The news of 2012: 100 stories of hope and love

Ben in the suitcase/cat bed looking so sweet

Ben in the suitcase/cat bed looking so sweet (small Hindu god riding peacock statue in the background…in case you were wondering what that was!)

I was watching a show this morning that highlighted the important events of 2012, but it seemed like so many of the “high-lights” were not high at all, but stories of very unhappy and tragic situations. So I thought, “What better way to celebrate the passing of 2012, and welcome a new year, than to tell our own news?”

This White Feather Farm community is full of large and small stories of love, hope, kindness, successes, happiness, peace and inspiration and I am inviting you to share yours here today and tomorrow. I would love it if we could get 100 (or more?) great stories from 2012: cats that have found their way home, dogs adopted, reconciliations, engagements, weddings, job and business successes, acts of kindness (both given and received), moves, spiritual awakenings, a new skill that you learned, a blog that you started (please share the link), a trip that you finally took, the birth of a baby, the biopsy that came back negative, the healing that was instantaneous, a compliment from a completely unexpected source, the near-miss, or any positive story that comes to mind. If you have shared it before, please do so again (and comment as many times as you would like to). I’m already thinking back over the year with a happy anticipation of sharing some of my own.

These are the small stories that make up our lives, give us pause to say “thank you”, and help us to know each other a little better, and yet many never get told (or make the evening news) because they ended well.

I look forward to reading your stories, and to starting 2013 refreshed, renewed, and a little lighter, and I send each of you the same heart-felt blessing. Love, Mary

In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” Khalil Gibran

91 thoughts on “The news of 2012: 100 stories of hope and love

  1. Jack came home the other night and said that about a mile from our home, a deer ran across the road right in front of his car but he had been driving slow, so he missed it. A very good outcome for both Jack and the deer!

  2. A woman who is very dear to us had brain surgery several weeks ago. She has 2 very small children and before going into surgery, she wrote them letters… in case …..The biopsy came back negative for cancer. She is home and is expected to fully recover.

  3. Mary,

    My partner and I almost broke up this summer. But…….since learning from a friend about Allison Armstrong and her website, understandmen.com and reading her book, “The Queens Code”, my relationship with my 15yr partner has gone from ups and downs to smooth sailing. We have not had an arguement in months. I am learning all the time how not to push his buttons, how he thinks so differently from me, and how not to take his manly self personally.

    Learning about this has transformed my relationship with all men, not just Mike. How I wish I could go back and re-do how I parented my son. Sigh.

    Thank you so much for this posting. I am so excited to share the above and to learn from and celebrate with others who will post their comments.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Janet

  4. Helped organize my third trip with knitters to Shetland in May. Very little had changed in 12 years, still the most amazing, welcoming group of isalnds and islanders. Our final adventure there was a boat tour to the bird cliffs of Noss. Then off we flew to Bath & finally Cornwall, where I introduced my friends (old & new) to the place of my heart. I waved them goodbye and spent another two weeks with my family; met Facebook friends in person; and celebrated the Queeen’s Diamond Jubilee with my brother at a street party. Next visit will be in 2014.

  5. Wow–what fun and a great antidote to tv’s miserable ’12 recounting! At this moment, hubby’s waiting for his diva fiddle teacher (81) who’s won national awards for western swing music to drop by. She’s remarkable–one of those ‘most unforgettable’ types, Evelyn’s been fiddling for close to 60+ years, and she believes in hubby and helps him weekly, as he’s disabled (back surgery about 8 yrs ago) and in constant pain, but has had a whole new self emerge from this creativity over the last two years. Wish we could post pix so I could show you one of their bands! I’m so grateful for her!

  6. I love this so much! Such a joyful way to welcome a new year. Thank you!

    I am celebrating courage. I’ve stepped way out of my comfort zone recently, and started a blog.

    http://www.listeningtostillness.com/blog.html

    There’s only a few entries. About one a week feels right to me at this point. I’m intrigued to see a shape beginning to develop. It’s my first attempt at ‘writing’ anything. For many years I’ve blown off suggestions that I should try it by the knee-jerk statement that “I’m not a writer”.

    Now I’m wondering what that has to do with anything?

    • Nikki, it may have taken ‘years’ to come to fruition but you can no longer disavow your gift of writing. Your blog is simply serene and stunning. I want you to know you sent me scrambling for my Webster’s to look up my first new word of the year: coruscate. It’s a dandy of a word! Thanks…and please keep pounding that keyboard; I’ve already got you ‘bookmarked’! Cheers in the new year.

