What a year!

This time a year ago, Shelley and I had decided that we were going to move down east. The sorting had begun, but it still felt a long ways off. We had had some family visitors up in Thunder Bay.

The lead story for me in 2023 was moving from Thunder Bay to LaSalle, just south of Windsor. We sold our house on Windemere, and packed everything into the largest U-Haul you can get, then I went back and got my truck, towing a U-Haul trailer of everything I could fit in from the garage after a community-powered garage purge.

That was the last long trip for my Tacoma, the transmission started failing on the way down, and it added up to a lot of expense to keep it on the road, so the last big purchase of 2023 was an almost-new Ford Maverick to replace the dying Taco.

In my work life, I moved from the Support team to the Sales team at Tailscale, and took on the role of Solutions Engineer. This has been a really good fit, and allowed me to learn a lot, while keeping me in touch with a lot of our customers. I’m having fun with it. I’ve been working hard, with some great colleagues, on a cool product. It’s been a professionally rewarding year.

With work has come travel. In 2023, I was in Banff, New Orleans, San Francisco, New Orleans, Seattle, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Toronto for work. I grew an inch on Oysters with all of these trips to NOLA.

Being in the Deep South (of Ontario) has given some opportunity for exploring the region. I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Michigan with Shelley’s family, and it’s been nice being close enough to visit Jill in Thornhill without planning weeks in advance.

We rented a great big house in the ‘burbs. The house is a good fit, with plenty of room for the 4 humans, 2 cats, and 1 dog we have living here – Because we have a dog now! Juno, the Chihuahua/Maltese mix came to live with us shortly after we arrived, and has been such a sweet little creature to have around.

The house is great, but we’re not sold on LaSalle, we will likely move to Amhurstburg for the small-town vibe, or into Windsor proper for our next jump.

It’s been hard leaving a lot of my people behind in Thunder Bay. Since COVID hit, a whole lot of my socializing has been online, but it’s dramatic how much I miss that in-person time that made it through. We’re looking forward to a trip up to Thunder Bay and environs (and at least a weekend in Neys) this summer to reconnect.

I’ve found a theatre group in Windsor that I am going to start working with in 2024, which is nice. Second-degree theatre connections spread far and wide in this country!

The world is in rough shape these days. It appears that things are sliding towards war, fascism, chaos, and bigotry. My instinct is to run to the woods and hole up, but self-sufficiency is only ever a temporary bandaid in a crisis. Building community is how we build resilience into the system. This seems almost like an afterthought for a year in review, but that is partly because the chaos has been building for so long that I’ve been expecting collapse for years. We will do what we can now, and as things progress.

Being around the house, baking bread and drinking tea; spending time with my family and my pets; tending the plants, and planning the garden for next year. It’s been a domestic 2023. More work still to do to improve coziness and security in general in 2024. Sprinkle in a few adventures, and the year ahead looks to hold great promise for me and mine.

Happy New Year! I think often of my friends all over, and remember great times and hard times. Even if I don’t keep in touch, chances are that I remember you fondly, and hope things are going great.

Wishing love and peace for you,