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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Word of the Year: Connection

As I look forward to the new year -- and back at the old -- a few words come to mind.

Health. Travel. Connection.

Health

-- Well, we started out with that as an issue with Greg's second surgery (and he's doing fine) in February, followed by my shoulder surgery in March.

Things seemed to go well until near the end of the year until Rick's bike crash and my own issues.

The good news? All of us seem to be doing much better!

Travel.

Well, if you read The Marmelade Gypsy in June and July, you know I loved every minute of my first trip to France.

I discovered so many new, fascinating things. But most of all, I just enjoyed being there, not at a hotel or on a tour bus, but at an apartment where I could go buy bread at the local boulangerie or walk to the nearby Metro or bus.

Visiting Giverny was beautiful...

... and Normandy was most moving.

Flea markets were filled with new discoveries!

And hearing a Vivaldi concert in Sainte Chappelle was simply awe-inspiring.


Tres bon!

But I also got to Tampa in January for a conference...

And to London (Ontario) in October to enjoy theatre!

Myrtle Beach is a summer tradition -- and always fun!

And of course there were some good times at the lake.

Yes, travel was grand.

But really, the word of the year is Connection.

This was the year that connections seemed to be absolutely everywhere.

Certainly I re-connected with several, including my Paris host, Jerry -- a wonderful college friend.

And I visited Suzanne, whom I met when I was 16. Along with her husband, Jim, we enjoyed great theatre in Statford and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

I made new connections with public television friends...... and met many of Rick's biking buddies during his ride north this summer.

I enjoyed connecting with the cousins I see more frequently several times this year -- including when cousins David and Bonnie were in "Fiddler" in Cleveland...

...up at the lake with cousin Mutty...

...and again, when we said farewell to my aunt Iris and I was able to spend time with John from Arizona (the redhead in back) and Jack and Anne (at left) -- both of whom live in Michigan. It was delightful to get to know both of them better and I know we will see each other more frequently.

I connected often with our wine group (the women are below) and made new friends in my book club and a new art group.

The connection with my "at home" friends was never greater when I experienced their kindness and generosity during my surgery and following Rick's crash. I will always be grateful to them -- not only for that, but for all the fun we have together. These are a few of them...

We were able to meet our friend Yuka from Japan, who was staying in Windsor. It was a delightful reunion and we made new friends, too!

And, I will always be grateful for the connections made and developed on The Marmelade Gypsy. They evolve in beautiful ways -- through kindness during our maladies (so many of you were so "there" with thoughtful gifts and such powerful wishes; I was overwhelmed).

It was a pleasure to meet Tara (who didn't want the photo here!) in Paris and Joanne and Karen when Joanne hosted an art day in Kalamazoo last May.

And, after more than a year of "knowing" Anno, it was a treat to finally meet in Ann Arbor earlier this week. We live maybe 30 miles apart! And an extra treat was also meeting Jen, who lives in Ann Arbor. I have to say that it was like meeting long-time friends you just hadn't seen in a very long while -- but you pick up right where you left off! It was incredibly special to me.

And, while "Oh" and I didn't meet (I ended up not traveling over Thanksgiving weekend), we did enjoy a long phone conversation and promise to connect in 2010!

And one day in 2010, I will meet Ruth -- whose office is only 20 minutes by foot!

Thanks to e-mail, I'm able to stay in better touch with those who live far away.

Yes, the word of the year is "Connection." And to be honest, I wouldn't mind if it ended up being the word for 2010, too!

Happy New Year!

22 comments:

Annie said...

So!! I see a photo of you in a hospital bed and I give a mental screech of "Oh NO!! Now what??" Much to my delight, it is the beginning of an end of year wrap up. I am seriously relieved.

What adventures you have had this year. I prescribe a more settled 2010 while you continue recovering from various things and then ramp it up again in 2011. Oh yeah. Like that is going to happen. LOL

Happy New Year,
Annie

Wrightboysmum said...

That's a great review filled with lots of different experiences. Hope next year is just as fruitful. The word is so apt.Take care.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, before I read that "And one day in 2010, I will meet Ruth . . ." I was going to comment that we MUST meet in JANUARY, what say you? Too bad it will probably be a cold walk! But you are such a warm person, I think the connection will be full of sparks. After seeing your Paris photos here again (is the crow in Shakespeare & Co?), I am dying to talk about that trip. I can't believe we haven't yet in person. Shameful!

How I look forward to it. I predict that a lunch hour won't be enough and will whip by.

Happy happy New Year to you, Rick, Gypsy and the whole gang.

Linda said...

Happy New Year, my friend!

beth said...

what a year you've had....
and I've decided that good or even great health is really the best thing any of us can hope for and have....everything else is just "extra"

happy new year sweet friend....xo

Quiltmoose - Dagmar said...

Dear Jeanie,

thanks for the great review of your past year!

I wish you and yours all the best for a happy and healthy 2010!

Dagmar

anno said...

What a great review -- you sure have lived a lot within the space of one tiny year. And I love your summary: That this was a year for connections. They certainly figured heavily in my life, and getting to enjoy that long, relaxing lunch with you was a highlight of my holidays, just like getting together with a friend I've known for a very long time: wonderful and lovely.

Robin said...

What a delightful look back...I'm so glad you two are better.
I just found your blog through Be Yourself...wonderful
Robin
All Things Heart and Home

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Happy Healthy New Year to you and yours Dear Jeanie!
I am happy that we connected this year and look forward to more blogging fun in 2010!!!
Brightest of Blessings always!
oxo

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What an apt theme for you, Jeanie! I think you also connect so beautifully with others, that it's a joy for all of us who are lucky enough to be connected to you in some way.

Happy (and HEALTHY!) New Year to you and Rick and your family!

Janet said...

You definitely had an eventful year!! I like your choice of "connection" as your word. Connecting is always such a great thing....we all need to do more of that.

Happy New Year!!

qugrainne.com said...

Here's to connections!! Happy New Year, Jeanie.
No ouchies this year, okay!!??

culdesacchronicles said...

We used to vacation in Myrtle Beach when my son was young. So many good memories there.

Happy New Year!

Joanne Huffman said...

Good review of the year! I'm so glad we got to get together and we will do it again! I think "connection" is a wonderful word for the year. Happy, healthy and creative New Year to you!

Beth said...

What a busy year you have had, dear friend. I do hope your health improves. I also hope you had a great New Years Eve. I Look forward to staying connected with you for another great year ahead.
xoxoxo

BONNIE K said...

I know you are always busy but after reading this review of your year, I thought you have REALLY been busy! I think it's so cool that you have met some fellow bloggers.

Anya said...

Wow!!
FANTASTIC review :-)

Happy New Year
or in Dutch we say
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar :-)

Kareltje =^.^=
Anya :-)

Becca said...

Loved your year in review! I hope next year brings you many good things (like travel and connection with friends).

How fun that you were able to meet Anno and Jen :)

Debbie said...

You had a very busy year - I enjoyed sharing it with you.

jet1960 said...

Like me you have had an eventful year, but thankfully most of mine was not health-related like yours. Hope this New Year finds you and all of yours with good health. Best wishes for a wonderful year for you all.

Rosa said...

I love your rewind. Connection it is! Happy New Year Jeanie and family!!! xoxo

Relyn said...

Connection - such a powerful word. Such a powerful, enriching fact in our lives. It's what I treasure most about blogging. I am very happy we've made a connection, my friend.

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