- Living within walking distance of work, and within driving distance of family and friends in Ohio. Those two things have made my life exponentially easier and more pleasurable in so many ways.
- The English Department's move from Stansbury Hall (the old campus fieldhouse) to Colson Hall (the former law-school building). Finally, an office with windows! And new furniture! I don't know how my colleagues who worked in Stansbury for decades did it.
- Lucy's graceful exit--however sad, it was quick and peaceful--and the joy of two new fuzzy weirdos.
- White Park, a woodsy, 170-acre oasis that's a ten-minute walk from our house. It has provided me with countless hours of solace, and the chance to appreciate the beauty of every season in West Virginia.
- The record number of voters who turned out to express their disgust with the status quo of the last eight years and their belief that our country can and must do better. Even though things won't get better overnight, at least now I think there's a fighting chance that they might not get any worse!
- Believe it or not, I'm deeply grateful for Web 2.0. Seriously: between this blog and FaceBook, this year has been full of amazing discoveries, new and renewed friendships, many much-needed laughs, and an odd sense that my current self has been reconciled with all my past selves, if that makes any sense.
I'm especially gratified to be back in touch with my college friend Jane, the Boulder Hathaways, several grad-school comrades I'd lost touch with, and many former students.
- And finally, dear readers, I'm grateful to you: to be honest, I didn't think I'd keep this experiment up when I started it a year ago. It's been an interesting ride--I've learned a lot about myself as a writer and as a character (an underdeveloped and problematic one, mostly) in my writing. And I've so appreciated all your comments, feedback, and observations, and reading your blogs as well.