Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 :: another year, another 365 project

taking a photo every day is just ingrained in me at this point, it's part of who i am. and i'm grateful i've continued to do it. looking back on this year, it felt darker and sadder than it appears in the photos. dad's death the previous november and the disappearance of my wonderful job after only one year were tough blows and it felt, for much of 2015, like i've been in mourning, and i suppose i have. top it off with the intense pain of a sudden back problem and subsequent surgery and it felt like the longest year of my life. but, my photos of the year, overall, are bright and cheerful. and that somehow makes it less heavy here at the end of the year. it's like the darkness is lifting. and that fills me with hope for sweet '16 - 2016.

january 2015
the year, as it always does in denmark, started with fireworks. and i can see that towards the end of the month we had actual snow! i didn't remember that. i was clearly in minifigure mode and they lend quite a lot of whimsy that i don't recall feeling at the time. but i must have been seeking it and taking comfort in it on some instinctive level.

february 2015
i found that royal typewriter on husband's favorite auction site and had to have it. we had one just like it growing up and it somehow, the clack of those green keys became connected to my dad in my head and i just needed it. as i recall, it went for a song, but i spent more than twice the price on the bridge getting there and back to pick it up. my old iMac gave up the ghost and i needed a new one. that was a definite bright spot, as there's nothing like a new apple product. other bright spots were time spent art journaling and in the company of cats.

march 2015
the light began to return in earnest. i went around with the sparkle unicorn fairy in my pocket, still obviously seeking some glimmer of magic. for my birthday, i got a chemex coffee maker and i'm convinced it makes the best, cleanest, smoothest coffee.

april 2015
april began with a trip to hamburg that got extended by a day and an unexpectedly lovely experience in a charming little hotel overlooking the otherwise seedy reeperbahn. we began working in the garden and we put the first of many coats of red paint on the kitchen floor. we had a batch of baby bunnies as well, because spring. a footbridge in sweden was named for my late father-in-law. that last photo? it's my precious frieda's pretty feet, perched on the edge of the sink, waiting for me to turn the water on for her. wow, i miss that.

may 2015
oh, the glorious color of green of a newly sprung beech forest. there's no better green. we hunted and found, at last, two pairs of the ferrell williams adidas - one for me and one for sabs. the first kittens were born and the glorious yellow rapeseed fields were in full bloom. an artist friend began to paint hens on our kitchen island because the red floor was finished at last. it was a rather glorious spring, i realize now, looking back on it. i was also super busy with my freelancing job, but oddly, that doesn't show at all in this mosaic. perhaps i was already distancing myself from the creeping feeling that lego had pockets of nastiness and i had managed to stumble into several of them.  i didn't realize it at the time. or perhaps i did and that's why i don't have any photos of the place.

june 2015
june was filled with kittens and lilacs and parties and visits and a couple of fun photoshoots. i seem to remember it as more rainy and dreary than it appears to have been. there was a danish election and the government changed from left to right (tho' the right is called left. don't ask.) and from slightly more forward-thinking to much, much more xenophobic and bigoted and even unfriendly to the environment. so disheartening.

july 2015
after our rather cold early summer, the strawberries finally appeared in july, a good couple of weeks later than usual. but on the bright side, they lasted longer. i made 20 liters of strawberry juice and filled the freezer with countless bags. we also ate strawberries and cream every night until we couldn't eat any more. i made strawberry ice cream and strawberry sorbet. and once the strawberries were done, the red currants began. our artist friend finished painting the kitchen island with whimsical chickens and a friendly fox. the first veggies appeared in the garden and the greenhouse.

