I laid in bed last night and thought about this past year for quite a bit... I guess with everyone posting about their own year-in-review it was rubbing off. I tried to remember what I did last new years eve... I went to my church New Years Eve coffee house. It was a fun time with my (now-ex)roommate and our mutual friend, Jane. I got lots of hugs and well-wishes from so many friends at church. I do remember that I didn't want to be out at midnight... so I went home and got in to bed with Nolli, to help keep him from freaking out at the noise. (It wasn't too bad.)
January brought hurt and change... my Dad passed away. My brother and I never got a chance to say good-bye to him or tell him one last time that we loved him. We had planned a conference call for Saturday evening after I got home from work. He died on Saturday afternoon while I was at work. I thought I was ready for it... and it still devastated me. I had to leave the floor at work... I couldn't go on.
The next day, was the day that I was introduced to Ham. I went to church... and he was there, sitting with my friend Mary. She waved and I sat in front of them... and when the praise band began to sing "East to West"... all I could do is cry. My friend Nita came back to where I was and just held me and let me cry. I was sure that Ham thought I was a total basket case. I went to Mary's after church for breakfast... and sat and talked to Ham for over 3 hours.
After bereavement leave and talking to Ham on the phone... we agreed to go to coffee house that Saturday. We had a good time and decided to go for coffee at Double T diner. We actually decided that we wanted to go out on a real date... and we made plans to go to the theatre in Annapolis to see the Colonial Players in the round. Our first official date was January 22nd. It was great fun and we knew by the end of the date that something special was going to happen. It just had magic and chemistry. I don't think I will ever forget that night.
In February... that is the magic month for being employed at VZW. They reward quite nicely for a year of hard work. At the end of the month... is when Ham was taken from his job on a bodily attachment bond to see the judge about child support. He wasn't arrested... but since he had gone back to work, he still needed to re-institute his support. He went missing for 3 days, as I had no idea what had happened and there was no answer on his cell phones. I finally called his boss and learned what had happened. It was Wednesday morning that I drove to the county seat where he use to live to pay $1000 in back support to release him. It was a deciding factor for him in who I was as a person, and for me as well... as he payed me back that day. (My roommate was very upset with me for posting "bail for him"... and our friend Rob said it takes a special kind of woman to do that after only knowing him 6 weeks.)
March went by in a blur... Ham was out of town a great deal during the week. He was up in Northeastern PA for all that time. Work progressed well for me... and we spent as much time as we could together on the weekends. Ham had a court date in March... and all went as we expected... pay more money and stay on course.
April was the beginning of yard sale season. I tried to hit a few yard sales when we could. We also went back to court... payed more money and stayed the course. We also went up to Greencastle to go antique shopping with Mary and Randy. We had a delightful time. And we knew that we were shopping for things to go in our new home and for our wedding... we were planning for August. Ham's company wanted to transfer him to NE PA... we knew that I would be going with him... and I wasn't going to go unless we were married.
May became the month where we started to put it all together. Ham's company decided that they wanted him in NE PA as soon as possible. We knew we weren't going to make August for a wedding date. We went to Dale's for Mother's Day for a family bbq... Dale asked what we were going to do... and offered to let us use his back yard for our wedding. His girlfriend Gwen had moved in and was more than willing to help us. We set the date for a Sunday... June 1st. We had 3 weeks to pull it all together. We managed to get it more or less done by then... it was more about the commitment we were making than the ceremony anyway. It didn't matter if I had a "dream dress"... and it didn't matter that I didn't have an engagement ring... I was going to have a beautiful diamond wedding band instead.
June 1st was the big day... and it was wonderful. We had some funny things happen, and only 1 or 2 not-so-funny things happen. But we were married, happy and planning for a great future. Once we were married... Ham had to leave to go to work in NE PA... and I was left to figure out the rest. My roommate became a wicked little person and made my life hell... but it was only for a few weeks. I quit my job in mid-June and proceeded to pack up everything, put it in storage, board the dog... (that nearly killed him) and head out for NE PA to search for a place to live. Ham was in negotiation with his company owner for his transfer... it was a very stressful time. But the main objective was to get settled and start our life together.
In a tearful morning... (I was staying with friends of Hams,) the wife was being less than gracious... I set out to drive north and find a place to live. I did find our little cottage from a sign posted on a tree... and I made arrangements with Ham and it became our little home the next day. That was the last Friday of June. I drove down to Maryland on Friday and met Ham... we started loading up and on Saturday, went to pick up Nolli from the kennel. He was so sick and skinny... I knew that it would have been just a couple more days and he would have been in some very serious trouble. We finished packing up and headed north... we stopped at the friends house long enough for me to get my suitcase and we were on our way to our own home.
July... we were settling in... Ham still had a couple of weekends to get his stuff moved. He made one trip with the company highcube to get his belongings from where he had been living. The next weekend, the company paid for a moving van to get the rest of his stuff out of storage from Waldorf... 3 weekends in a row... going back and forth to Maryland. We did it... it was worth it... and we were so very happy to be together.
August... we just got used to living in our new cottage and figuring out how it all was going to work. We met our neighbors, we were learning how to get around... and we enjoying the local hangouts and farmers markets... and we fell in love deeper... and became more of a family than ever.
September... we went to Connecticut to visit Ham's family. It was our first long road trip... and one with Nolli too. We had a fabulous time... I got to meet most of the family... and we even found time to do yard sales, antiquing, go to the county fair, have ice cream at one of the best places ever, and have a family bbq on Labor day at the farm. It was heaven. We also went to our fair in Bloomsburg at the end of the month... it was pouring rain...and it was so much fun to go through all the exhibits.
October... we enjoyed our first fall in the Poconos... the colors were breathtaking. We went on several little craigslist adventures... and saw even more of the state we were living in. I started this little blog in October... and have enjoyed it so much. I also went back to work... but the drive ended up being too much for... 50 miles one way thru a couple of mountain passes. Ham understood how stressful it was for me... and supported my decision 100%.
November... was actually a semi-busy month... getting ready for the holiday... making plans. I also turned 50... it was a wonderful day... spent with my beloved Ham... at a beautiful restaurant having a fabulous meal. And we started to decorate for Christmas that weekend.
December... with our first Christmas, was all that we could have wanted. We both so appreciate being in our own home. We appreciate that we can be who we are and do what we want and have to answer to no one else for what we do in our home. I can cook... and Ham is the only one in the kitchen to hover... and he hovers as he wants to help me and be a part of what I am doing. We can start projects and leave them up while we are working. Our messes are our messes... and it's ok if stays a mess for a couple of days. I am ready to put away all the holiday things and enjoy our little cottage the way I set it up when we first moved in... We will have changes coming in the weeks ahead, and I am excited for that. I continue to pray for God's blessings upon us, and for guidance for the right job for me. I also continually pray for His Hedge of Protection around our home and our vehicles and for Hams job and his safety and traveling mercies. We have been richly blessed and I wait with great anticipation and humbled hopes of what God has for us in the coming year.
Thanks for reading... be blessed!