I may be completely MIA from this blog at the moment, but I couldn’t let 2011: Year of WTF? go by without a wrap-up. How can I even begin to summarize the past 12 months? Last January, I knew my life would take drastic turns this year, but I never could’ve imagined. My apologies if this comes out kind of stream-of-consciousness style.

In February, I lost one of the loves of my life in a freak car accident, and felt emotionally set adrift for the majority of the year. In April, I left the corporate grind, completely and dramatically, and packed up the entirety of my life for the second time in 8 months to move an hour west to the middle of a field…and I worked. REALLY worked, for the first time in a long time. In July I then lost my grandmother–the grounding, sane foundation of the otherwise insane maternal side of my family. The world continued to send its reminder: nothing is promised but the fact that it all will end. Live now, not later.

I reconnected with running and finally figured out why workouts in the gym never felt like enough: it’s the outdoors, stupid. (I did not renew my gym membership.) I read the entire Harry Potter series, frantically planted kale on the back of a transplanter at 8:15 at night, tried $300 caviar, and deepened my love affair with the art of beer and cooking. I vowed, when the farming season was over, to not take a job that prevents being outside at least 4 days of the week. This has been possibly the most important improvement in my life so far.

I’ve learned an incredible amount about vegetables, physicality, wine, cheese, personal customer service and business structure from some incredibly unlikely places. I’ve been constantly reminded of the Apache Relay lyric, “Home is not places, it is love.” So here’s to 2012, making all this knowledge and change work together, and never forgetting to live. What. A Fucking. Year.

1. Firsts this Year:

  • There’s 800,000 of these, easily. Living in a house with snakes?
  • Driving multiple F-150s
  • Crashing a golf cart through a creek (repeatedly)
  • Harvesting garlic, turnips, kale, rhubarb, chard, lettuces, potatoes, beans, beets, everything
  • Finding a grasshopper, blister beetle, ticks, johnson grass, rocks, a small potato etc. in my pants
  • Launching watermelons off the back of a truck to watch them explode on the ground
  • Logging 10+ hour days of work without once seeing a computer screen
  • Being paid and consulted as a beverage expert

2. Song for 2011
I guess it’d have to be Apache Relay – Home is Not Places. But Eddie Vedder’s Hard Sun and Necro Facility’s Explode are close seconds.

3. Movie for 2011
Heh, the last Harry Potter, man!

4. Restaurant of the Year
Magnolias At the Mill kept me sane through one of the hottest Julys on record and provided hockey broadcasts when I was in need. Go see Morgan at the bar for some delicious brews.

5. Book of the Year
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (almost done with Book 3…must…finish….)

6. TV Show of the Year
Game of Thrones. Though Hell on Wheels is giving it a run for its money in the off-season.

7. Best Decision of the Year
Deciding to do whatever it takes financially to cut the corporate rope.

8. Bad Idea That Seemed Like A Good Idea At the Time
Many nights out at the Black Cat. Ugh.

9. Best Relationship of 2011

Carrie/Matty/Chris – my DC support crew trifecta, as was true for 2010. Though Ms. Mollie Z, my co-farmhand this summer, is a close contender to make it a er, quad-fecta?

10. Most Memorable “WTF?” Moment of 2011
Having my birthday vacation almost wiped out for the second year in a row by a hurricane. (We’re no longer going to the beach for my birthday.)

11. Newcomer of the Year Award
Mollie Z, Stacey & Casey and the rest of the farm crew. Much love.

12. Low Point of the Year
Late July was pretty ugly. Mid-February a close second.

13. Biggest Change of the Year


14. Plans/Goals for Next Year
Stability. Maine. More hiking. More $$ saving.

15. High Point of the Year
Hard to name just one. Many a Twin Peaks & cherry pie weekend, many a hockey & couch & beer night, many a farm happy hour / beer o’clock.

16. New Year’s Resolution(s)
No resolutions. Just forward motion.