august 2015
i was obviously a little obsessed with that little dinosaur in august. he was small and easy to keep in my pocket. the kittens were growing up and they went off to give an injection of new blood to a friend's barn. we made yet another shopping trek to hamburg (that was becoming a theme). sabin started at her efterskole (a kind of boarding school, emphasizing gymnastics).  it was a very good decision to send her there. she is thriving and growing so very much. oh, and there was that taco truck coming to town (well, to billund, which i will generously refer to as a town) - with real corn tortillas. heaven. a welcome visit from a fellow legographer rounded off a pretty good month. at the end of august, after coming in first runner-up for a new job in lego for the third time, i decided to look for jobs elsewhere, including copenhagen and on august 28, i applied for the job that i would get back in the shipping world.

september 2015
the visit from xxsjc prompted me to think i needed some vintage lego fabuland characters, so i went to ebay and found some. they are fun to photograph. the new minifig series came out and i bought a whole box. that was very popular when we went to our yearly family crayfish party in sweden. a neighbor called and said she had a whole bucket of extra porcinis she'd picked that afternoon. i oven-dried them to flavor winter's sauces. the plum tomatoes were going gangbusters in our greenhouse and i oven-dried a bunch of those well. most of my time was spent at our new library, painting a mural in the children's section and making coffee for everyone. i also painted a table for the teen/tween section with that magical annie sloan chalk paint. i definitely want to work with that again. a couple of job interviews and, one month after i applied, i landed that job in shipping.

october 2015
the magical amanitas came out, telling us it was really autumn. we celebrated my new job contract with champagne. and after being pulled back and forth through the ringer with lego and their horrendously slow and unprofessional hr practices, it was so nice to encounter a professional organization that could get the job done. our new library/"culture house" opened with a big party. more than 500 people came. i had arranged a quilt and handiwork exhibition as part of it and talked to so many wonderful people with wonderful stories that evening. my new job, even before i started, sent me and husband and sabin on a minicruise to oslo to "experience the product." it was pretty great! charlie had four kittens! her cutest batch yet. i started my new job, but only ten days in, i was knocked flat by a disc prolapse and experienced some of the worst pain of my life.

november 2015
most of my november was spent lying in bed (at least i had kittens). i couldn't stand upright for more than 5 minutes and walking, even just out to the kitchen to make a cup of a tea was a pretty overwhelming challenge. i spent a couple of hours in an mri machine and countless more consulting doctors and physical therapists. after getting somewhat the right cocktail of pain meds, i went back to my new job (which was thankfully very understanding) for as many hours as i could take. i even slipped up to the kusama exhibition at louisiana one evening, when i was in need of soul-soothing after an awful bullying letter that came out of the blue. some good friends came to my house and cooking a thanksgiving feast. i unexpectedly lost my precious frieda.

december 2015
december brought a new camera - a fuji x-t1 mirrorless camera. it's for work, but i took a load of pictures around home to get acquainted with it. i miss the multiple focus points of my beloved D300, but overall, it's a good one. i had back surgery december 4 and spent ten days recovering. i did go back to work and it went well, but it required a lot of energy. i even flew to amsterdam and back and sailed from there to newcastle and back and did pretty well. the worst i ended up with was a christmas cold. the kittens all found new homes and things have gone back to normal around here on the cat front, aside from the gaping hole left by frieda's absense. there's one ginger ninja sleeping at my feet as i write this and charlie, our little white mama kitty is resting at my side in relief that her mothering duties are over for now.

another year winding down. and while it felt like it was mostly lows, looking back through these photos, i can see that it wasn't. the tide of sorrow has turned, i'm quite literally on the mend (both my back and my wounded-by-lego sense of self) and looking forward to what 2016 has to offer.

how will you ring in the new year? with friends? with a party? with champagne? oysters? in a crowd? with fireworks? or just relaxed around the table with candlelight, cocktails, some good food and friends? we're definitely choosing that last option.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's been a while since I've been on blogger, but since I am one of your followers I thought I'd checkout your 365 blog. I did a 365 project back in 07-08 on flickr. I love your photos and the collages you created. They are all so uplifting and reflective of a happy life.
Thanks for sharing. May 2016 bring you everything you hoped for and more!