5 Jan. 2013. Looking Back on 2012

Early January is the time for looking ahead:  goal setting for left-brainers, hopes and fantasies for right-brainers. I missed late December’s time for review and reflection, so I will catch up that before moving on.

Although this blog eschews partisan politics, politics in general is part of our culture.  The presidential carnival provides our diet with its necessary fiber if precious little nutrition.  A year ago, when the first pre-primary skirmishes were afoot, I encountered someone who, as a professional, had worked on several presidential campaigns.  I asked her whether the primaries were political maneuvering or shenanigans.

She replied, “Neither.  Primaries aren’t politics at all. They are show business.”

The most succinct and predictive observation of the year was David Gergen’s remark at the end of Romney’s concession speech:  “And thus Mitt Romney walks off the national stage.”

Please, dear passengers of the Jolly Swag, offer your own most poignant memory of 2012.

My own life continued trapped in its labyrinth–ever more happily so.  Preferring always to awaken with Serendipity regardless of with whom I sleep,  I ignore the trick about following the left wall.

I wintered in North Florida, roaming between Sarasota, Weeki-Wachee, and Ocala, then cruising up Florida’s Elbow to wait for spring.

May found me in Atlanta, a most pleasant surprise of culture and diversity: a blue pocket in a red state.

On the 4th of July I got to Maine, quite possibly the best place in the country to spend the summer.  Mainers are good people, sturdy, independent stock.  They sent Angus King, their Independent ex-governer, to the senate.

The fall found me sailing down the Blue Ridge Parkway for the annual leafy fireworks.  Mid-October on the BRP ought to be on everyone’s bucket list.

I spent another month in ATL, testing out its invitation to be this gypsy’s home base for part of the year.  I joined the 95-year-old Atlanta Writers Club.  Before any final decisions could be reached, family business called me back to Maine.  Surprise of surprises this tropical beachcomber will be spending the winter on the southern coast of the only one of the contiguous 48 states that has but one neighbor.  Already there has been 18″ of snow, I believe that is as much as I’ve collected in all my years.  The outdoor thermometer has not risen to 32 degrees in over a week.

Generous nieces and nephs have raided bottom drawers and showered me with wool gloves, scarves, long johns, and flannel-lined everything.

I am here for six months or so.  Beneath the drifted snow is a gift–I will already be in Maine when summer comes.

The Year on the Road topped 200 essays and 2000 comments.  It is time for an organizational tune up and a focus overhaul.  Come to think of it, so am I.

I am anxious to hear how your year went.


About allevenson

Writer (of stories, journals, email dialogues), Reader (of books written by friends, recommended by friends, and works-in-progress of friends), Hiker (never met a trailhead I didn't like), Biker (more scenery for the buck than hiking) and lately, Blogger (about my Year on the Road at www.allevenson.wordpress.com).
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14 Responses to 5 Jan. 2013. Looking Back on 2012

  1. Evelyn W. says:

    Gee Al you’re still at it. I’m so impressed. Stay safe.

  2. Pat Bean says:

    Hi Al. I loved Maine when I visited in the fall of 2006. I, too, am settled for a while in a small one-bedroom apartment, third-floor walkup but with a great view of Tucson’s Catalina Mountains. After almost nine years in Gypsy Lee, my body decided it wanted a bit more comfort, like a bed I did’t have to crawl up into, a comfortable chair in which I could stretch out, and a hot bath to soak in whenever I wanted. Gypsy Lee found a spot in the parking lot of my new apartment comple, but I think her trips in the future will be much shorter. I splurged and bought some furniture including a handsome red couch that’s also a queen-sized sleeper for guests. It was a great traveling year for me. Too bad we missed each other on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pepper and I wish you a happy 2013, and hope one of these days we’ll connect in person. Meanwhile, keep in touch.

    • allevenson says:

      Pat, Thanks for the note. Yes, sorry we only almost-connected on the BRP. AZ is in my sights for late 2013. So maybe we’ll get a chance to swap some road stories then. Take care. AL

  3. Colleen Rae says:

    Al – you continue to amaze me. In 20 degree or below weather you are still ‘camping’ in the Ole Jolly Swag.
    As for my year, in spite of the distracting presidential campaigns, primaries, and election, I found time to complete my fourth book, Love Like a River. I’m in the process of designing the cover and finalizing the process of publiishing.
    I took 2 weeks and visited my dear friends and writer companions in California. I am still an active correspondent for our local newpaper, and have begun a new novel!
    Life is slow and tasty in rural Michigan. There is time to get your arms and heart around what is happening in the community. Friends are close and so is my daughter, Lauren.
    Life is good.
    I’m happy that you sound happy and content.

