Lots and lots and lots of stuff has happened to the Furr family in 2017 -- and by Furr family, I guess I should say "Jay and Carole Furr" since the larger Furr family kind of blew up last year when my father died in March (Mom had already died, back in 2011). And we haven't really posted about much of any of it, not in any organized fashion.
I doubt that anyone really cares, since unused, cobweb-covered personal blogs are a dime a dozen, but once in a while I feel kind of guilty and think "I should post something". So here goes: 2017 as it's happened to us.
- We went to Hawaii for two weeks in February -- one week on board a cruise ship out of Oahu, stopping off at the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, and ending back up in Oahu, and three days before and after just bumming around Oahu. We had a fantastic time, more or less.
- Carole's mom Anne Stoops passed away in June after a long illness. That leaves only one of our four parents alive: Carole's dad Glenn. May he live for many, many more years.
- Carole started a new job in August at the Burlington Housing Authority as a staff accountant. Carole has had a lot of jobs over the years, but this seems like the best fit for her in quite some time.
- Carole has long wanted to learn to cook, but has always been terrified of hot ovens and complicated recipes and so forth. So, she signed up for the Blue Apron program, where they send you all the ingredients and detailed instructions for two or three meals a week and there are all sorts of tips and tricks and technique videos on their website to refer to if you need them. I've helped on some recipes, but she's been making fantastic progress, mostly on her own, just by dutifully following the recipes. It's turned out to be a lot more cost effective than eating in restaurants, too, and we can't really recall any of the meals we've been sent turning out less than "pretty good". Most have been "great".
- In August, we went to Kentucky for the 2017 solar eclipse. Saw it from the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site near Hopkinsville. The eclipse was stunning. The 12 hours of traffic getting from Hopkinsville back to Carole's dad's house in Dayton, Ohio was less so.
- I turned 50 in September. Carole bought me a cake and that was pretty much it as far as observances went. I guess not having any friends who live in the area would have made having any kind of party in honor of the big 5-0 difficult.
- We lost our beloved tortoiseshell cat, Starlight (aka "Torbie") to complications from bladder cancer and Carole was absolutely devastated. I wasn't exactly turning cartwheels either, but Torbie had basically been Carole's personal cat for 15 years, sleeping on her chest most nights and so on.
- We adopted a new cat, Maggie, a couple of weeks after we lost Starlight. Carole just felt that the niche in her life earmarked for "tortoiseshell cat" should not be left empty for any sizeable length of time, and instead of doggedly watching the local Humane Society's web page for new kittens, we wound up driving all the way down to the New Paltz/Poughkeepsie, NY vicinity to adopt a cat from a local adoption nonprofit down there. Maggie is a sweet little kitten and Carole has taken to her like a duck to water.
- We've both been dealing with estate stuff. Even though my dad passed away a year and a half ago, stuff relating to the sale of the house in Florida is still ongoing, and one of these days it'll be done, but don't ask me when. Carole's mom left some money directly to her and so she's got all sorts of tax implications and 401(k) rollovers and so forth to process. I knew losing one's parent(s) is stressful, but I guess I was naive about exactly why.
- This past weekend I walked in the 2017 Atlanta Susan G Komen 3-Day. I raised, thanks to generous friends and co-workers, $2,600. This was my 17th walk as a walker and 27th walk overall. I had a bad time the first day because I'd reflexively taken my metoprolol blood pressure medication in the morning and forgotten how it really impacts any kind of physical activity. Big-time fatigue. That night I found out that a close co-worker had passed away from a massive heart attack, and on Day 2 I was a complete wreck. I managed Day 3 just fine, but I've got some blisters from heck as a result of all those Atlanta hills.
- On kind of a less date-specific basis, I've been dealing with some pretty bad clinical depression. I'm seemingly out of the worst of it at this point, but earlier in the year I felt so bad that I shut down my Facebook and Twitter accounts and started apologizing to people for existing. Fortunately, it didn't negatively affect my work; I'm too pre-programmed for that. But in many other respects, I just turned into a zombie. I'm sorry for being a drag to those of you who got to witness the whole mess.