I’m looking back tonight at 2013 with a whole lot of gratitude.  It was a year of recovery and resuming, of slowly getting back some stamina and learning how to be healthy again.

I could measure recovery with my driving trips.  How long could I drive without being worn out?  How easily could I carry around luggage?  How many days after a trip did it take me to recover?  How far could I walk – and for how long?

I could also measure my recovery by walks in the Chickamauga Battlefield, just a five-minute drive from my house.  I took my first post-chemo walk there, one of about 100 yards.  I walk much farther and faster now.  Not very fast or very far yet. . . but I appreciate the progress.

I was fortunate to have several trips this year.  Savannah was, of course, a destination (more than once), but I also made a pilgrimage to Milledgeville, return trips to Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, AL, and two long trips.  One BIG, long trip was to the Tetons and Yellowstone.  And the one I just made was to New Hampshire.  Two years ago, I couldn’t come close to doing that kind of driving.  Across the country to Wyoming and Montana, and a couple of months later up to New England?  No way I could have done that in 2012!

You know what I think all of this means?

That I’m back!

So here’s a look at my 2013 life.  How blessed I am!  Though you don’t see them in the photos, friends and family were with me in many of these.  I’m extra blessed by the presence and love and support of wonderful friends and loving family – especially my very kind and generous sister.

I look back at 2013 tonight with so much gratitude.  I don’t know how 2014 could be any better, how I could be any more blessed.

But I’m thinking that, somehow, in some wildly wonderful way . . .

I just might be!

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A winter walk in the Chickamauga Battlefield

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Azaleas blooming in Savannah’s Forsyth Park in mid March

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah

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Andalusia, Flannery O’Connor’s home outside Milledgeville, GA

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Georgia College, my alma mater

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A wildflower walk in the Pocket, Walker County, GA

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Magic light hour in Savannah

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The Etowah Indian Mounds, Cartersville, GA in April

"Tiger" kittens and mama cat.  The flash reacted interestingly with their eyes.

Stray kittens and mama cat at end of May.  Mama cat became a pet. I found good homes for the kittens.

Lake at Sacred Heart, Cullman, AL, sunrise

Lake at Sacred Heart, Cullman, AL, sunrise in late June

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My home church, Jerusalem Lutheran, Rincon, GA. Built in 1769.

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Nine Mile Prairie, Lincoln, Nebraska in late September

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The Tetons and Snake River, Jackson, Wyoming

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Mt. Moran at Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park in late September

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Old Faithful, Yellowstone

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Bison grazing roadside, Yellowstone

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Yellowstone Lake

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One of the many Yellowstone rivers – on a late September afternoon

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Another Yellowstone river, in the Lamar Valley

Last view of the Tetons before the drive home

Last view of the Tetons before the drive home

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Odell Brewery Tour, Ft. Collins, Colorado

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Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, in October

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A Forsyth Park walk along Whitaker Street, Savannah

Old Sheldon Church ruins, Yemassee, SC

Old Sheldon Church Ruins, Yemassee, SC

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Frank Lloyd Wright “sprite” at Auldbrass Plantation, Yemassee, SC in November

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Another Chickamauga Battlefield walk in December

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Congregational Church across the village green in Amherst, New Hampshire in December

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Mont Vernon, NH cemetery in December

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