    • I am now a subscriber, Nikki! Your blog is lovely, soft, soul-warming. Thanks for being brave! We subscribers will be the winners. Happy New Year.

  7. Dearest Mary,
    Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate positives in our year! We need to focus on those in order to realize how truly blessed we are.

    I’ve already shared news about the miraculous reunion with my beloved Simon (kitty) after he was missing for three weeks in northern Vermont. Thank you to the WFFF Members who sent kind messages sharing my happiness. It seems that we all love a happy ending especially when it is quite unexpected..

    I’m also reveling in the celebration of my daughter accepting a new job after she was “let go” from her previous one. She is actually delighted with this new opportunity as she feels it will be more enjoyable and offer more stability than her previous job.

    I’m so happy for your friend, and for Jack and the deer, and delighted to see Beautiful Ben looking as contented as it is possible for a kitty to be!

    So we’ll celebrate!
    Happy New Year,
    With love,
    From Fran

  8. After 20 years of being a widow, I was married to a wonderful man in November. Stay open to surprises in life.
    Thank you, Mary. These entries are much better than the ones on tv and in the press. Sadly, the media seems focused on the negatives in life.

  9. a couple of months ago, I asked my mother if she could tell me something positive about my father. They’d had a hard and unhappy marriage and she was very bitter. I couldn’t remember her ever saying a nice thing about him and as time passed (my mom is 85 and my dad 87), I felt an urgency to hear something good. As many of you know, my mother now has an ipad and she sent me this message a few weeks ago. (needless to say, I cried when I read it but they were happy tears). This is what she sent:
    “This story came to me, I think you will like it. When you were little( before Bobby was born) we lived in Fort Plain . I took you all to the park to play and that night when you went to bed we couldn’t find your favorite stuffed toy ( I think it was a cat but I can’t remember for sure ) I thought maybe you had dropped it when we were at the park. Your father went out in the rain with a flashlight to the park and found it , very wet but in one piece. Needless to say you were very happy”.

    • Nikki, I loved reading your blog! What a gift this age of connections has brought us, like minds and souls, drawn like a light, Mary! We are all sweet moths, and I mean that in the most wonderful way, – we come here from all over, and with a click, we meet Nikki and we are drawn in harmony and trust, to Mary’s Farm! Love to everyone for 2013!i

  10. My highlights of the year are:

    *Opened my heart to another wheelchair Dachshund, Joie
    *Finished my book to be released in early 2013, “Through Frankie’s Eyes: One Woman’s Journey to Her Authentic Self, and the Dog on Wheels Who Led the Way.”
    *Founded National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day in memory of my Dachshund Frankie and in honor of all dogs in wheelchairs around the world (www.nationalwalknrolldogday.com)
    *Helping nine small dogs who needed wheelchairs be able to get one through the Frankie Wheelchair Fund. Now they are living happy and fulfilling lives and my heart rejoices! http://walknrolldogday.chipin.com/the-frankie-wheelchair-fund

    Thank you for the opportunity to spread good and happy news, Mary. oh, how the world needs to hear these instead of the negative.

    Happy New Year!

    ~Barbara

  11. Mary, what a wonderful way to combat the sometimes negative milestones of 2012. I have had two very nice things happen to me over this past year. The first was the gift of two days of a friend’s time to accompany me on a seven hour drive east and south through the Alleghanies to Lewisburg, PA. in order to meet an Australian Shepherd breeder from Maryland who had agreed to bring my new pup northward. She’s a beautiful red tri and her name is Meg, as she’s the colour of nutmeg. She joins Miss AnnieBelle, our nearly two year old black tri, who said when she saw her: “she’s mine; all mine”. The other, affter twenty years in the bed and breakfast ‘business’ we were honored to receive the Best Overnight Getaway in our Headwaters Tourism Association. It was wonderful to be acknowledged in this way and while I’ve never been overboard about awards, the best for me is in hearing from guests who have enjoyed their stay with us, I was teary-eyed walking up to the front of the church to receive our award. But I think it’s the gift of my friend’s time that meant the most to me. We were both rewarded by the unexpected beauty of the Alleghany Mountains and grateful to find a four lane divided hwy all the way south from Rochester because it allowed even the driver to be able to enjoy the scenery too.
    SandyP in Canada

    • SandyP! Congratulations! I am so in awe of not only you receiving this award for your Bed and Breakfast (and oh! what love has to go into that!), but for your travel, dedicated and truly inspired, as your dogs, ‘puppies’, found their perfect homes.

