January: We flew to Florida to see our parents. The elder Gromens have been spending winter in the Lake Okeechobee region. They rent a nice trailer in a 55 and over community. The curious thing about this trip is that (just about) everyone we talked to was retired or close to it. That means they have plenty of time to talk, swim, talk, stroll, talk, and talk some more. Everyone loved to complain about the cold northern clime they escaped from to enjoy the sunshine of Florida. Perhaps this will be me someday. The Elder Butlers were in Pompano Beach, FL but also visited Orlando.
February: Uneventful month when I look back at it. I think we had a lot of snow last year, but my favorite snowboarding partner (my neighbor Tony) was busy working and getting his PhD. So we only went out once. But it was a good time. Since I was working at the farm, there is this great hill that is pastured by a donkey, mule and jenny. So, as long as you don’t hit one of their piles, you are good. I fell a lot, but learned some too.
March: Every year an OU Frisbee Alum hosts a reunion in March. This year, it was Tweedle, who lives in Columbus. The Columbus location always brings a good number of people since it is central for most. Kids were everywhere and the weather allowed for throwing disc in the back yard. Look for Reunion 2012 to be in Athens, y’all. Natalie Kruse is hosting the party and Chez Butler/Gromen can host folks if you would like to spend the night.
April: Wedding number 1. Natalie and Nigel in Athens. Very convenient. Had a joyous time with a good mix of people, Frisbee nerds along with profs from the university. My garden project was gearing up too. Not just at work on the farm but at home. I started tomatoes, zucchini, peas, cukes, and peppers all from seed. I kept them (expect the peas) inside until transplanting time in May. So my house was a mini green house for a while. Also, my lemon tree bloomed and I ended up getting 5 fruits growing. However, I pulled all but two off because I didn’t think the little guy could handle producing 5 fruits. (Both lemons ended up doing very well and we picked them in October.)
May: Yeah for May. It is the best month you know…Kent had an opponent for the May primary so he was hard at work, walking around the neighborhood talking to people. He ended up winning and since there was no republican running, the fall race was a cinch. Once the election was over we could use the free time and good weather to our advantage. We still hadn’t finished all of the siding on the house. We were able to start up again and work on weekends. Highlight of the month, besides my birthday, was the visit from Kara and Ethan and Salix. They came for a weekend and we walked to the farm, shopped the farmers market, and hiked Hocking Hills.
June: Wedding number 2. This one, I officiated for Patrick and Adrienne. This wedding was on the beach in North Carolina and we rented a beach house with a bunch of other Frisbee alums. I think I did blog about this, but I will reiterate that it was a blast. I forget how much I love water and the ocean. As the month drew on, I started looking for another job. My Americorps position at the farm was coming to a close at the end of July. I got really proficient at catering my resume and cover letter to conform to certain jobs. I was also looking at many state and federal jobs. Being an Americorps alums allows you to apply for internal federal jobs. (Not that that ended up helping, but oh well)
July: Wedding number 3. I also performed this marriage ceremony of Michael and Melissa. Again at the beach, this time in Florida. (I have great friends, that pick awesome places to get married) The rain failed to dampen the spirits and we had a great time once again. Hopefully we will visit Mike and Melissa in Germany sometime. Also in July, Kent and I embarked on a new adventure in our Ultimate careers. USA Ultimate hosts a Women’s Masters National Championship and a Men’s GRAND Masters NC. Grand Masters is 40 and over so Kent was one of the young punks out there playing. He got a lay out D on his first point in. Overall, though, our teams played average, as it was more about having a good time than winning it all. The tournament was in Cincinnati which made it easy for travel (for once). This is also my last month at the Good Earth Farm. It was such a fun year. I learned a lot, and taught a lot, and I was glad I had that experience.
August: Unemployed, woo hoo!! Job searching and traveling. We went to Italy to visit Jeff since I had time off. We had a low key visit and kept it simple. We enjoyed the area and the connections that Jeff and Alberta have. We went sailing in the Adriatic, snorkeling in my favorite city ever (Polignano al mare) and ate lots and lots of gelato. August is also a gearing up month for Ultimate. Tournaments and workouts predominated.
September: I got a job, but I didn’t start until October. That means that I have one month to get stuff done around the house. I preserved a ton of stuff this month. Some from my garden, but mostly from the produce auction. I buy in with friends on large amounts of produce. I then can it or freeze it. I keep track of it all and I did about the same as last year except less zucchini. I also spent time putting art up on our walls. They have been bare for two years and it was about time. We also had our friends Annah and Jim staying with us. Annah is teaching English in Saudi Arabia but they were back for a break.
October: Start job. Yeah! Kent went to USA Ultimate Nationals with a masters team, Real Huck. They did pretty well, finishing in the top half of the field. And he got to go to Florida for the third time in 2011. Lori stayed home and played the Halloween Ultimate tournament. Adrienne and Patrick came through town on Halloween and spent the weekend with us. They gave me an excuse to go uptown and see the crowd.
November: Wedding number 4! Kent’s childhood friend, Kevin, got married in a beautiful ceremony up north. It was excellent to catch up with his Kirtland buddies. Frisbee is still keeping Kent busy coaching the college men’s Ultimate team.
December: Students are gone, making the town and campus quiet again. The mild weather let us finish our woodshed. Now our wood is protective from all sorts of weather and very accessible. The holidays went well with lots of time with family and friends.
Thanks for all of the memories.