On January 1, 2015, I was giddy, full of optimism and ready to take on the New Year that dawned upon us. Waking up to the new day in Voorhout, Netherlands, I was burdened with what would later be diagnosed as severe bronchitis. It was odd; physically, I felt horrible but mentally I was all there and ready to make the year great.
The following day, my sorrow was almost as palpable as the tears that flowed freely from my red rimmed eyes. My dog, Kenji, died. It wasn’t the most pleasant way to kick off the New Year.
As expected, highs and lows filled the spaces of time throughout the year, and the latter part of December was an emotional bookend that mirrored January with the passing of my father-in-law.
I cried a lot in 2015. I expect to laugh a lot in 2016 to make up for lost time.
Despite the tears, there were good times throughout the year.
- My wanderlust spirit took me to places near and far, from one coast to another, across America and across Europe.
- To satisfy my vino urges, my husband and I made several trips to the mountains of North Carolina to visit a plethora of vineyards and wineries.
- I totally owned my midlife status (and I’m working it like a rock star…) and created “Midlife-A-Go-Go” to celebrate all things midlife.
- My husband and I moved to our forever home in the small but charming town of Cramerton, North Carolina.
- I kicked off a new feature on Bon Vivant called “Chef Chat ‘n Chew” where I engage in tête–à–têtes with various chefs while enjoying a dish of their choosing which they then prepare for me.
- For the first time in a very long time, I dressed up for Halloween (I was a makeshift ‘Spider Lady’), and it was a hoot to greet the trick-or-treaters who docked on our doorstep.
- My husband and I welcomed a new member to the family; we have dubbed her Chaka (her nickname is “Her Majesty” because she is a queen in the making…). Chaka is a diva.
I was even fortunate to have had the mind-blowing experience of going up in an historic Douglas DC-3, circa 1945:
Food also played a major role in 2015, which is only natural. After all, a woman’s gotta eat.
From luscious fried green tomatoes in Greenville to mouthwatering duck confit in Charlotte . . . an enormous 6-layer carrot cake in Banner Elk to naturally sweet shrimp and grits in Jacksonville Beach . . .
. . . delicate ravioli di squacquerone in Rome to savory hortobágyi in Budapest; crispy seafood wonton tacos in Elkin to enchanted Georgia trout in Atlanta…and all of the wonderful bites in between – I enjoyed them all.
All in all, 2015 was a decent year. Life can’t always be as rosy as we would like it to be. We must navigate the irritating bumps in the road as well as the smooth thoroughfares that define our path. Some days it’s easy, other days not so easy. But still we move forward.
What are my resolutions for this New Year? Well, my list is a small one, but one that I hope will enhance my life. I vow to embrace all—both the good and the bad—that 2016 has to offer, be grateful for the abundance of blessings that I have and promise myself to always . . . always . . . eat good food.
Happy New Year and Gelukkig Nieuwjaar.