I cannot say it enough: The year, 2014, was a Grinch! Stink, Stank, Stunk! Many, many events happened this year, positive and negative, but when I look back, I want to stomp the year into the ground. Please forgive me for this end-of-year post, but I promise that I’ll say some nice things, too! I’ll even end with a “funny,” OK?

January: Snow storm. We didn’t go back to school after break. That’s a good thing, right? Well, yeah, then it was actually nice. We got to clean, stay up late and play games a few more days, put Christmas items away in storage, read and relax, etc. But…relaxing comes with a price (see June).

February: My dad died the day before my youngest daughter’s “sweet 16” birthday. No explanation needed there.

March: Still cold, I worried about ISTEP testing (we had to back it up due to the snow days). LONG month.

April: April was pretty good. Yes! A bright flower month to welcome spring. Spring Break was great! (OK, so at this point, the WHOLE year didn’t stink. I’m sorry, April 2014. I didn’t mean that you were a Grinch.)

May: I didn’t get to go to IRA (conference) due to ISTEP testing. Don’t even get me started on what I think of standardized testing…My birthday helped ease that blow, though. OK. Continue.

June: Make-up snow days! Stink, stank, stunk! But…I DID get to go to Indianapolis and learn about conferring from Conferring Carl (Anderson). That was awesome — and I even won a Donalyn Miller book in the door prize! (I see where you’re going here, 2014. You’re mixing the good with the bad. I see. Thank you.)

July/August: Summer fun, family time, and reading books! I planned to do some new and exciting things for the new school year, especially teaching an honors section of reading/language arts with my awesome teaching partner. I looked with great anticipation for a superb school year! I told my principal, “I’m pretty excited; I won’t have to worry about my dad being sick anymore, and I’m looking forward to less stress!” (I remember she said, at that time, “Well, as long as there are no surprises.” I thought, “Hmm. I’m ready for a low-key, less-stressed-out year anyway. I wonder why she would say that?”) Bam!

August/September/October: Spent the months worried and upset again. After losing my dad, my mom had a heart attack and bypass surgery. I tried to be as positive as I could to help her out, and my kids and I traveled every day we could to take care of her. We raked the leaves that were piling up in the yard, mowed grass, etc. My own home and campground went to the wayside, as they should, (no one minded at all). But still…

October/November: I didn’t get to travel to TCRWP for the Saturday reunion, and I didn’t get to go to NCTE and meet all my “Slicer” buddies! (Sounds like May, huh?) I didn’t finish my writing work that I wanted to do, and I didn’t get that second job that I really wanted to make some ends meet. My car started acting up (and it’s still not fixed!) and we had an early snow storm. Crazy cold weather! Not the months for me.

December: I counted the days until 2015. One left! It WAS great to see family friends, and cousins, but not at the funeral of my husband’s grandmother! Geesh, 2014, didn’t you give us enough? And the stomach flu! Merry Christmas to all, though, and it was great, and everyone got everything they asked for! My Christmas tree was beautiful, and I’ve relaxed and hung out with my best friend. Not bad, December! Thank you for helping me out this last week.

So,Year 2014, I cannot say “Fond Farewell”, but rather, “Good Riddance.”  — Please don’t let my new door hit you on the way out!

(Note that makes that last line funny: I got a new back door for Christmas! It will be installed early in 2015. :))