2016 in Retrospect

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2016 was a year of significant change. I became a granny, something I’ve cleverly avoided until now!

Hadley Sophia was born July 1, three weeks early. I was in NYC with them by the 5th and spent a blissful six weeks studying the fine art of granny-ing and falling ever so hopelessly in love.

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Jenny and Kennen, tired of the dot.com madness of San Francisco, pulled up stakes, moved to Minnesota, and bought a house. Along with them in the move was an old chair that was earmarked for reupholstery, Jenny’s hobby. I cannot believe the gorgeous transformation!

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Jessa and Dan did their yearly trek to Bali (bless them) and presented Ketut with a Superman tee-shirt, of course! Dan is a master guitarist and gave a few lessons. There was pool time, computer time, lots and lots of talk time, but best of all…togetherness.

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I had a birthday. Seems to happen every year. But this one was a gorgeous evening on Jimbaran Beach with a motley crew of dear friends, Carol, Janet, Bayu, and big-hearted Steve, who master-minded the event. I’d have a birthday every month if they were all as special as this!

The day wouldn’t have been complete without a quick escape to Watercress restaurant with my busy, wonderful neighbor, Nina, who treated me to birthday lunch and kombucha.

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I had another fun day in a beach town: Seminyak. Shane, Terry, and Mu needed haircuts and the ONLY hairdresser they’ll THINK of seeing is in Seminyak. So Denise and I enjoyed coffee and snooping the shops while the others went under the scissors. Then they introduced me to La Lucciola, a beachfront cafe where we spent the rest of the afternoon refreshing ourselves!

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MARGARET - Copy

 

I met a new friend, Margaret Manning, and took her shopping at the Klungkung market for traditional Balinese temple clothes. She invited me to write for her online magazine, Sixty and Me, and the Huffington Post, proof yet again that it’s not what you know but WHO you know!

 

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There were some seriously wild times entertaining with my empty yogurt cartons! Ketut built towers, Nengah knocked them down then scooted to fetch when they scattered under the daybed. Patient Komang provided refuge on her back when things got a little too crazy.

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The Ubud Writers Festival was sheer brilliance this year. It just keeps getting better! The panel discussions covered a multitude of pertinent topics worldwide, and several centered around the U.S. election since at the time of the Festival that event was only a week away. But the closing party was icing on the cake. My Bali family, Ketut, Komang, Nengah, and Komang’s sister, Wayan, went with me. We were awed by the fire dancers. Truly spectacular.

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And finally, in his 94th year, my Dad died. I was with him day and night during the weeks before, and it was the most profound experience of my life. I will never see death the same. I loved him fiercely and I miss him every day. But there is no question it was his time. He knew it, and his infinite peace during those last days was a testimony to the life he lived. I was alone with him, holding his hand when he died. I cherish that sacred final gift.

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I bid farewell to another year and to you, dear friends and family who take the time to read my scribbles. I leave you with the lines of a poet whose ability to capture the essence of life and death in words always astounds me: Mary Oliver

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:

To love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

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20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sageblessings
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 09:09:25

    Wonderful, beautiful, alive piece embracing all the vissisitudes and joys of life.

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  2. gigicullins
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 12:21:52

    So beautifully written, Sherry. It was quite a year for you and you summed it up so well. The part about your Dad brought tears of mutual understanding to my eyes. I am so glad I got to know him and your Mom. Wonderful people for sure. Missing my Mom and Dad both everyday, but, I don’t see death the same as before they passed either. It is truly a profound experience. My wish for you is that 2017 will bring you more and more joy. With that beautiful new grandbaby, I’m sure it will.

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  3. Michelle
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 13:26:11

    What a memorable year you’ve had. Beautiful photos!

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  4. shanemac
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 14:57:51

    You inspire me with your joy of living and discovery. I learn from you, especially from the way you live your life.
    You are so generous in sharing your experiences, your loves, and yourself. During 2016 you brightened my year and I’m hoping for more of the same in 2017.

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  5. Barbara Garland
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 15:09:56

    Sherry, so lovely to see your year. Such a busy, emotional one. You are looking healthy and beautiful, keep living your dreams. love and gratitude, Barb

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  6. pat grimsbo
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 15:12:09

    Sherry Dear, This was the most interesting, educational, loving and thoughtful email I have ever received in all these years. I shall be re-reading it very often!!! What a variety of information ! ! ! Right now I am hurting a bit, I accidentally took a fall between the kitchen chairs and landed hard on my backside just before lunch time. I made it up and with the walker was able uncomfortably to go down to the dining room, but the Nurse noticed and will be keeping an eye on me. I have been resting with an ice pack on my back and am a little better. At 4:30 Aaron and Ruth Lofgren will be at the A-door to be my guests at the 5:00 p.m. Christmas Dinner and Music Program. Hope to feel fine by then. Again, thank you for sharing all your fascinating experiences ! ! ! Love you much, Mom

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Dec 15, 2016 @ 16:12:17

      Hi Mom! I’m glad you enjoyed the memories. It was a very full year and there were so many wonderful experiences I had to leave out for fear of boring people to death with my life! Please be careful with yourself! I only have one mother and I want her around for a good many years yet! Much love comes back to you, Mom. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Love, Sherry

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  7. Nanci Froemming
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 16:38:48

    Hi Sherry,

    Thanks for sharing your end of the year recap. Happy times and sad times both, and you captured the highlights beautifully in your photos and accompanying text. I noticed your Dad and mine were both born on Sept. 24th – although my Dad was born in 1919. Interesting.

    Arrived a bit sore from the long trip but so glad to be here and off the plane. Happy to see my girls again and Lenny. Nola is just constant entertainment as she tries to copy everything Dewi does. She warmed up to me quickly which was a huge surprise.

    Nina and Lenny are off to the mechanic about their brakes so I have the luxury of having Dewi all to myself for a few hours. Can’t wait!

    Hope to see you when we both have time, my friend!

    Hugs, Nanci

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Dec 15, 2016 @ 16:52:06

      I’m so glad you made that brutal flight in one (albeit sore) piece! What a sweet family you have and I’m so glad you’re here for a decent length of time to really get to enjoy them.

      I’m the one with all the free time in the world! Let me know when you have a minute…or just wander over. My door is always open…literally. The most you could interrupt is a giggle session with Ketut and Wayan! See you soon!

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  8. Lottie Nevin
    Dec 15, 2016 @ 16:45:30

    Dear Sherry,wyshing you the sparliest and most creative year yet. May 2017 be fabulous for you! Xxx

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Dec 15, 2016 @ 16:57:33

      Sparliest… know that’s not Spanish so why don’t I recognize the word? I think you’ve wished me well but Google thinks you misspelled sparkliest! Or you’ve been your brilliant self and created a whole new word right along with wyshing! Here’s WYSHING you and Irishman happy happy holidays and may 2017 be SPARLY for you too!.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  9. Mary Heiken
    Dec 19, 2016 @ 07:28:08

    Sherry, thank you for sharing the magical moments of a life lived with passion and purpose. Wishing you more of those moments in 2027!

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