2022 Year in Review

I thought that this year’s list would be hard to put together. It felt like it had been another hard year. Perhaps having been laid out with RSV for the past few weeks put me in an undeserved funk because once I wrote the list, it’s obvious that 2022 was actually a great fucking year.

  1. Truly excellent Polar Bear Plunge at Golden Gardens, with Keith, Krystn and Greg, Justine and John, Brooke and Bob, and Shelley and Brad. Went in the frigid water twice — it’s so invigorating.
  2. Rented a little cabin at Cama Beach to do a solo writing overnight. Really worked on writing a novel; outlined it, did character studies. Didn’t write a lot down yet but I’m getting there. 
  3. Playing Euchre with Lars and Sarah with giant playing cards. The delicious cocktails that Sarah always makes.
  4. Lots of walks with Abi and Maria, and sometimes Snigdha.
  5. Hosting the Gates ladies crew for a pandemic get-together in my backyard.
  6. Great trip to Palm Springs with Kim and Brian, Kate and Mark, Kristina and Ally and Krystal. Birthday celebration cake and then Kim killing everyone in Euchre. Amazing Joshua Tree sunset with the gang.
  7. Spending my actual birthday in Rome eating amazing food with Jamie and Amy and Hillary. Fantastic feminist art tour of Rome. Making tiramisu in Rome during our cooking class.
  8. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE IN THE DESERT! Holy Shit. I still can’t believe it.
  9. Dinner at Smithville with mom, and Mary and her whole fam. Even that bitch Julia, who was really so nice, but then she broke Andrew’s heart so we hate her now.
  10. Meeting up with Dave in Cap Hill and scheming about work in a dive bar in the middle of the day.
  11. Driving from Seattle down to Palm Desert, just me and the dogs.
  12. Solo hike up to the poorly named but gorgeous Convict Lake, watching all of the elk on the mountain watching us.
  13. Amazing road trip in Texas and New Mexico with Krystn. The van with two beds and a swing. Listening to a lot of country music to get in the mood.
  14. Sledding in White Sands National Park. That amazing sunset with no one else in sight.
  15. Sleeping in the roof-top tent in New Mexico. I was scared to death I wouldn’t be able to get down but it was actually an amazing experience.
  16. Watching the stars all night from my tent at Guadalupe National Park. It was like a slow-motion fireworks show. So many satellites! Shooting stars.
  17. Walking through the amazing Carlsbad Caverns.
  18. Marfa! So hot. So chic. Great food and drinks. Adorable airbnb.
  19. Canoeing in the sweltering heat at Big Bend NP. Swimming in the pond that ended up being full of e coli.
  20. Bear-watching at Big Bend. Learning that Texas really has mountains. Also learning about indicator species in the desert from the tour guide.
  21. Swimming at the amazing Balmoral State Park pool. Natural spring water in a cement pool with turtles and fish and snakes. Being scared in a pool for the first time, with so many things nibbling on my legs.
  22. Mary visiting Palm Desert and making it feel like a home. Jack and Andrew driving out from San Diego for a quick visit.
  23. Visiting Joshua Tree with MB and having her fall in love with it, too.
  24. Learning how wonderful it is to take an edible then swim laps or float in the pool for a couple hours.
  25. Making the first edition of Shifty Clams merchandise.
  26. I bought a dirt bike! Am in love with Joan (my Yamaha xt250) and miss her terribly.
  27. Trying to fly back to Palm Springs and getting diverted to LAX because of wind! It was terrifying. Then they wanted us to get back on the plane and “try again”. Fuck that. I rented a car and drove home.
  28. Driving back to Seattle with Keith and the dogs, having so much fun, and exploring new places like the best road trips. Walking through the beautiful open valley, eating a sausage McMuffin with cheese.
  29. Clams weekend on Marrowstone Island. Scheming about abortion support and epic rides in foreign places over the campfire on the bluff. Riding Hurricane Ridge with the boys.
  30. Kayaking with Abi in her new boat at Shilshole. She makes me laugh so much, and I love showing her my beautiful PNW.
  31. Beautiful night at the marina in Magnolia with Krystn and Greg, on motos, even though they broke down.
  32. Vancouver Island Clams trip! Camping and wild swimming and laughing until my stomach hurt. The gorgeous hotel in Tofino. Rescuing Shortstack’s moto with a U-Haul.
