Last year Cal & I experienced phenomenal memories, witnessed immeasurable beauty, and suffered tremendous loss. We frolicked in the snow with our dogs, ate amazing nachos at the Grand Canyon, explored local hiking spots. We ran our first 5K, drank butterbeer until our heart’s content at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, revisited Yosemite and our favorite non-camping lodgings in the Eastern Sierras: The Yosemite Bug Lodge.
We saw a Bollywood extravaganza, old-time Americana, and fireworks at the Redlands Bowl. We bought a new van, and as a test drive, drove from California to Utah, with visits to Kodachrome Basin State Park, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park. We competed in our first Questival, where we laughed, rode, and explored San Diego.
We had plans to blog about it all. Then, the day after returning from San Diego’s Cotopaxi Questival, I got news that my mom passed away suddenly and life came to a standstill. Actually, it was quite the opposite. It was chaos.
I replaced plans to explore with arguments with my siblings. I replaced work with calls from sobbing family. I replaced time to think with meetings with mortuaries and cemeteries. But I also soon replaced a deep sense of loss with an overwhelming sensation of love. Cal held me as waves of emotion tumbled me around. A friend from college wrote an original composition for a photo gallery. Another brought me baked goods. Some friends sent flowers, some friends sent cards, and others showed up at my doorstep, one to take us out to sushi, and another with nachos at the ready.
It’s been four months since this happened, and I still tear up at how absolutely amazing Cal and my friends were during this time.
Then, in mid-December, Cal’s dad, Scott, passed away suddenly. But rather than the gamut of emotions running rampant among my family, there was an overwhelming melancholic celebration of Scott’s life. We told stories of bad puns and ridiculous tales of Scott’s misadventures.
Raucous laughter over Cards Against Humanity, all-you-can-eat sushi, and exploration of local hiking spots filled our time, while the continued outpouring of love filled our hearts.
We’ve recently begun the process of figuring out how to best honor the memory of our parents, and it begins with distilling their best traits and trying to amplify them. My mom took care of others, so I’ve been trying to be more conscientious of agreeing to help people, even if it is inconvenient. Scott never stopped learning, so we want to continue to explore wilderness, go fishing, get out, get lost, and figure it all out.
As we do, expect new articles (and plenty of pictures), as well as a few post-dated articles as we catch up on some of the experiences we had in 2017. Thanks for your patience, fine readers. Here’s to now.