semperfiona: (how do they rise?)
Everyone already knows what a shitty year 2016 was for the US. I feel no need to reiterate that. There are public lists of good things that happened for the world. Here are a couple:

http://helthehatter.tumblr.com/post/152910935316/good-things-that-happened-in-2016
http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/31/astronaut-chris-hadfield-offers-a-list-of-things-to-be-thankful-for-from-2016/

It sucked in some personal ways, too, and I feel no need to reiterate those, either, so instead I'm going to list some good things that happened to me personally in 2016.

January and continuing:
I joined Charis (the St Louis Women's Chorus)

April:
Charis concert

June:
Family vacation at the Michigan cabin sans Internet and cell service

August:
My sister got married
I reconnected with a very old friend
Rosa and I had a wonderful vacation (San Francisco!)
Christine spent a week with me

October:
I started taking Zoloft and my mood improved almost immediately
I met a New Guy (and we're still dating)

December:
Chris and Tammie and I got engaged!!!! (You heard it here first)
semperfiona: (christmas)
Sunday evening, Tammie, Chris and I were out to dinner for our anniversary celebration, when I got a picture-text from my sister: her left hand sporting a new diamond. She and her boyfriend have gotten engaged!

I have told her several times over the last few months to 'take things slow' and 'give it time' in the hopes that she would give herself time after her divorce to figure out what she wants from life and so on, so I figured at this point, I'd just congratulate her. No need for the older-sister-been-around-this-block-before lecture. It's her life, after all. She does say that they're madly in love and she's very happy. I reckon I'll be going to a wedding sometime soon.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
Kathy called this evening. The house is still intact and they expect to be allowed to return home tomorrow.

This episode has crystallized a feeling I've had for some time. I'm nostalgic for the days when I believed in prayer. Now I believe that there's nothing I can actually do to influence the outcome. I can wish and hope all I like, but winds and flames will do what they will do. Back then, there was *something*. I don't even know what to say to show concern: somehow "I hope for the best" seems so ineffectual.

I'm thinking the "power of prayer" was in making ME feel like I had the capacity to do something. Is that why people pray for their sports teams to win? Because they certainly can't get out there on the field and influence the game, but if they just pray hard enough...

There's a lot of things I'd pray for if I believed in it. But I don't, and I'm at a loss. I can't stop feeling like I ought to be able to do *something* but I have no idea what it is.
semperfiona: Conversation hearts on the keys of a piano (piano hearts)
My sister lives in San Diego. Escondido, specifically. She and her husband just moved into a new house in July. They've been evacuated and are staying with some friends. As of last night when I talked to her, the Witch Creek Fire had consumed a couple of houses in their subdivision but theirs was still intact. The fire's "on the other side of our hill".

I've been nosing around Google maps this morning. I don't have her exact address to hand (see above, just moved this summer) but it's nervewracking. And I'm not even the one affected.

She said that Monday night when they went to bed, the fire was miles away. During the night, it swooshed down the valleys. They received a reverse-911 call at four a.m. Tuesday; when Jeff answered it the recording didn't start right away so he thought it was a prank, hung up and went back to bed. On getting up Tuesday, preparing for work and starting out the door, they noticed that the neighborhood was deserted. Ran into one of the neighbors *returning* for some forgotten items. Back into the house, pack pack pack and get the hell out.

Jeff was allowed back briefly during the day Tuesday and at that time the house was still intact. We don't know anything after that. I mean, about the house. The family is fine.

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