  33. Going to see Rosie’s art in Pioneer Square.
  34. Meeting my i3 team at work in person for a retreat — before there was a covid scare and we all split! At least we got one day in.
  35. Riding my bicycle under the cherry blossoms at Green Lake.
  36. Lots of walks at the dog park with Doris and Connie.
  37. Going to exotic Nigeria. Going to see that play with Abi’s friends. Amazing food and drink in Lagos. Being terrified on the canopy walk by myself, but still doing it — and taking some great photos.
  38. Niece Margaux and her husband Vedo visiting us in Seattle, going whale watching, eating an almost private dinner at Rockfish. They’re such charming and sweet …adults! I love them.
  39. So many beautiful ferry rides on my Moto.
  40. Eating my fill of Rainier cherries.
  41. Motorcycle repair class with the Clams.
  42. Weekend in Plain WA with the Clams for Touratech, dipping in the freezing Lake Wenatchee. Riding Joan out in the woods. All the snacks that Jill brought. Hashbrowne, the bestest most laziest puppy ever.
  43. Watching Everything, Everywhere All at Once. Mind-blowing. Kind of my relationship with my mom. Had to watch it again the next night.
  44. Dirt biking with the Dirty Clams at the OHV park. Getting lost and then found. Such a rush.
  45. Motorcycle trip with Keith through Oregon, so many beautiful roads. Deep green trees and hot and dusty deserts. Mountains and rivers and plains and crops as far as you can see.
  46. Buying some good art with Keith for the desert. I love supporting artists and I love the actual artifact of art in my home.
  47. Team retreat in India. Such a gorgeous place with amazing people.
  48. Amazing meals in Delhi with Maria and Heather and Amy and Kanwal and Jamie. Breakfast with baby Shayan and Maria every morning. The giant naan at the hotel restaurant.
  49. Visiting that crazy futuristic airport in Qatar. Texting Brooke that I was watching live coverage of her at Federer’s retirement game from there. Such a small little huge world.
  50. Talking with Hillary in the wee early hours about spending time in California this winter. It makes such a difference when you have a supportive boss. I think she’s amazing.
  51. Going to St Louis for Becky’s wedding and hanging out with my family, especially my fully formed, almost all adult nieces and nephews.
  52. Keith stopping the bus at White Castle before the reception. Buying and distributing 48 sliders that everyone shoved in their mouths before we got to the hotel. So fun!
  53. Casual, warm, happy sunset dinner at Cheri’s. So much love in the house. Good easy food. Love my Clams so much.
  54. Finding a new swim spot in Lake Washington with Shelley.
  55. Kim visiting to help us move. She worked so hard and with no complaints. She’s such a delightful human.
  56. Trying unsuccessfully to get our horse sculpture Meadow into the moving van.
  57. Having a mimosa with Kim at Mammoth Lakes and having a serious talk about life and death. It’s hard to predict when and where really good conversations are going to happen. I’d like more of them next year.
  58. Listening to the Let’s Make a Sci Fi podcast on the drive down to CA. What a fun surprise, and made it feel like I really could write a book. Wondering if writing for Hollywood is as fun as it seems. In another life. Also enjoyed Anderson Cooper’s podcast on grief.
  59. Driving through a crazy rain storm when we arrived in Coachella Valley. Realizing we locked ourselves out of the house after a three day drive. 
  60. Hanging out with Sarah and Lars while they were in Palm Springs. Eating at Mario’s and Sarah getting a lobster bib.
  61. Discovering Chicken Ranch’s delicious chicken. If we lived closer I would eat there every day.
  62. Discovering a new favorite sculpture in Civic Park of a man reclining in the lawn. Finding a blooming cactus in the park.  In fact, just discovering that park has been so great — it’s one of my favorite places now.
  63. Listening to California Stars by Billy Bragg and Wilco like a thousand times.
  64. Riding my bicycle with Keith to Starbucks so many mornings. Riding everywhere we can around the desert’s big wide flat roads.
  65. Celebrating Joe’s birthday in Palm Desert with the whole gang. So many good conversations.
  66. Ice coffees full of ice from our new ice machine, sipped at on the patio.
  67. My Clams coming to visit for a long weekend and the crazy unorganized shit show of a motorcycle ride we went on. Laughing over the dinner table together at our house, and at Lars & Sars’s rental.
