In Which I Journey Forth

As hour twelve of the New Year slips away, I enter Hour twenty without electricity.  A fierce storm crashed into the Delta, bringing high winds, cascading rain, and challenges to the grid typical of our northern California winter.  I ask myself, how will you spend the six hours left on your laptop’s battery?  Glancing at the predicted 4:00 p.m. restoration time, I figure, what better way than reaching out to my friends and the handful of followers still interested in my #journeytojoy?

I’ve come full circle.  Nine years closed, another looming large.  The goal that I set for myself not yet attained, I plod ever onward.  A clear sky spans above my house while the trees still shudder beneath the current of our tumultuous air.  I ventured to my porch and saw that one or two items have broken under the onslaught, but nothing irreplaceable.  A plant, a windchime, the latest in a series of old wooden rockers.  My neighbor texts that a large branch hit her house but no damage resulted.  The group intending to brunch in the community room commiserates by text.  No power, no heat, no stove:  No brunch.  Such is life in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

My wool sweaters stand me in good stead today, with my alpaca socks and my merino leggings.  Dishes sit in the sink, waiting for the park’s pump to send water which will in turn trigger the on-demand hot-water source.  I lit the burner to boil water for coffee and fry eggs.  I pondered, for the hundredth time, acquiring a generator.  Solar panels might help, if I can situate them in what would normally be the place for parking my car.  Trees overshadow the roof of my tiny house but with a south-facing end, I could make it work.  Only inertia and a fear of an overbearing physical challenge have prevented these modifications.  But the cold seeps through the warped angle at which the door now hangs, and I’m thinking it might be time to take the plunge.

The afternoon will pass.  Power will be restored.  New Year’s Day will close as it opened, solitary and silent.  My phone stays charged for now thanks to a fifty-dollar gadget that I keep connected to the house current.  I could use the same device to charge my computer, but it hardly seems worth doing.  Better to have an immediate means of getting help, or contact, or emergency alerts.  When one lives on a levee road, a drawbridge away from the nearest town, priorities quickly emerge.

I’ve made my resolutions.  I’ve watched a Pinky Patel video several times, smiling at her good advice.  Let’s not go there again, she tells us.  Don’t say ‘New Year, New Me’.  You know you won’t keep that promise. . . But if you say, ‘I’ll save $2.00 a week for the rest of the year, that’s great; you can do that.”  I quite agree.  I grin as I plunk eight quarters into the pitcher that used to stand by my mother’s beside.  Week one, and done.  

I have other realistic aspirations.  Get my book converted to KIndle.  Edit my website on a more regular basis.  Create that workshop plan for the May session at the Johnson County Library in Kansas City.  Take a few online classes in nonviolent communication.  Secretly, I tell myself to reach a little further:  Learn to count to a hundred before opening my big mouth.  Remember the best advice my son ever gave me:  Changing their opinion is not your job.  And yes:  Smile more, the bane of every American woman’s existence if only we all understood the dangers of that demand.  But self-prescribed, it has merit as a life goal.  Eventually, the whole facade becomes more than a whim.  By starting to build from the outside, we fill up the walls within.

I’m  striving to release myself from the grips of my past,  calming my mind to be serene in the present, and contemplating the impact of my choices on the future.  I sally forth, determined, dedicated, and, possibly, a bit giddy.  Happy New Year, everyone; from Angel’s Haven, on G-Row at Park Delta Bay, a stone’s throw from the San Joaquin River, in the California Delta, on the western edge of the United States of America, Northern Hemisphere, Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy, part of a great expanse that only a handful of people and perhaps some celestial beings truly comprehend.  May 2023 hold your heart’s desire.

It’s the first day of the one-hundred and ninth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.

Angel’s Haven lit for the holiday. December 2022.


2 thoughts on “In Which I Journey Forth

  1. Jane

    Happy New Year, Corinne! Watching your #journeytojoy, knowing you for only a few years prior to its beginning, it occurs to me that you do not give yourself enough credit for the profound progress you have made. Do you utilize a measurable method to track your progress? Your comment, “. . . the goal that I set for myself not yet attained” begs the question, “How will you know?”. From a distance, I believe you have made remarkable progress and, in doing so, have inspired many, including me. What is the attainable goal for this one?


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