knew her in ways I can’t even imagine. More than any story I could write, her spirit lives on in this precious new baby.
That was the year that was. And if you remember that song, congratulations for sticking around with me. Stay tuned for more adventures in 2018.
Sending warm wishes for good health and good times and lots of poetry in the year ahead. Keep in touch.