A look back at 2011

Well, 2011 has been quite a year for me. I decided to list a few of the more significant events.

Number 1, of course, was the birth of my granddaughter, Layla Jean. This just happened a few weeks ago, but little Layla has been anticipated since early summer. I think it’s a heck of a way to end the year, and a wonderful way to begin 2012 — as Granny J.

Watching my youngest child, Matthew, graduate from high school was bittersweet. It signified the end of an era for me and my husband. Having become parents at such a young age, it was rather mind-boggling for us to try to figure out what happens next. The obvious answer? More time fishing, of course.

Bringing that same child to college and driving away was another momentous occasion. I got home and my husband Eric was standing in the garage looking sad. We wanted to just sit around and be depressed, but the world wouldn’t let us do it. A neighbor stopped by, a friend stopped by, the city clerk stopped by… they wouldn’t let us just mope.

It wasn’t all about being sad, though. There was more than one moment when Eric and I would make a last-minute plan to do something and smile over the fact there were no other schedules to check, no one to stock the fridge for and no one to clear things with. On the other hand, there was no one to let the dog in and out if we escaped for awhile!

I’ve worked on some interesting articles this year, attended some heart wrenching trials and hearings, talked to some people who were fascinating and snapped a few photos that told stories of their own. I’ve read criminal complaints that have made me wince, chuckle or fight back tears. I’ve had a lot of laughs with some great co-workers. I’ve had a lot of help from some great sources — many of whom are more than just sources to me. They are people I think of as friends.

I’ve also learned a lot this year. In this job, I feel like I learn things on a regular basis. It is one of my favorite aspects of journalism, honestly. I don’t just learn about crime and legal stuff, either. I learned this year how some women reacted when diagnosed with breast cancer, how brass fittings are made, how hydroponic tomatoes are grown, the best way to hit a billiards ball, how to get the most out of gas mileage and how to smoke carp.

I’m not sure if any of this knowledge will come in handy later in life, but I’ve always thought it will give me a great advantage if I ever end up on a trivia game show.

I’m looking forward to 2012. Hopefully there will be some great fishing trips, a lot of time with my granddaughter, a few quiet walks with my husband and some quality time with my children and my dog Jeffrey. I’ll look forward to another bountiful garden and fresh, sparkling jars of salsa and tomato sauce, another wedding anniversary, time spent playing with toys and laughing with friends.

I normally am not a fan of resolutions, but I will resolve to try to write more blogs. Look for them every week or so in the Daily Globe or check it out more often online at www.laundry.areavoices.com.

Happy New Year, everyone.