      • Susan, thank you. I lived in Toronto for 48 years and had always longed to live in the country from childhood on. Poor health brought me here. We’ve been here for 24 yrs. now. Then, one day, several years after moving here, an elderly friend sitting beside me in church one day, leaned over and whispered…”I have a friend who has moved to the country. She used to work at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and is totally bored not doing anything here…she’s going to start a B&B reservation agency. Are you interested in becoming a B&B?”. That’s all it took…not much pre-planning, serendipity might be my middle name, I guess for here we are, 21 years later and still running a B&B. But I think it is more than happenstance; I think it’s more about being open to taking chances that I would normally not take if I’d planned and thought about it. It has enriched my life in many unexpected ways.
        SandyP

  12. A much healthier way to review 2012 Mary, thanks for giving us this opportunity. This year was all about “the wedding” in our family! My 25 yr old daughter married the love of her life on October 13. It was such a beautiful wedding, every time I think of it, some little memory makes me smile! Love to all of my friends here and may 2013 bring peace.

  13. Oh Mary what a great idea! I look forward to reading everyone’s stories! My husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage in 2013. We have talked about making it ‘our’ year and celebrating ‘us’ and our journey together to date. My husband has written poems for me over the years but it has been a long time since his last one. The day after Christmas, he handed me a piece of paper with the poem below. We have never shared any of them publicly. I just asked him if he would mind if I shared it on your blog…he is shy about it but said that he wrote the poem for me, it is mine, and mine to share if I would like…and, I would like. This is what he gave to me. Our story of hope and love:

    This is our year of celebration, year of joy.
    Built in pieces large and small,
    Wind and storm-tested, strong and inviolate.
    We are different, we are unique, we are special.

    Yet imperfect words, slights too bloody in the moment, cloud us.
    Hurt us likely more because of what we have always been
    and always will be –
    Different, unique, special.

    We have proven a meant to be.
    A love stronger today than ago,
    Tomorrow more than before.

    Come, go with me into tomorrow.
    ~~~~~~

    I am a very lucky woman and I am ready for the trip!

  14. Oh Mary, another reason I’m so glad to know you and read your blog. What a wonderful way to look back on this ending year…..with good stories!

    I am grateful for so many things in 2012, but topping the list is the adoption of my Golden Retriever, Poot. If anyone had told me a year ago that he would come into my life and I would actually be offering him sanctuary from a bad home, I would have laughed at the notion. And yet, through life’s mysterious synchronicities, here he is, and he is giving me a wonderful opportunity to do visible good in this world. How do you beat that?!

    Looking forward to reading many life-affirming stories here for year’s end. Peace, blessings, health and love to all in 2013. And if it gets dark, well…I’ll keep the light on for ya!

    • Oh dear Suzanne! Who can forget Poot?? What a name, and one to remember, the lil’ boy next door!! I so remember your sharing about him, as we pictured him longing to be with you, so close, and yet so far away! But you made it happen! A big warm blanket to you both to cuddle under! Love, Susan

  15. Would love to see the blogs of the flock! Also, here in the woods of Mt. Shasta, CA, we’re waiting for a family of house guests who are a hoot. The momma-san Melanie has been my dear friend for decades. Many of my very closest friends are far away, probably due to age & retirement for many. Melanie & hubby live in both CA and Minneapolis. Her 3 adult children are coming (plus a fiance) for the first time in years to help celebrate Mel’s New Year’s Day b-day. Dogs, cats, food galore, a swim & a massage, a musical evening: I love to play with my friends from long ago! God bless us every one!

  16. As yet another year comes to an end, I love the idea of sharing our good stories with one another. Mine is about my son Brian and the dog he so sweetly adopted (rescued) back in March of this year. She belonged to his bosses’ son who couldn’t keep her, then passed onto his boss who said she was a mean dog and kept her outside while her own dog got to live inside. Brian asked if he could have her and the rest is history. Molly is now an inside/outside dog, has learned to play with toys, and a pure delight…well our daughter’s two Pomeranians might disagree with that statement. Molly definitely thinks she is the pack leader and tries to herd them into submission. Most of the time all is good. We are babysitting her for a few days and clearly she is missing her new dad. For years Brian had talked about getting a Golden Retriever and wanted a blonde girlfriend…he now has a black dog and a girlfriend who is a brunette. Sometimes life has other plans for you…
    Happy New Year to all!