    • allevenson says:


      This old bird ain’t as tough as you give him credit for. My sister has a spare room overlooking one of Maine’s lovely tidal bays. The JS is parked out front, winterized and hibernating.

      Congrats on completing Love Like a River. I sent in my vote for the cover design. AL

      • Colleen Rae says:

        Glad to hear you are safely ‘inside.’ Thanks for the congrats. I got your vote and thanks again.
        I think the most fulfilling political moment for me was when B. Obama was confirmed as our continued President.

  4. karen wittgraf says:

    ESP at work here, Al. I have been wondering about you all of this last week and about to contact Jane to find your whereabouts- when, alas! saw your address in my email inbox. So, you’re hunkered down in the cold and snow (as I always am in winter here) and you seem not to be down about it. I go into my “discontent” in November through March and in early April begin to believe there is life out there after all.
    Politically, the best 2012 moment for me was when Mitt addressed his millionaire friends, unaware of the hidden camera. That 47% of the people speech finally confirmed the REAL Mitt Romney. It was like the gift from the Universe for me.
    I will be getting one week of respite care in Naples at the end of January so there is hope ahead.
    I have so missed your blog and look forward to MORE, MORE, MORE!

  5. David L says:

    Good to see you are on line again – but Maine in the winter? Surviving that will equip you for years of harsh on the cold side or at least build your confidence. I’m curious, as I imagine we all are, as to why you again turned north and hope it was not tragedy, but rather a good of some sort that sent you back.

    Unfortunately I’ve finished my reflection and glad to be done with it – sure don’t want to repeat. As to politics in general, I’m discouraged in discovering that while one must be an adult to run and be elected, one must be an obstreperous child to participate.. I may have suspected this right along but this past year of squandering and squabbling has certainly underscored it.

    I look forward to more writing and less club this year, although today, as in the past several weeks, my muse has been absent – maybe in Florida and searching for you.


  6. Michael says:

    Wondered what was up with you and the Jolly Roger. A winter in Maine in it never entered my mind. I thought you were sane.

    May your propane be plentiful, your antifreeze effective, your butt warm, and your writing flowing warmly to the rest of us!

  7. Linda Brown says:

    We miss you on the Left Coast Al. Keep the blog going.

  8. John Chreno says:

    Hi Al & All – Departed NORCAL for the land of less tax and big hair. We’ll try Tex for a while and know that I still have contact with our Census Brothers & Sisters. What a good group, eh?

  9. Dave Bauer says:

    I agree with what has been said. That is, it’s wonderful to have you back on the blog to follow you in your travels. You have been missed.

    Many authors have found that Maine in winter provides much to write about, and they have done it. I too found the people in Maine to be hardy and welcoming. In particular I have fond memories of the wait staff and the blue plate special at Moody’s Diner on US 1 in Waldoboro. Moody ‘s first opened its doors in 1927. Worth a stop if you happen to be in the area.

    Well, Al, I recommend a hot bath in Bath while you hunker down for the winter in the “Dingo” state, which is the home of former US Senator Olympia Snowe who quit the Senate in disgust over the constant bickering and political partisanship. I think that she got it right.


    • allevenson says:

      Ex-Gov Angus King, running as an independant won Snow’s seat. King is a popular, sensible guy who left for an extended motorhome trip 12 hours about retiring a Gov. He regarded the best part of being Gov that he never had to look for a parking place. I am hopeful that Maine sent a guy to the Senate that will be more like what we learned to expect in civics class.

    • karen wittgraf says:

      My memory of Maine is a place called Newcastle, where my late husband’s cousin lives. It was so remote and so foreign to me- we had lobster on the bay- picnic style and drove through wooded areas in search of “The Pie Lady” (an old gal that made homemade pies to die for). We visited a quaint town called Wiscasset, where female police officers monitored traffic (of which there was very little) wearing skirted uniforms and white gloves. Another world!

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