For most of my adult life, I've referred to 1992 as the best year of my life. And it was. And I thought it always would be. I've had more than my fair share of fun and wonder since then, but 1992 was just so pivotal and so, well, hyperreal. It was a year defined by a feeling of being in the exact right place at the exact right time...a feeling of the Universe lining up to define my life. 1992 saved me, gave me hope, and put me on a beautiful life journey.
And 2013 came and gave me the most beautiful gifts the Universe has to offer - purpose, meaning, wholeness, and love. The circle is now complete.
Tony and I started off the year in Tybee Island. The Tybee Island New Year's crowd was a little rowdy for what we were hoping for, but a morning beach walk was the perfect way to start a wonderful year.
In February, we hiked up Stone Mountain (a lot). We enjoyed some sketch comedy at Sketchworks, and saw "Bike America" at the Hertz Theatre, both of which were pretty groovy and reminded us of reason # 467 that we LOVE living in Atlanta - so much awesome local theatre. The end of the month gave us a quick work-sponsored trip to Nashville, where we got to see the Nashville family (reason # 6 that we LOVE living in Atlanta...close proximity to the Nashville family).
In March, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding DOMA, and a sense of hope spread across the country and a sea of red equality signs spread across Facebook. The end of the month gave us a wonderful visit from Jenny and Sean and a beautiful view from the Sun Dial.
April was just swell! We took a nice long Atlanta Beltline walk on a remarkably beautiful day. We had another work-sponsored trip - this time to St. Augustine and Jacksonville, and on the drive back we decided to take a "short detour" through the Okefenokee Swamp, and it was spectacular! Alligators, herons, big pines...it was very much like the Everglades, but close to home. Really one of my highlights for the year. A couple of weekends later, we decided to check out the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, and stumbled across the setting of "Fried Green Tomatoes" in Juliette, GA. A few more Stone Mountain hikes, and a quick work trip to Huntsville rounded out a great month.
And, on May 18th, I proved that sometimes stories about little boys with really rough starts have beautiful happy endings. After over 7 years together, Tony and I were legally married in Syracuse, New York in front of nearly all of our most beloved family and friends. And, I came to understand that this man, this moment, all of this, is the meaning of life.
After our wedding, we spend a night in Niagara Falls, four days in Toronto, and along and wonderful road trip across Ontario, down through Detroit, Cincinnati, Kentucky, and Knoxville, Tennessee.
When we got back home, we had just two weeks to wait before I was able to hold the most beautiful thing I've ever laid my eyes and heart upon.
After the life shifting events of May and June, the rest of the year sort of pales, but there was still lots of fun to be had and lots of quieter moments of savoring the new roles of "husband" and "papa," and the unexpected joys of creating our new modern, modern family. And, of course, there were still lots of hikes to be taken, like the one Tony and I took at Sweetwater Creek.
All I can really remember about August is rain. Like monsoon-style rains. In fact, it rained for weeks on end all through the summer, but by August I just couldn't take it anymore. Buckets and buckets of rain. Oh, and bugs. Lots of bugs. Luckily, Michelle and Mark were getting married in Syracuse, so that called for another road trip. We picked up Mike and Margie in Nashville, spent a night in Pittsburgh, and showed them the view from Mt. Washington.
We were still in Syracuse for the first of September, and I got a taste of what "camp" is all about.
When we got back to Atlanta, I got to see Depeche Mode for the first time since the "Violator" tour in 1990, and Tony was able to sing along to several of the songs. My heart was filled with pride.
For Tony's birthday, I took him to see Barry Manilow's new musical, "Harmony," which was phenomenal. I couldn't sing along with any songs, but I think Tony is a little proud of my new-found appreciation for musical theater.
October was full of fun stuff. A visit from bestie-in-law, Lauren. The Pine Lake Festival, a visit to ART Station. And an amazing Blue Ridge Mountains getaway with our new Brady Bunch family. Blue Ridge Parkway, Gatlinburg, Cherokee. Such an awesome time.
We made a first time visit to the Horizon Theatre in L5P, and saw "Third Country," a play based on the refugee experience in Clarkston, and we were blown away. Just wonderful.
In November, I returned to the scene of the crime...to Panama City Beach, which is where my first memories were made. I don't miss living in Florida, but I still love a nice walk on the beach.
After a few days next to the ocean, we returned just in time for peak autumn (which means soul-crushing piles and piles and piles of leaves). On the 18th, we celebrated our 8 year anniversary, and then headed to Franklin, Tennessee for some Thanksgiving family time and our annual walk around the old Carnton Plantation.
December started with nice dinner with Gwen, an old-time friend from Pittsburgh, and a weekend visit from my sister and family (which ended with a stray cat in our garage). And, we were able to catch John Waters' one-man Christmas show at the Variety.
We ended the month and the year with an overly ambitious "Holiday Magic Tour" driving from Atlanta to Pittsburgh for a few days, then to Syracuse, for Christmas. From Syracuse, we headed to Richmond via an ill-planned lunch "detour" through Philadelphia. After Richmond, we took advantage of a drive through Raleigh to say hello to some wonderful, wonderful friends (and their soon-to-be-here baby!). All in all, we our road trip allowed visits with 28.8% of my Facebook friends.
After our 2,000 mile road trip, we decided to saw goodbye to the best year of my life (so far) by cozying up on the sofa watching "Hairspray." And the circle is now complete.