  17. The first story that comes to mind is the one of the older dog that ran out onto the ice a few days ago and fell through the ice. A man then went in after him and he fell in. The next shot you saw was a the man in the water rubbing the dogs back trying to keep him warm. Shortly both of them were rescued and both are fine. I loved it! So much negative going on and just a joy to hear ofmthis dogs rescue. I have much else to be grateful for, a new grandbaby shose mother has some serious medical problems, another much wanted granddaughter, my daughter coming to see me in the next week or two and much,much more. Thanks for reminding us, Mary and a blessed New Year to us all!

  18. Oh, and a good news story? After years of lugging around too much weight, I lost 30 lbs! (in a good and healthy way)

  19. Mary, This is my 1st time commenting, and I actually get your blog from my friend Margie. Though I’m really looking forward to 2013, I am proud of getting my 1st novel: Change of View – An Adventurous Love Story posted as an e-book on Amazon-Kindle in Jan., and then in Oct. I started my blog EveryDay Empowerment on my new website: http://www.a-wonderland.com/ .
    Thank you for your honesty and your blog. I forgot I also recently sold 2 of my personal growth books – Move Past Your Past – A Process for Freeing Your Life, so I guess I’ve got 3 things for my writing! Yeah!
    Alice Parker

  20. Hello Mary and fellow White Feather followers, I have had a tough year, loosing two dogs, sisters, two weeks apart so I have been thinking all morning about how I can share some good news with you all. The most stand out memory for me was a delightful three week vacation I spent with my parents who visited me from the UK. Now these visits always start off well, we are so happy to see each other and then as time goes on little cracks start to appear. Being thrown together again after long periods of time is hard for us all. This year, after being influenced by Mary I’m sure, I decided to make this the best get together we have had in years. Thinking good positive thoughts, picturing what I wanted to happen, all came true. We had three happy, relaxed, easy going weeks. We all commented as I was driving them to San Francisco airport what a wonderful time we had together, how much we enjoyed each others company and how we looked forward to next time. Mary’s voice is always in the back of my mind now, nudging and encouraging me to be a better person and create the world I want to live in. Thanks MARY!!! Here’s to a wonderful 2013 for us all.

    • MARY!!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL LOVELY MARY MUNCIL!!!!! I am sure we are all echoing jasdogs’ sentiments, – you have truly lit a light at the start of so many of our days, not only this year, 2012, but from the inception of White Feather Farm in February of 2011, thank you!

      • Yes! You have changed so many lives, Mary! I’m sure the whole WF flock is nodding in agreement!

  21. Dear Mary. I love this idea! Thank you for suggesting such a fantastic way to celebrate good news. My story revolves around my horse Romeo, who died in May of 2012. Devastated, I was so lost and so sure I’d never find a way to love another horse again. As an Animal Communicator, my world revolves completely around animals…loosing my equine partner broke my spirit. A few weeks after Romey’s passing, a friend suggested I take riding lessons with a woman who turned out not only to know Romeo (having trained him for years before I bought him), but truly loved him. She introduced me to Scooter, a beautiful, white, sweet and kind horse who I lease and who has absolutely captured my heart. Although I don’t own Scooter, he has taught me that the love of a horse dwells in the heart….deep within the center of the soul….and has nothing to do with ownership. I am blessed to have his friendship and his love….because of his presence in my life I can continue my work with animals with a renewed spirit and a healed heart.

  22. I am learning to love and respect myself. As a child my brother and I were told that the reason my parents were so unhappy was our fault. Daily I was reminded that the hell they were living was our fault. Father was the most vocal and Mom the most stressed as she tried in her own loving way to make me understand something my young mind could not comprehend. The demons (or their unhappy and stressful voices) stayed with me for years.

    The unhappy voices have gone silent and even though at times someone will say something to remind me of their unhappiness I have finally found the courage to let the words become like the wind and just blow gently pass. This year has been one where I experienced a lot of gentle winds which allowed me to find my own safe shelter – sometimes a physical change and often just a mental change. Thank you Mary for letting me record my wonderful transformation and learning to accept my entire life and know it was given as a gift for my continued development.

    • Betty, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share such intimate things from childhood. And they do try to cling on to us, until like you, finding the courage to let them go, with the wind. I am inspired by your honesty. And over the miles,in love and friendship, the distance seems small now, – a loving hug to you, Betty, and to all tonight. Mary, what a wonderful idea, this New Year’s Eve of celebration and confirmation!

