My Top 10 Favorite Days of 2010

2010 was an extraordinary year, filled with many blessings and opportunities. As it comes to a close, I thought I’d reflect back on all 365 days… and select, in no absolute order, moments that are standouts.

  1. After a long summer filled with obligations and chores (but freedom too), my first week back at work mid-August was a bit of a shocker. That first Friday after work I arrived home to a well-packed picnic dinner in a cooler chilling a Pinot Grigio and my swimsuit and towel rolled and ready. We drove about an hour north to Crystal Lake, which is surrounded by rolling hills just beyond the quaint town of Barton. We arrived just as most were packing up to head home, children shivering in oversize towels, while their parents collect beach toys and blankets. I swam until the whole week of meetings and agendas and the theorizing that administrators fill in-service with was washed away, and then opened the basket filled with fried chicken and cold salads, cheese cake and wine. Dusk took forever to arrive so I was able to take one last plunge into that wonderfully warm lake before we made our way home.

  1. I have one niece. Needless to say, she is perfect. Perfectly funny and witty and smart and pretty. Now, at 12, she has a social calender that beats most, so our opportunities to spend time with each other are precious. After a whole summer of not seeing each other, she managed one night in late September. After a late dinner and much chatter she told me to wake her early so we could have as much time as possible together before she had to leave in the afternoon. So the next morning I climbed into the big guest bed with my laptop and after waking her, she and I played with Photo Booth, making hysterical photos and short videos, all the while scrolling down my ITunes library for over an hour. Waking to laughter and music and just plain goofiness can’t be beat! I love her zaniness!
  2. After teaching Advanced Placement English Literature all these years, I finally went to Louisville, complements of the College Board, to be one of their thousand readers. The seven days and 700 essays was an experience that might demand an entire blog in itself, but the highlight for me, was the handful of gals I met (all English teachers) and my venture into the land of Kentucky whiskey! Two drinks were standouts. Of course the venues for each can’t be overlooked, an Old Fashion in a classic wood and leather, dark although sans-smoke bar in the Seelbach Hotel, and the other a specialty concoction of Early Times whiskey, peach schnapps, oj and a splash of ginger ale, the taste of Kentucky summer yum yum on a river boat at sunset with the Louisville skyline shot with brash color.
  3. Who can remember life before Harry Potter? I certainly can’t… The books and then respective films are now markers for so much of our lives. Sometimes by change, sometimes by skillfully orchestrated scheduling, most of my family members have managed to be together during the movie release dates. This Thanksgiving was no exception as we were all in Los Angeles. Looking down my theater row at the start of the film was my mother and all three of my grown children, all our faces alive with excitement over what was just about to begin. Around us were three of my brothers and my sister-in-law too. Throughout the 2 1/2 hour film, within the roars of laughter and gasps of fright, were the voices of those I love.
  4. Last February I left for a whirlwind tour of Switzerland, with time in Geneva and then in the picture perfect village of Chateau-d Oex. In the Alps, the timing was perfect, snowy and blue-skied. The train around Lake Geneva afforded all the crystal clear views of lake and mountain I could have wished for, as did the Golden Pass train up into the high mountains. But the most remarkable day came the next morning, when, after two lifts to the top of the top, I grabbed a small red sled and took off along the spiky ridge then in and out of the woods ride, occasionally screeching and praying and then just having to stop and take in that wondrous view. No words can do that experience justice, but being there seared my heart and soul with joy forever.
  5. Also on that same trip I spent a few days and nights in Rome. Every second in that ancient city was remarkable, but being in the Sistine Chapel is my moment. The space was filled with tourists, like myself looking up and around and desperate to take in all the frescos. But standing there knowing its creation and history transports you to a place beyond this world. Truly it is pure divinity you experience within that high walled room.
  6. There is a small hamlet within the town of Port Jefferson on Long Island called Belle Terre. My great grandfather, who was raising his family of ten children in Brooklyn, discovered this summer haven, with its endless rocky beach and warm Long Island Sound. Since that time my grandparents, then my parents, then myself with my children, have walked that beach and lingered to watch the late-summer sunsets. This past summer I once again drove through the Belle Terre gates with my mother and daughter, visited my god-mother, and had an afternoon on the beach. We ate ripe juicy peaches. We lunched on lobster. At days end my daughter and I swam out to lay on the raft; rocked by the gentle waves we stared up at the expanse of blue and talked of everything until hunger and dusk overtook us.
  7. In August I attended Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers Conference. It has been quite a few years since I did a public reading, and during the week long conference I gave two. There is a nervousness that creeps into your belly as you await your turn at the podium, and the first few seconds the shake in your voice feels as though it will crack the pace, but then like ice that sensation melts and all is smooth. My second reading happened after a glass of wine, in the evening, with a jazz band echoing every riff of my poetry with a horn or cord… pure improv magic!
  8. In 2009 I signed with a literary agent, with an office in a tall New York City building. After a year of writes and re-writes, my manuscript still wasn’t publisher ready. When the termination email came I felt so crestfallen I stopped writing for months. If it wasn’t for my supportive writing group (thank you Lee, Sara and Kathleen!) I might have abandoned my novel. Instead, with their cheering I kept at it, eventually reconnected with the agent, and am delighted that Crazy String is still brewing.
  9. Perhaps the very best of days isn’t just one flash of the Alps or witnessing the the brilliant form of Michelangelo, but the bursts of loving life that come so very often these days. How fortunate I have been this year, and so many before this, to have the love of family and friends. For it truly is A Wonderful Life!

6 thoughts on “My Top 10 Favorite Days of 2010

  1. Moira, good for you. Really enjoyed hearing about your adventures. Especially liked reading about Belle Terre, and your time with Lia. It sounds like all is well in your world. Cousin Suzanne


  2. awwww going to belle terre was one of my fave days of this year fo sho. nothing beats that raft! at night i recorded the sound of the cicadas and emailed it to mikey. the sound touched him so much he wrote his first love letter to me 🙂


  3. Thanks Suzanne! Belle Terre holds such a special place for all of us; I feel so fortunate to still have a chance to visit from time to time…


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