meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: Adieu 2014 - Bonjour 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Adieu 2014 - Bonjour 2015

George Costanza did not celebrate "The Holidays".  His father created their own day of observance around the "Annual Airing of Grievances", something I suspect we all know more than a little about.  As 2014 rolled to a close, *a very smart man made the suggestion that perhaps more could be accomplished by airing our good fortune.  So, let the airing begin....
Landing in Frankfurt was not encouraging but the weather just got better and better
Sunset in Paris with that classic rooftop view

This past year has been incredibly generous with travel as well as in so many other wonderfully subtle (and obvious) waysSunsets have been glorious and the weather has been near perfect most everywhere I've been the past 12 months.

Driving around Lake Patzcuaro in Michoacon, Mexico was breathtaking
Another spectacular view while driving in Michoacan, Mexico
The moveable chicken coops at Stone Barns, NY were among many farming innovations
We saw many Mennonite farmers while driving to Sharon Springs, NY
All this traveling has allowed for quality time spent with my kids, their partners and our extended family.  It takes a certain effort to get reacquainted with one another under (sometimes challenging) new circumstances.  Each of us delighting in the recognition that we are evolving individuals pursuing rich, meaningful lives on our own terms.

Warm weather lunch in the garden at the Commanderie in Excideuil, France
The stove was broken so we used the fireplace.  Eggplant & Paté en Croute warming on the grill.
Traveling has also driven home the importance of a life well lived (committing to a personal quest will do that) and that sometimes the next step feels so scary we (as well as our nearest and dearest) might question our motives and sanity.  But that's okay. Do it anyway! The world really needs all the help it can get right now - especially the talents or vision you have to offer.  I was reminded of the power in pursuing dreams while visiting Beekman 1802 in Sharon Springs, NY.  What Josh and Brent have accomplished in this tiny town is remarkable as well as admirable.

Josh Kilmer-Purcell warmly greeted us at Beekman 1802 in Sharon Springs, NY
In addition to this gorgeous store, Josh and Brent have a goat farm (and make delicious cheese)
Josh gave us a sneak preview of their new (and awesome) furniture line too!
Taking the time to prepare a meal is part of my daily ritual no matter where I am and there have been some amazing meals prepared, shared and eaten (plenty of not so amazing meals too).  Food is like that.  What makes a meal special is often not the ingredients, or how they are put together, or what they are served on but who they are shared with. Or sometimes, that they are eaten alone, quietly... or while watching a favorite movie

Simple boiled potatoes, fork mashed with a little butter, parsley, Salt & pepper.  Heaven!
Rotisserie chicken (from the marché) served with roast radicchio & Gorgonzola, and boiled potatoes.
Setting the table for for a very simple breakfast in Paris
Most significantly, more than a few truly amazing and accomplished people entered my life in 2014. I've made new friends and found a tribe I'm proud to call my own. People do make a significant difference in our lives especially those who support us in times of uncertainty, encourage and counsel us when we are lagging, hold us accountable to our intentions and cheer us when we make strides toward our goals.  With the encouragement of this wonderful group of people I have opened further to the heart felt understanding that it pays to make an effort, to shake things up a bit and connect deeply to something that moves you.  I encourage you to make room for new people in your life during 2015; go seek them out, be unafraid.  You will not regret it.

A small fraction of the magical folks from Camp GLP (that's me on the upper left)
The end of the year has me revisiting the prior 12 months and the intention list or drawing or collage created the previous January. This is something I've been doing now for more than 15 years, so it is interesting to run across a long forgotten intention that recently (and rather randomly) got completed. It still, and always, feels great to acknowledge those passages. Travel has been a big priority for most of my life and as such is already on the schedule for 2015: A January wedding in Thailand followed by a gem chase in Burma/Myanmar with my daughter Alexis and a return to Saumur in the the Loire Valley (more on that in February). We'll just have to wait and see if my 2015 traveling is all wrapped up by March or if there is more in the cards.

The expansive horizon of this Loire Valley property was captivating indeed
Secretly (okay, not so secretly) I'm hoping to find 'my place' to call home before the next 365 days roll by.  Unpacking is a deep wish that sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear. It means my knives, cookbooks, pots and pans, family photos and other treasures  come out of the boxes they have been sleeping in for the past 6 years.  It means my life will once again have roots, and that also means the beginning of a new chapter - it's going to be my Next Best Life  - and I hope you'll continue to join me on those adventures.

Wishing you the very best in the coming year:
Health, Happiness, Love, Family & New Friends.
May You
Eat well and Travel Often

A bientot,

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2 comments: said...

Please make your travels of 2015 include visiting the Chef, myself and our new addition...wherever in the US that may be! Big hugs to you...our Paris Maman ;-)

Marie Z Johnston said...

You can be sure of that Elisa! Can't wait to meet her... So much love xoxo