My Year in Numbers


What the Hell Did I Do with Myself in a New Town During a Second Quarantine Year?

Most Memorable Kiss (sorry, MIM)

0 covid contracted (introverts are the new normal)

0 acceptances for publications, grants, contests, grad school (their loss)

0 poems written (I’m not that despairing yet)

0 falls, trips, tumbles, spills, skids, unintentional splits

0 ER visits

0 paramedic visits

0 9-1-1 calls

0 juvenile court visits

Most Memorable Covered Bridge Sign

0 wildfire ash

0 trips to Seattle

0 vegetables grown (I killed the squash, tomatoes, and rhubarb, though the wild turkeys [see below] assisted with destruction)

0 bus, plane, train rides

1 horse-drawn carriage ride

1 cat ruling the roost (vet says she’s healthy but perhaps ate too many covid cookies)

1 dog no longer with us (first time in a quarter century we are dogless)

Best Way to Feel You’ve Made a Difference (even if they are “just” mallards)

1 No Drama Llama kiss

1 new fiber art: needle felting (I am out of control)

1 weekly Zoom writers group (rarely a calendar conflict during a global pandemic)

1 monthly Zoom writing/social group, also attended by my mom and good friends

1 guest bedroom available (double bed, new mattress, unfortunate wallpaper)

1 ice storm (24 hours with no electricity)

Most Memorable Rehabilitated Wildlife Release (Snow Goose: click to see video in Facebook)

1 heatwave

1 snow storm

1 new floor

1 Christmas Bird Count (55 bird species counted in 8 hours, 24 miles driven, 4 miles walked, w/ 2 amazing women)

2 hawk rescues

2 wild turkeys in the backyard (mama and teen, who liked snoozing in the ancient lilac)

3 knitting projects completed (easy scarves)

3 volunteer gigs:

Most Memorable Wildlife Rescue (hawk under the police station’s doughnut table)
  • wildlife rescue center (weekly laundry, dishes, spreadsheets, care of orphaned/injured birds)
  • community theater (promoted to house manager after ushering once)
  • historic carousel (tour guide, cheerful door opener)

3 local groups I’m involved with:

  • Audubon local chapter (yay for the return of neighborhood walks!)
  • Willamette Writers local chapter
  • weekly local writers’ gathering (motley crew, scant attendance)

3 cracked teeth

3 additional sheep fleeces acquired (I am out of control, for real)

3 self-inflicted haircuts

4 job rejections (technically I withdrew from one, so there’s that for my ego)

Most Memorable New Doctor’s Office Art

4 recuperated animal releases: 2 sets of orphaned mallards, 1 set of Steller’s jays, 1 snow goose, all returned back to the wild

4 vaccinations: Pfizer x2, booster, flu

4 trips to the coast

4 blogs written

7 covered bridges visited

8-week Citizens Police Academy (weekly three-hour class that helped me decide I do not want to be a 9-1-1 operator)

8 knitting projects started (that I remember)

16 nutria trapped (plus 1 run-in with a gung-ho nutria savior)

Memorable houseguests arrive with their own banjo (new floor!)

16 migraines (karmic retribution?)

18 friends/family visited our new home + saw 2 friends on the coast + 2 family members we traveled to visit = 22 people we got to hug: not bad for another plague year

43+ books read (plus many I started but didn’t finish)

52 loaves of sourdough bread made

57 essay submissions to literary journals, etc. (Pema Chodron says Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, at which I’m excelling)

79 times I’ve sworn at the “new and improved” WordPress

84 orphaned ducks and geese I cared for at the season’s high point before I quit counting

Most Memorable Transportation

100: my arbitrary goal for bird species to see this year

161 bird species seen (up from 159 on 12/28 by the thrilling lifer sightings of a sora and a Virginia rail, found and identified by my own mediocre birding self)

243.6 hours at the wildlife center

Countless rainbows, walks, cups of tea

Endless gratitude for my friends, family, and health

Rainbow at the Farmhouse

6 thoughts on “My Year in Numbers

  1. Love it! Did you really keep count or did you go back and recap? Inspired by you, I’m starting a 2022 count! So far, I have: 1 – number of 911 calls to the house next door (the big man died, no foul play). Happy New Years and here’s to an abundance of happy counts. Melody

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks, Melody! I had to go back and recap to come up with the one big list. In general I didn’t keep track of things as I went. Or, yes and no. I do keep track of some things, like the books I read (but I didn’t track how many I started but didn’t finish). The wildlife center tracks hours, and this is the first year I’ve used eBird to count my birds. I had to look at photos to figure out things like covered bridges, and I know I bake about a loaf a week of bread. I keep track of migraines for my doctor, and I knew how many nutria (nutrii?) had been trapped. Mostly it was figuring out all the things I could maybe use in a list that would tell a story of my year. I especially liked the 0s. I liked the list idea so much that I set up a special journal for 2022. We’ll see how well I keep up with it.

  2. Brilliant!
    I appreciate the way you model using a list and #s as a way to review the year. Will share it with my students as a model. Thanking you!

  3. Love the list! I was quick to add the “Classic Editor” plugin to wordpress when the new (Gutenberg) situation rolled out. This year without warning I needed to also add “Classic Widgets” when my widgets stopped working. I share in case this reduces your 79 frustrations with the new wordpress!

    That doctor’s office art, though!!!

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