Another notch on the birthday belt…

Getting to hang out at Tremont with Bill Lea and Will Clay is a whole lot of icing on this year’s cake!

Today I get to tick up my age another notch. Of course, we all know that age is as much a state of mind as it is number on our driver’s licenses. I’ve had my times this year when I felt “middle-aged” but I’ve managed to maintain the attitude and energy of a twenty-something for the most part.

Anyway, I find it appropriate to reflect upon the last twelve months every “Val” New Year’s Day and this is it in a nutshell…

Travel…

Camp Granola’s travels this year have been an amazing whirlwind of fabulous adventures. We’ve visited over 20 Georgia State Parks and Historic sites including the Len Foote Hike Inn, trekked across country to geocache the E.T. Highway, explored our Atlanta stomping grounds, trekked across country again for our five-week Geowoodstock to TBEX expedition, and capped the year off with Going Coastal and a visit to Tybee Island with our Florida family.

A truly unexpected treat this year… getting to visit a snow-covered Clingman’s Dome after a freak storm.

For yours truly, I continued my descent into Tremont Junkiedom by completing the bulk of my Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification as well as putting two more photography workshops under my belt there.

These adventures have had me geocaching through something like 30 states over several months of travel, most of it tent-based which is all kinds of awesome. I’ve gotten to see the soul-stirring beauty of America and meet wonderful people across the nation… and most of that was with my little minions in tow, soaking up the experience and education of travel. That’s some seriously good stuff.

So all the adventures were the obvious multiple high-points of the year. The only flip-side I can think of was the horrible “toe” incident in Colorado… but more on that in a bit.

The achy body…

Ok, ok, I know I said much of age is a state of mind… which is true.

Little did I know that this broken toe and the Belligerent Monkey would be bigger factors this year than the tumor in my head.

But there are certain realities of hitting middle age. If I don’t manage to keep my yoga on, I’m a ridiculous, stiff mess. And I won’t pretend I don’t spend a lot of time with ice on the knees and shins. And then there’s the feet… to which I’ve added a crappily-healed broken toe from our time in Colorado this summer. Yes, this year I get to add bone fragments and arthritis to the laundry list of aches thanks to that little doozie. (I promise I’ll get to the full story soon…)

One of the year-in-review steps I took was to go reread last year’s birthday post. It’s one I have deliberately not set eyes upon since I hit publish. Can you believe one of things that has gone fairly well this year is actually the continuing demise of Petunia? She’s not a memory yet, but she’s fading away as are the lovely symptoms she brought with her. So in spite of the middle-aged aches I mentioned, I’ve felt pretty damn good compared to this time last year. Go fig…

Headquarters…

From hail storms in South Dakota to the blustery winds of the Georgia coast, I’ve weathered a lot in this tent in the last year.

At Val in Real Life HQ, we’ve downsized and moved to a great neighborhood. It’s full of friendly people and walking distance to the vibrant offerings of Roswell. The place has amazing flow and is the size for minimal-ish living with enough room for curious homeschoolers to create and build… when we’re home that is.

So yes, the new place is everything we hoped it would be and then some. Yet it’s not all puppies and giggles. This is life after all.

Because you know getting the Belligerent Monkey off my back couldn’t go smoothly right? As I write this on Val-New-Year’s-Eve, I’ve been informed that the buyers have had their financing fall apart. It’s a bit hard to move forward with something that as big as that monkey weighing you down, no? I’ve spent a few hours trying to process this new development in such a way that I can still enjoy the start of my next year. I’ll let you know if I end up successful in that…

Coming up…

Fred and George exploring Savannah with the Florida crew…

In spite of the pall hanging over the final hours of my forty-first year, I’m so thrilled with what I was able to see and do this year. I have yet to set things in motion for the coming year but I certainly have lots of musings and ideas. Much of what comes to life hinges on ditching the monkey (more like 800 pound gorilla but who’s counting…) and the financial burdens that it carries like a virus.

As far as the blog is concerned, I’ll keep sharing our adventures of course but my vision for the coming year is to share more of the hows, whys, and wherefores of what we do here at Camp Granola in the hope that you will be inspired to pursue your bliss as fiercely as I do.

Thanks for following along!

My final travel adventure of year 41… the blustery but intriguing Tybee Island.

Comments

  1. Happy Birthday, Val!! You have accomplished so much this year. You are such a go-getter and an inspiration to us all. And that monkey must be have a good grip– as much as you go, experience and live life to the fullest, I’m surprised he hasn’t gone flying off by now;) Hope your have a wonderful day and I hope next year is monkey-free!

    1. Thank you darlin’! Cheers to my fellow outdoor Georgia girl…

  2. Hey Val. Happy Birthday!!! I have my fingers crossed that the monkey will soon be dead! Much as I like monkeys – this one has to go!!

    1. Tough to wish ill-will to a monkey I know… but this is an EVIL monkey. LOL

  3. Happy birthday to the worlds best daughter

    1. Thanks Mom! Love you too…

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