That’s my annual approach: live December’s holidays to the hilt blending as many friends and family of all ages and interests as possible, and then open a big window to the imminent future.
Bridging the blended family busy-ness of December holidays with the unlimited vistas of a new year for me requires long walks, best taken away from home.
The woods surrounding a little town on the North Georgia/Tennessee state line gave me the focus I needed.
Six hours of interstate driving from my home to McCaysville, returning four-year-old granddaughter Mattie Jewell to her parents in Atlanta en route, arriving in time for the New Year’s Eve gathering of neighbors with second-home cabins on Fightingtown Creek.
I was the dud of the party and stepson Allen and his wife Bev who co-own our cabin on the creek could testify to that.
Partied out I was, more suited to sitting and staring and eventually thinking and planning.
Contemplative is my travel parameter for ringing in the new year through its first week.
The cabin’s stacked stone fireplace is fine for cheery conversations most of the time; bridging 2011 and ‘12 called for simply staring. No talk.
Plus perhaps receiving some energy from the art on the mantle, painted decades ago by my friend Mary Alice when we were raising young sons at the same schools.
Stoking those fires nearly emptied half of the woodshed. Ah-hah! Half full or half empty?
I was using these travel days to shape my new year in the full and happy mode. Hiking is a chore, actually punishment for my husband.
For me it’s a brain releaser, delivering clarity and calmness. I hope that shows all year for the many generations in my blended family of six grown children.
Top Photo: Half full or half empty – the woodshed and the possibilities for 2012
About The Author
Christine Tibbetts believes family travel is shared discovery — almost like having a secret among generations who travel together. She’s Destinations Editor and writing coach for TravelingMom. The matriarch of a big blended clan with many adventuresome traveling members, she is a classically-trained journalist. Christine handled PR and marketing accounts for four decades, specializing in tourism, the arts, education, politics and community development. She builds travel features with depth interviews and abundant musing to uncover the soul of each place.