  23. 2012 will always be remembered as the year my husband and I bought a farm in Colombia, which is the first step toward our retirement dream. We are now here in Colombia building a small house on our farm. I started a blog (first ever) to document our experience and progress on the farm. It’s an exciting adventure. You can follow the blog at http://www.mayalazarus.com.

    I will also remember 2012 as the year we gently took my parents out of their home and brought them to live part-time with me and part-time with my brother. It was a difficult decision that we had to make because they were unwilling to accept that they couldn’t make it on their own any more. They are both 92 years old. What a blessing to still have them with us.

    I wish all the White Feather Farm followers a blessed 2013. My new mantra is “Take nothing for granted. Every day is a gift.”

  24. Learning…..the only thing I can change is MY attitude, and MY behavior, and that is quite enough …..enjoying (not always agreeing) with my adult children, enjoying (not always agreeing) with my three precious “grands”. Moved back to our hometown which we left many yrs ago under stress and pain, and were welcomed back by “old” friends and family. Celebrated 40 yrs of marriage with many lessons learned along the way……..some great, some hard……embracing “over 60” instead of fighting it, a few lbs, wrinkles, gray hairs, but I feel great….and more important like what’s inside, funny, when the outside was softer my insides were not, now the “book” is cracking , but the pages are a nicer, easier read. Appreciating ALL the beauty around me. Simply, “row,row, row YOUR boat ,GENTLY down the stream, MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, life is but a dream” , this going with the flow sure is nice! Happy, healthy, wonderful 2013 to you Mary, Jack, and your readers…your blog always makes me smile, and that is a wonderful gift!!!!

  25. Shortly before and after midnight on 12/8 & 12/9 2012, Four Black Lab puppies were born in the breezeway of my cozy cottage in Cambridge, NY. Four years ago, in that same breezeway, I did hospice work for my dying 12 year old Chow, Teddy Bear. It was Christmastime then too, Dec. 23, 2008. Teddy sat near the Christmas tree and we each said our goodbyes. My daughter carried Teddy out to the car to go to Borador Animal Hospital where my son, daughter, and I watched as Dr. Menard administered the shot that stopped Teddy’s valiant heart.

    Our yellow lab, Amazing Grace, bravely gave birth live on Facebook as my techy son, Rob, used his iPhone to film my daughter, Katharine, act as midwife to our dog . And so this Holiday Season has been a very special and blessed one for us. And again we learn life’s most important lessons of love, letting go, and the miracle of birth from and with our animals.

  26. Just tonight I received a comment on my blog from my younger sister who I have not heard from in almost five years. It made me cry. I am so happy to hear from her. Thanks for letting me share. I love your blog. I find peace, happiness and it is aplace to think and be. Many thanks!

  27. We enjoyed my son’s simple wedding on a boat on the Chain of Lakes, WI. We rented a house on the lake and enjoyed a wonderful week with my kids and grandkids. I think it was the first time I heard my husband say, “it was a real vacation!”
    My husband has been having health issues with his kidneys. His blood counts have been high this month and he had an appointment scheduled for this week to “begin a plan to get his count down.” He had his third blood draw for the month on Friday. He called me to tell me the good news and sounded almost giddy–his number was down and no plan needed at this point! Wonderful news to celebrate!

  28. We celebrate this past year’s successFul recovery for my son. Ryan is home, happy and gaining health every day. He celebrated his 26th birthday After surviving another critical illness this summer that including 7 weeks of hospital intensive care, many surgeries and life altering wounds and feeding changes. He continues to inspire his family, friends and everyone who takes the time to visit with him. As his mom, I am blessed to have an angel in my care.

  29. So many positive things have followed heartbreak this year! After my beloved Haflinger mare Sue died, we found what my husband called a Sue clone. Jean looks just like Sue, just an inch taller, and with the same sweet, laid-back disposition, but only 12 years old instead of Sue’s 30-something. And after leaving our beautiful farm in Kentucky to move back to Georgia, and missing our Kentucky farm terribly, we found we have wonderful neighbors, who we have become great friends with, something we have longed for for the 15 years we lived in Kentucky. It seems something positive always comes out of heartbreak if you’re open to it!
    Happy New Year to everyone!

  30. Mary, and all! it is the end of the day for me in Arizona, so for most of you, it’s 3 hours later, I am so touched by the outpouring and sharing a sweet, dear hearts today! Thank you Mary, for once again, sensing the sweet bell that is so eager to be struck – love, hope, and faith, shared stories on wings flying to, in, and from White Feather Farm!

