looking back

We took a break from packing last night to have dinner in T.O., see the lights and the skaters at Nathan Phillips Square, and have a semi-spontaneous drink with a friend. The lights (which we skipped last season) were very nice, but had a little too much build-up from proud Trontonians. Toronto is best seen when not compared with New York.

The drink was much better - which brings me to my topic today. Any time now, this blog will temporarily disappear as I change over to WordPress, then re-map the domain name. It could take a while, and I don't know exactly when the process will begin, so I'll do my year-end wrap up now, a few days early.

Our first full calendar year in Canada is coming to a close. Compared to the preceding year, among the most eventful and emotional of my adult life, almost anything would be calm and normal. Mostly we settled in, and lived our new lives. The highlights are few, and mostly good.

I lost the best writing gig I ever had, and had to face the prospect of real-life work at half the pay that I earned in New York.

I found a lousy temp job, which led to a very decent real job, at which I am still employed.

Kids On Wheels completed its first full year of quarterly publication, thanks to myself and two other writers and editors, and survived to see another year.

We went to Peru. That itself was pretty unbelievable. I realized a life-long dream to visit Macchu Picchu. We saw many other wonders, experienced so many beautiful and rich cultures, and had loads of truly peak travel experiences. This trip was utterly fantastic.

More locally, we continued to explore our area, including a trip to the Niagara Wine Region, lots of stuff in Toronto, the Waterfront Trail, and our own Mississauga. All good.

We lost our little rental house, which meant leaving Port Credit. I am completely in love with this neighbourhood and our location. This came as a nasty shock, and a huge inconvenience.

Emotionally, this year was both happy and bittersweet. I learned more about being long-distance with friends and family. It's not so good, and it's not so bad. I continued to miss Buster more painfully than I can remember missing any creature. And then I turned the corner. (More on that in my next post.)

Above all, this past year has been about making friends.

I'm frankly amazed by how many friends we have up here now. Most of the friendships started here at this blog, then moved to real life. I even made a friend from work, which is not something I expect. I'm friendly with co-workers, but I don't expect to meet people through my day-job that I really click with outside of work. In fact, I didn't expect any of this. I'm not accustomed to finding many like-minded people, people with whom I can truly be myself. It feels like a tremendous bonus, and I'm very, very grateful.

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