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Four Ohio Winters, Three Residences, Two Trips to Asheville...

My automobile, still two years from its unexpected retirement, didn't
appreciate its first taste of the Ohio-styled winter weather four years ago.
...and a Hatchback in a Junkyard.

The end of the year and the Christmas season in general always seems to be a topic for every style of blog, and this one is no exception.

It's been almost four years since I made the 2,000 mile trek over to the Buckeye State, packed to the gills with my most important belongings in a somewhat smallish hatchback car along with my then girlfriend-now-spouse. In a weird way, I've come back full circle - despite the picture above, the winter by Ohio standards was a pretty mild one. This year's winter has seen temperatures here that I might expect in the Bay Area around this time; in fact, the number of 60+ degree temperature days have been more or less equal between the two cities, based on a quick check on Accuweather.

While my spouse and I are not adverse to snow, we are definitely thankful for the relatively mild temperatures so far this winter. But in reality, the mild weather is much more of a cherry on top of the proverbial sundae of a pretty good year for both of us.

Of course, the thing we're incredibly thankful for is our new house. While we are learning the subtle details about what a money pit a house really can be (thankfully, more in the way of upgrades versus unexpected repair needs), we couldn't be more happy with our purchase, the surrounding neighbors and the neighborhood. Perhaps most importantly, the house has given us a certain sense of permanence that has given us more incentive than ever to engage with and in the local community.

Another thing we are thankful for are the love and camaraderie of the people in our lives, from our family members to our friends, both long-time or newly met, and even one-time chance meetings at the places to which we have traveled. Our wide circle for the most part has had a fairly healthful year like we have, and we certainly hope things trend that way in the year to come.

From this blog's standpoint, we both have been thrilled to see the continued vitality, creativity and growth shown by many aspects of the Columbus metro area. While I do still pay attention to Bay Area matters and visit the area, it is Columbus that has become the preeminent focus of my life. What has really struck me personally during my experiences and encounters with the people behind the arts, music, culinary, social media and other community-oriented efforts in this metro is not the fact that these folks are hard working; in reality, that kind of goes without saying.

Rather, what has struck me is that how truly nice and gracious the people within and behind the scenes are, from my fellow bloggers to restaurant chefs, musicians and craftspeople, business owners and organization heads, and so forth.

And the support these folks show to each other and the wider creative community as a whole is a pretty wonderful and special thing to witness. Granted, this is something of a general gut feeling, but it is reflected and confirmed in folks like Angela Perley, the lead singer for her band The Howlin' Moons who were just voted as the "Best Local Band in Columbus" for 2015 by the web-based media site Columbus Underground.  Perley, who I have had the pleasure of meeting, stated in the previously referred to Columbus Underground article, “I’m not sure what it’s like in other cities, but in Columbus there’s a strong community where creative people bounce ideas off each other and people are really supportive of each other,”

To all of you, I wish you all a truly wonderful Christmas and holiday season, and may the new year bring you success and prosperity.

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