  31. Mary, I am grateful to receive the uplifting messages from your blog! I am also very grateful that my dear mom, who is terminally I’ll with cancer, has survived and thrived for sixteen months and counting. I have become focused on the gifts that each day brings! Many blessings to you and this community!

  32. love these posts — so inspiring — my happy news for 2012: adopting our dog bella after years and years of wanting a dog — she’s the perfect one for us — she overlapped with our 20-year-old kitty lucy a bit — long enough for me to know i was right not to get a dog sooner (lucy did not want a sibling) — i miss lucy and will always love her, but with bella in my life (our lives, actually…my husband is crazy about her, too) i don’t care what else happens — all is well…very, very well 🙂

  33. Deer seemed to be everywhere today. Leaving the grocery store at 7:00 p.m., I saw 8 deer grazing in a snow covered field. In the next 2 miles I had 2 more cross in front of me, and then another one cross in front of me right before home. I truly was grateful not to collide with any of them!
    Also extremely grateful to have my dachshund mix, Hank, after losing him for 2 days in November. I was hiking with my 2 dogs in a vast wooded area. Hank always follows his nose, sometimes running after a deer(them again)! Usually he circles back to me, but not this time. He did not have any ID tags. He does now! After dark I went house to house talking to folks outside the county park. The next day handed out flyers, and had no luck at the dog shelters in my county and the next county.
    The good news is Craig List free lost and found ads. A lovely lady called and said she was disabled, and looks at the internet all day. She saw my Craig list ad, and saw a picture of Hank on face book. She knew who had my dog, and then I received a e-mail from the family that had Hank. The family’s daughters’ had put Hank’s picture on face book.(bless them)
    Hank was a couple of miles from where I lost him. They said he arrived at their home the night I lost him. They loved Hank and offered to watch him if I go away. I am so grateful for wonderful and kind people everywhere, especially for enlightenment from Mary and the flock!

  34. Joanie, my friend of 25 years had gotten progressively worse with liver disease. She had been diagnosed years ago, but seemed to just go on for a long time with not much change. Then she began to get worse. In April of 2011, she was so ill that she was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. This began a roller coaster ride of pulling her out of the depths of liver failure, getting her back home for a while and then taking her HS k to the hospital.
    I took care of her, along with a miracle of kindness named Jannie. It got so bad that she would just lie in bed for days on end. And the itching. The never-ending, horrific, rip your skin off, everywhere itching. This went on and she became sicker by the day. As we went into 2012, she was in and out of the hospital and even had to go into a nursing home fo a while. She moved up the list for liver transplant in both Illinois and Wisconsin. We had a few calls, but each time we would get there, she would get prepped for surgery, and they would tell us that the liver was no good.
    As we got into spring, she becatme so sick that she was hospitalized full time. We waited for a liver. She became so full of toxins that she was delusional, and thrashed around didn’t know who we were or who she was. Then her kidneys began to fail and they started dialysis. This went on for a week
    . And then on June 3rd, a call came. There was an offer of a liver and kidney. Everything looked food on paper, they said. Later, after all the testing was finished, the liver was good, but the kidney was not, and they made the decision not to give her the liver. It would not have worked out well, as she needed both to live. We were heartsick. What would ww do without her?
    Then the very next night at 11:00, the transplant coordinator called to say that, once again, they had an offer, and it looked good on paper. Back onto the roller coaster we climbed. Five hours later they called and said the liver and kidney were perfect.
    She went into surgery and it has been a miracle. She literally got her life na k that day, and we got back our friend, mother, sister, niece…our loved one.
    A family saw their way through incredible grief that night and made a decision to give the gift of life to someone they did not know, and probably would never meet. Wow, what a gift. I thank God for that family, and for that miracle.

  35. Hello Mary
    This is a great idea. I often try to post more positive stories from the news or if negative, then more positive responses to these events. Sometimes we just get overwhelmed by all the sadness and suffering we forget that there is so much love and care in the world. So thank you for the reminder today. My story is a personal one, 2012 was the year my partner Mr S was reunited properly with his daughter now 21. She came to visit us for a week in August after 9 years without seeing her. He now Skypes regularly with her and she says she is coming back to visit us again in April.