  68. Lynn making me a delicious fresh grapefruit margarita after picking the fruit off the tree in the backyard.
  69. Keith treating me to fancy Case for Making watercolors.
  70. Many visits to the weird and wonderful Moorten Botanical Garden.
  71. Going to Observatory night at the Rancho Mirage library with Keith.
  72. Sitting on the porch swing with Keith in the mornings with our coffee.
  73. Going to the car auction where Cheri and Lars both bought cars. What a rush!
  74. Going to the estate sale where those two artists lived and getting great supplies for a bargain. Plus the karma of coming from what seemed to be a life well-lived. A surprisingly inspiring activity.
  75. Spa day with Lars at Desert Hot Springs. Mud wrap and dipping in the different temperature pools.
  76. Kate and Mark visiting us, having such a great time, especially decorating the house for Christmas. Making paper chains with Kate and almost cutting my finger off. Kate secretly Door Dashing some staplers. Hiking at Tahquitz Canyon with Kate and Mark. Visiting Slab City sculpture park and the amazing art there.
  77. Spending an afternoon at Joshua Tree by myself just looking at ocotillos.
  78. Friday night call from Dr. Phan about Keith’s numbers magically improving.
  79. So many good text conversations with Mary, and with the Clams, and Elise. Developing that as a real way of keeping relationships truly connected over long distances. 
  80. Read a bunch of fantastic books, especially Demon Copperhead, Tomorrow Tomorrow and Tomorrow, and We All Want Impossible Things.
  81. Buying that gorgeous pink dresser from the cool chick who redid it.
  82. Everything about owning a pool. Learning how it all works. Accidentally heating the whole pool to hot tub temperature. Twice. Vacuuming it out after two big storms. Keith eating spaghetti in the hot tub. Laying in the hot tub at night this winter, floating and looking at the stars.
  83. Discovering the monthly Flea Market up in Palm Springs. It’s a great outing in the early morning sunshine, and they have some really amazing finds there.
  84. Putting up our wall of photos in Palm Desert, having more memories and beautiful photos than will fit on the walls. 
  85. Winning an award at work, especially hearing all of the amazing sweet things my team mates said about me. I love my job.
  86. Enjoying the conversations my questions have started on the Palm Desert NextDoor app. More than 130 people took part in my comment about whether the Palm Desert Library is as bad as I thought it was. So many strong opinions about planting citrus in this area. Is this what the internet used to be like? Seems like a great little community.
  87. Knocking off three more National Parks (Big Bend, Guadaloupe Mtns, and Carlsbad Cavern) so that now I’ve been to 35 of the 63. I feel like I’m not making any progress on this quest! But I guess I am.
  88. Listening to everyone across the country complain about snownados and freezing temps while it’s 80 degrees outside.
  89. Watching some great movies and TV shows including Fleishman is in Trouble, Emily the Criminal, RRR, Bad Sisters, the Bear, the Great, Peacemaker, Reservation Dogs, and Reacher. So many great Itchy Boots videos, too.
  90. Baking the best cookies I’ve ever baked. Everything Cookies and Shortbread Cookies. Maybe there’s something special about baking in Palm Desert. I’m usually pretty bad at it.
  91. Discovering BA’s Spicy Ginger Tea and drinking gallons of it while I had RSV.
  92. Christmas Day dinner with Keith at Cactus Jack’s. The place decorated for the holiday. So many of the older patrons dressed up so festively. Drinking just enough to feel floaty and happy. Riding around Palm Desert afterwards to look at decorations and lights.
  93. Two full weeks off at Christmas — so luxurious and relaxing.
  94. Buying two trees for the backyard in PD; a meyer lemon and a mango! I can’t wait to have my own mangoes!
  95. Starting to identify a little creative community of my own. I want to develop that further this year. I love having people I can scheme with when it comes to writing and drawing and painting and making things.
  96. Still getting to work from home, the whole damn year.
  97. The short list of good friends I have carefully developed the last few years is so good. So, so good. My community has gotten stronger this year, and I’m going to continue to work really hard to keep it that way. I am so grateful for everyone in it.
  98. Snuggling in bed with Connie at night.
  99. Being woken up with kisses from Doris in the morning.
  100. Spending so much time with Keith. Almost every single day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: