November has always been a big month for anniversaries and other celebrations in my family. Over the years it has become a little more bittersweet as we have had a few deaths near the holidays that we also remember.

This year I am adding another milestone to our November calendar. Today marks one year since I moved into my Salem home.


The last year has had a lot of twists and turns. In fact, this doodle I made the other day is a good representation of the last year.


Forward and back, up and down. And probably any other mix of adjectives you care to insert.

But as I’m writing this tonight, I feel like a good year is ahead of me. Most things are unpacked. I’m emotionally and physically on the mend. I’ll probably be saying goodbye to two pets in the next year, but that’s the price we pay for unconditional love, and Key is ready and willing to fill the gap. While my family is small, it’s loving. And I’m learning to make new friends and working out how to keep up with old ones. I joined a new church today, which makes me miss my old one, but it’s good to be back in a community. My job is still enjoyable and stable. And my art life is free and clear.

So, though this last year has been–well, see the diagram above–I’m feeling excited about moving forward. Or whatever direction I end up going.