  36. Hi Mary,
    Good idea! 2012 for us has been a happy, if wet (we’re in the UK) year! My husband is still all clear from the tumour diagnosed two years ago and my family are all healthy. We have a new addition to the family, my cousin and his partner had a baby boy last January and the two dogs dote on him and his sister. My personal highlight was meeting Charlie Duke, a long held ambition! I wish for a happy, healthy and successful New Year for all of us, not just my family and friends, but everyone here too.

  37. Mary, with permission I trust, I am going to save all these postings to read again and again. I understood Debra’s loss with her beautiful horse. It could be a dog, a cat, anything we have loved and become emotionally one with and the fact that another has stepped into the void left in her heart, it’s wonderful. A relationship restructured and moving in a more positive direction; a dog adopted with the wonderful name of Poot and unexpected blessings for both the dog and his new mother; cancerous tumours and personal health restored with hope for the future, so many to mention here but all so heartwarming. Blessings to you for thinking of such a wonderfully positive posting and asking us all to join in. Everyone has a story. Many lives are touched by grief. The human spirit is a strong one and one not easily bent by the challenges of life. There is always hope.
    SandyP, in Southern Ontario, Canada

  38. I sat here wondering what I could come up with–my Sweetheart passed away a year ago tomorrow. We only had seven years together–but for that I am so thankful–the best seven years of my adult life. I was practically in a wheel chair–could do no household chores and then had hip surgery–it was a miracle. Yesterday I spent six hours putting Christmas away and cleaning my house. A grand daughter got married, my sister moved back after 30 years living in another state, ALL my grandchildren were home for Christmas. I am now attending church more regularly. A year that started out sad, but I have learned so much this past year and am ready for this next year. Onward and upward–ever forward! Judy in Michigan

  39. I learned how to sew little sun dresses. I am not a good seamstress, so thank the internet for helping me and for a friend who suggested and encouraged me. Ironically, this lady became my friend when I trained her for the job I previously held. When I remarked that I had worked all my life and had no idea what I would do in retirement, she asked if I sewed. I answered with a resounding “no”!! She kept encouraging me and told me about some children in Monrovia her missionary friends helped. I gave them 15 dresses in February and continued sewing this year. Yesterday I packed up my Christmas things and also packed 86 more dresses to give to my friend, as she is going to Haiti and will give them to children in an orphanage there. I enjoy making them so much and thank all the children for giving me something to do while adjusting to retirement!!

  40. My year was so full of blessings and grace, I can’t even count them all. I was adopted by a young cat who stops by every morning for breakfast. After many months, she’s so comfortable with me she’s now allowing me to pet her. My grandson is growing (now 4 1/2) and continues to bring me joy and amazement. I won tickets to an Elton John concert in March and my best friend was able to be there with me and we also had a wonderful time hanging out in NYC and VT in October. And, 8 years after being widowed, I met a very, very special man with whom I’m now in a loving relationship. My world just glitters!

    Ain’t life grand??

    Peace, love, joy, hope and blessings to all the WFF community throughout all of 2013. Happy New Year, everyone! And Mary, thank you for being the glue that holds us all together!

    Laurie

  41. My life has so been enriched by the monks and the friends I have made thru the Blue Lotus, everyday is a joy. I found the strength or courage to remove two very toxic people from my life, without anger…I learned to knit and made many preemie hats for a baby hospital in Sri Lanka,and it came to me that, I am actually happy….quietly happy

  42. Thank you, Mary, for this idea and invitation to share 2012 ..
    Change, change, change! Transformative, significant. My husband, horses, cats, dog and I moved 500 miles away from lives we loved in beautiful San Diego, CA to a new chapter and adventure in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. What a wild ride! and as we learn about and stretch ourselves in so many new ways and directions it has cleared the cobwebs and shaken the cores of our – shall we say – “mature” selves mightily! I am proud of us and of our courage to make this big of a change in our lives; I am grateful beyond expression for the opportunity to have been able to do so.
    On to 2013! I wish for us all to BE SAFE and enjoy the very brand new, wide open, ready for You, New Year!

