Saying goodbye to the year 2018
As the end of another year approaches and a new one is about to begin, I find myself reminiscing over events that have happened over the past year. I take out pictures I have taken and relive the moments of another year that has gone by so quickly before saying goodbye to it.
I come across pictures that didn’t seem like were taken that long ago when in fact some are almost a year old. Where has the time gone? I ask myself. These years are just whizzing by and I try to cherish every moment, live life to the fullest and make as many memories as I can with my family and friends.
I have gathered a collection of photos I have taken throughout the year and wanted to share them with you. Not only do I want you to know me as a writer but also as someone you feel you know. Once in a while, I like to give my readers a little insight into my life and allow them to know me as a person. So I thought it would be fun to show you my year in pictures and my favorite memories that I will cherish forever.
December 31st is my birthday so the week after, in January, my husband surprised me by taking me to the Titanic Exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley CA. It was a fantastic tour and we spent the entire there, seeing the rest of the library too.
In the last week of January, I took my best friend Joanie to Laughlin NV for a weekend, to celebrate her birthday. We had an awesome time and on the way home, she talked about a small town in Arizona called Oatman. Well me being the spontaneous kind, looked at a map, saw we were close by and took a detour through the town and boy am I glad we did. I just love this place! I could spend days there and wished we had had more time to explore this magical place. The burros are descendants from the gold miners who used them to haul gear and food. When the miners left the town, they left the burros behind, where they remained and now live with the locals, who watch out for them, feed them and give them medical attention if needed.
I grew up reading Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and wanted to see this movie myself. My grandkids loved it and I was not
Every year, in March, we attend the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach. It is a family event that we have been doing for many years. My husband and I, our son, daughter-in-law and grandkids all enjoy the many outdoor activities they have to offer including, kayaking, fishing, log sawing, ax throwing, dog jumping and seeing all the latest gear for outdoor activities.
In March we had our first big snow fall and it happened when we had the grandkids up for the weekend. It was just before St Patrick’s day so we spent the morning making cookies and by the afternoon we had a few good inches of snow on the ground. Luke, (The youngest) spent an hour on the front porch just watching the snow come down. He was mesmerized. By night time we were surrounded by a blanket of snow and spent the evening playing in the snow by flashlight. The next morning, Luke was in awe looking at the snow that had fallen overnight.
After twenty years of parts being stored in the garage, my husband finally begins building his custom Harley Davidson Panhead. What a beauty she turned out to be.
When the grandkids come to visit I always try and take them some place and always include my best friend’s grandson, (Johnathan, who is sitting in the middle.) On this visit in April, I took them all to the Western Cowboy event.
Mother’s Day I was shocked when I received a guitar from my husband. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play one. Well now I have the tool, I just need to find the time. It will happen one day, I promise.
Mother’s Day is also an emotional day as I think of my mother, bedridden in England, suffering from Vascular Dementia. She no longer recognizes me and I miss her smile and her visits to the United States. Without fail every year, my sister sends me a photo of her reading the card I had sent her. Thank you sis!
June was a proud month for all of us when our eldest grandson, James won first place in his Jiu-Jitsu tournament. Way to go James!
July was when we had the temperatures souring in the 100’s and it was time to head to some waters. So we packed up our bags and tents and headed to Kernville with the kids and grandkids where we spent the weekend, kayaking, swimming and lazing around on inner-tubes. What a glorious weekend it was.
Finally, after months of anticipating and waiting, I see the cover to my book for the first time and absolutely fell in love with it. I think the publishers did an outstanding job.
As many of you know, we live in the mountains and see many sitings of wildlife. While at a friends house one afternoon, I see a mama bear and her cub strolling down the street while I was sitting on the deck. It took my breath away and a memory that I will not forget anytime soon.
August was also a month to spend more time on the water with the family. This time we decided to spend the day on my husband’s nephew’s boat in Redondo beach. The kids and grandkids joined us and also family members we hadn’t seen in a while also showed up. It was a great day spent catching up, swimming and of course kayaking.
In September I received the first copies of my book. What an emotional day that was. To hold my book in my hands for the first time, brought tears to my eyes. All the hard work and frustrations to get it to this point was absolutely worth it. My husband also managed to make me cry when he came home with a beautiful bouquet of roses and a sweet card. I love you Gordon!
September was also the month to celebrate our youngest grandson’s birthday who turned 3 in 2018.
After twenty-five years in the making and eight years to write, RECKLESS BEGINNINGS went live at the end of September. A date I will never forget.
When I received this picture of my Mum with my book, I broke down in tears. Seeing my mother and my book together, tore at my heart strings. I know she will never read the book, but she was there in the beginning and read the first three original chapters before dementia took over her life. At times I wished I had written the book sooner.
October was also the month when I held my book signing at our local library. I have never felt so proud of myself. I loved the support I received from family and our little community that I’m happy to call home.
While driving to work one morning I was listening to the news about the wildfires that were rapidly spreading through Malibu and up ahead in the distance I could see the smoke plume from my car. It was so eerie to see and such a sad day in Southern California. It was a devasting fire that took over 1000 homes. My heart goes out to all those that were affected by these deadly fires.
November was also the month Luke received his first belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (He is only 3) Well done Luke 🙂
I also got my new car. A Honda CR-V. It was time. My last car had 250,000 miles. (Also a Honda CR-V)
I had my first televised interview with KBAK 29 NEWS from Bakersfield. I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck but thanks to the interviewer Rayna Harvey, I felt completely at ease and it went extremely well. Thank you!
December is all about Christmas. And what a Christmas we had. We went to our small town Christmas parade, made cookies, had more snow and of course celebrated with the family.
So there you have it. My best moments from 2018. What fond memories do you have of 2018?
Happy New Year
I want to wish all of you a happy new year and success in whatever you have planned for 2019. I hope the road you take is an easy one.
Reckless Beginnings is $0.99 (eBooks Only)
“Reckless Beginnings by Tina Hogan Grant is engaging and riveting, a well-written story injected with a lot of realism and pathos. Told in a strong and mellifluous tone, this is a story about family and a woman’s search to make sense out of the chaos of her life.” – Readers’ Favorites
“I read the book in a day and a half. A great book I couldn’t put it down. ” – Angie Hardy
“What a story to be told. Moments that are gut-wrenching, some that are comical, some moments where you just want to scream why are you doing that…. but in the end a very good page turner. The main character of the book is very well written and I felt so connected to her life, her choices and her pain and happiness” – Dana D.