As I sit here being held down on the couch by three adorable sleeping kitties, I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane and reminisce about the year that was 2007.
I somehow managed to find my way home from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, during a huge ice storm that shut down much of Oklahoma, while battling a nasty case of the flu. Thanks to a box of Pepto Bismol and sheer determination (some might say borderline insanity), I managed to avoid being trapped for the weekend in the Chicago airport by procuring an alternate route home through Wichita and driving the rest of the way back to Bartlesville. Probably not the most brilliant thing I've ever done, but pulling into my driveway 16 hours after leaving the hotel in Cedar Rapids was one of the best feelings ever.
I celebrated my 34th birthday with my friends from Kansas City in Colorado. It was a wonderful weekend of catching up. Little did I know that this would not be my only trip to Colorado in 2007.
Also, thanks to some thoughtful gift giving on my sister's part, I was introduced to The Loopy Ewe, unleashing an obsession with sock yarn and hand knitted socks.
I must have done something right. I was pleasantly surprised with a promotion at work, mostly due to the project I was working on for the last half of 2006. The extra hours and travel were worth it.
The beautiful Kuota Kalibur came to live with me. On its third time out on the road, we had an unfortunate accident, which ended in me leaving much of the skin from my elbow on the pavement. I was bruised and battered, but unbroken, and the Kalibur was mostly unscathed, thanks to some quick thinking on my part to keep the bike from sliding along the pavement with me. Skin heals, carbon fiber doesn't.
I took a trip of a lifetime to visit Mary and Phil in Christchurch, New Zealand.
It was an amazing place with wonderful people. A side trip to Wellington, on the north island, to stay with a friend of a friend in Oklahoma, gave me the opportunity to spend some time with New Zealand Ironman athletes. A run through the hills (think, Lord of the Rings terrain), showed me that running up the one hill on the Bville trails once a week does not prepare you to run the hills of Wellington, New Zealand. It was fun and beautiful, but brutal. I also brought home a new hobby thanks to the ladies of the Christchurch Spinners and Weavers Guild and proved you could bring the base of a spinning wheel as a carry on on an airplane and not attract attention to yourself. All because I needed a new hobby that creates more yarn.
On a sad note, my buddy Stewart, who brought much joy to my life for 11 years, died from complications from diabetes. My house was way too quiet.
I made the first of three treks to Iowa for my cousin's wedding which took place on an unusually hot June day. And as if I needed even another hobby that adds more yarn to my stash, Linda and I experiment with dyeing yarn with Kool Aid and food coloring.
In late June, Xena talked me into heading down to the Bartlesville SPCA, where we adopted two 10-week old tortie kittens, Purl and Ashford. Xena doesn't remember being on board for the adoption, and lived in a corner under my desk for the next couple of weeks. The kittens quickly learned that the key to getting anything you want is to look and act cute (it's impossible for them NOT to look cute), and I quickly learned that knitting and fiber is not safe around the tortie terrors.
Oklahoma continued to suffer from weather extremes, and flooded in early July. While my house was safe from the high water, it definitely made getting around town difficult.
Trip number two to Iowa was for Mary and Phil's wedding which was held on an unusually comfortable late July day. Following the wedding, several of the wedding guests joined the bride and groom on RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa. I was only able to join them for two days, but we had a great time.
It was a quick turnaround, but I headed back to Iowa for my annual trip to the Iowa State Fair. I've attend every fair except for one in my 34 years, and I couldn't miss it this year. It had all of my favorite attractions along with some new things to see. It's listed in the book 1000 Things to See Before You Die and it deserves the designation. If you haven't been to the Fair, add it to your list of places to visit. Tell them Lynn sent you!
Also, Xena decided that it's not necessary to hiss at the kittens every time she sees them.
What a blur! Since the beginning of 2007 I spent many hours training for Ironman Wisconsin, and Sept. 9 was the race day. It was a perfect day for a race, and considering my training was not as consistent as I had hoped it would be, plus the fact I had the plaque for the few days prior to the race, I was pretty happy with my time, finishing in 14 hours and 24 minutes.
Five days later, I was on an airplane to Denver to interview for a new job. Somehow, I managed to hide my exhaustion, and they offered me the job. The rest of September was spent getting my house ready to impress potential buyers.
Have you ever imagined what traveling with three cats in a car packed with many of your belongings for 10 hours would be like. I don't have to imagine, I got to live this wonderful experience, which surprisingly, wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought it would be. The kitties and I survived our drive, and quickly settled into our temporary apartment and collectively hoped that the house in Bville would sell quickly so we could get settled. The move also becomes the great equalizer with the cats, and Xena is seen snuggling with Ashford and even stayed there long enough so there is photographic documentation.
After about five weeks on the market, the house in Bartlesville sold, allowing me to start shopping for a new house in Denver.
I found the perfect townhouse for me...a brownstone with hardwood floors and a beautiful kitchen, that is right next to the Cherry Creek Reservoir so I can walk out the front door and hop on the running trails. It's also a short drive to work, and very close to a Chipotle, which will allow me to make up for the two and a half years I somehow managed to survive in a state without one. The only catch is that it won't be ready until the end of January. I know it will be worth the wait.
After spending Thanksgiving in Des Moines, where Linda and I dyed up another batch of sock yarn, I went back to Bville to pack up the house and get it ready for the new owners.
We officially closed on the Bville house on Dec. 3. A week later, a huge ice storm hits the entire Oklahoma. I shudder to think about what happened to the large, old trees that were all over the the yard, and am very thankful they're no longer my problem.
Even though I might freeze to death, I have been embracing the great things about living in Colorado. Skiing and snowshoeing has been so much fun, but I'm looking forward to the spring and summer sports.
Phew! It's been a year full of change, and I'm looking forward to what 2008 will bring. Happy New Year!