The events of this year amazed me by their fullness, complexity, and heart-exploding love. To begin is to be grateful, first and foremost, for my family and their support of me through my running travails and my quest for a real home after too many moves in too few years. We welcomed Solomon, Christopher and Kate's son, in April. I couldn't imagine, even with all the stories told by other first-time grandparents, how my heart would burst upon meeting him, and how that feeling continues to grow and explode each time we see him again. He looks so like his father but with his mother's dark, deep eyes and brown hair. His personality is bursting with song!
Alex and Glory were engaged and have an intimate wedding planned in spring 2016 in the hills of El Dorado County. Glory is delightful, creative, funny, and loving of our son. We are so fortunate in our soon-to-be-two daughters-in-law.
Doug and I struggled with finding the "right" home for us with long lists of what we'd love in a home, a community, the surrounding environment. After much back and forth, for now at least, we've chosen Boulder. The Flatiron Mountains are a mere block away while hiking, running, walking, bicycling amid the incredible Front Range scenery is a daily reminder of nature's ever-lasting beauty and serenity.
We travelled: to New Zealand in March, visiting rain forests, black sand dunes, and harbors, exploring the coast for the nearly-invisible Kiwi birds, checking out huge trees; to State College, Pennsylvania several times to meet and spend time with Solomon; to Catalina Island to spend a sunny, almost-tropical weekend in November with Alex and Glory; to New York City for Thanksgiving with Christopher and his family; to The Sea Ranch for walks along the stark beauty of northern Sonoma coast; to Los Angeles to attend Glory's first pop-up art show; and our first-ever road trip from Colorado, through Utah, Idaho, Nevada and back to northern California.
I ran almost consistently with only a few setbacks, but more than I'd done in over five years. I participated in five 10k runs (New Year's Day Resolution Run in Napa; Windsor Green 10k; Davis Stampede 10k; Water to Wine 10k; Catalina Island (trail) 10k), the 5k ColderBoulder (yes, a very cold, very difficult-to-breathe at altitude early December run), and finally completed a half marathon (Portland) five and a half years after my last half marathon in Austin, even earning a personal best. Doug and I bicycled, hiked, and walked all around Sonoma and Boulder, putting hundreds, if not thousands, of miles on our feet. We are exhilarated by the mountain air, the varying terrain, and the leafy neighborhoods as we get re-acquainted on a full-time basis with this area.
I am proud to be a contributor to a women's running community (Salty Running) as well as being a 261 Fearless Ambassador for a women's walking and running community founded by Kathrine Switzer, the first official woman entrant to the Boston Marathon in 1967. I published a little memoir, "First Friends, Love, Loss and Life in Humboldt County," about the time in my life where friends and running came together to support me at the darkest moment in my life. I survived and became stronger, some would say fearless, for having experienced those times. Although book's sales have been slow, I so appreciate the kind and thoughtful words of support by my readers.
My official career ended--does that mean I'm retired? I hope to become involved with the Boulder and Colorado philanthropic community, especially focusing on women and girls issues in the Boulder area in 2016. My work with CASA in Texas and northern California as well a Impact Austin/Impact100 Sonoma have shown me how powerful women can be if they work collectively toward common goals.
In another week I'll be flying to Taiwan to spend ten days with Solomon and his parents. This little guy has grabbed hold of my heart with all his might. I am so honored to be asked to join them and cannot think of a better way to begin this new year!