  43. I am grateful for turning 50. I love that both my kids are still at home while going to college. I have BEAUTIFUL animals,dogs,cats and a horse that bring beauty into everyday. I am grateful that my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Spiritually I have really grown and I am so proud of myself for being awake, choosing love, choosing peace, choosing grace, choosing joy. I
    will bring in 2013 with peace in my heart and so much to look forward to in 13′

  44. Mary: I must echo thanks along with others, this is a great idea! My year was both sad and happy. My sister died after 50 years of living with MS. We are so sad to lose her, but thankful that she no longer has constant pain and disability. Our family gathered in a small midwest town for her burial, and in spite of the sadness, we had some good laughs. The day was ridiculously mixed-up, funeral director apologizing for the hole being in the wrong place (it wasn’t), and the grave digger unavailable, so told us to just “leave the check in the hole.” Who could keep a straight face at that? We put her ashes in a cookie tin, appropriately decorated, and added a Hershey bar for good measure. Later, my oldest brother said he hoped that darn gravedigger didn’t think the Hershey bar was for him! I’m always grateful for family, but especially for the laughs we have together.
    My oldest son successfully defended his dissertation, so we now have a PhD in the family. And a new granddaughter due any moment. Joy abounds!

  45. Three days ago we put down Bo, the canine love of my life. He was 16 years old, and ready to go. I’ve cried like that only twice before, over the loss of two relationships. The day before Bo left, we brought home an 8-week old border colie puppy. We weren’t looking, but I believe you get the dog you need, when you need them. He has already taught me much about how to find joy in grief, and how to love again.

  46. I’ve often made the wry observation that we bring up our children to go out and make a life for themselves and then feel neglected when they do. Our four make good use of the telephone and e-mail, but actual face-to-face visits are rare because of the distances involved. In February of 2012 my husband of 54 years entered a nursing home. I was adjusting to being alone here except for our dog, Toby, and struggling with the mountains of paperwork involved in applying for Medicaid and making changes in estate planning. One evening Toby ran to the back door and barked when someone knocked. When I opened the door, Toby rushed out to greet a tall, husky man who petted him and called him by name. Then he stood up and said, “Hello, Mother.” It was our youngest son, whom we hadn’t seen for twelve years. It’s a twelve-hour drive one way to North Carolina from where he lives in Michigan. He has been here five times since then, encouraging, helping, cajoling, supporting, and amusing his father and me. What a blessing he is and has been! I’m eighty years old now–it snuck up on me–and he has assured me that if/when I am left alone, I can go and live with him. Whether or not I would accept that offer remains to be seen, but it’s a great relief to know that the option exists.

    • As I read and reread the entries here, I’m struck by so many, wanting to respond to so many and yet, this one sentence “I’ve often made the wry observation that we bringup our children to go out and make a life for themselves and then feel neglected when they do” struck home. Not because of distance in mileage so much as in distance of choice and personal difficulties, do they go out into the world. Jean, how wonderfully told. Sandy P in canada

  47. I am so grateful to be a part of raising my three year old granddaughter. She is a miracle because my daughter has been ill for many years and the doctors told her she couldn’t have children because of side effects of chemotherapy. A year after her marriage, my joy was born! I moved across half the country to be with them and it’s been such a blessing. My cat, Shooie, had been with me the whole time and kept me company; even more important because I haven’t had time or energy to make friends. Maybe this year! God bless you all for being a loving community I can visit any time!

  48. 2012 – The Year of the Neck

    Last year at this time I was preparing for neck surgery. At the time I was in constant pain, spending a good deal of time “unsticking” my neck and struggling with simple things like washing my hair, sleeping, turning my head! Needless to say I was more than excited to have the surgery and the healing it would bring. I tend to only focus on the positive outcomes and though fully aware of the risks and prepared for them, I choose to believe that all will be well. So, when my surgeon told me that acute recovery would be 2 weeks and long term a year or so, I was ready.

    Well, apparently we have differing definitions of “acute recovery.” My sports medicine background leads me to define acute as “recovery time needed before returning to daily activities (work) even if modified. His definition was “time before getting out of bed!” Not an insignificant difference in expectations!

    Needless to say, at 2 weeks I had already been more active than I was supposed to be, but all within reasonable limits. What I thought would be 2 weeks turned into 8 weeks of being at home bored out of what little was left of my mind when taking the meds into account! I was useless, took several humorous falls (once falling right out of bed, just plop, it the floor!), fell asleep mid-sentence, etc.

    I spent many, many weeks having to rely upon others to do everything from feed me to take up my slack at work (thank you Gina!!). It took much longer to recover than I planned but I was fortunate and blessed to have a team of people who got me through it all including doctors, PTs, nurses, the awesome Many Meyer-Hill, my amazing landlords Patty & Dave who fed me, took care of my cats and all things domestic, coworkers, many, many friends and family and lots of contacts from friends and family through facebook.

    Now, just shy of one year later, I can move my head and neck with only a rare pain here or there and am looking forward to a final check-in with my surgeon! 2012 was definitely a year that would not have been possible without the support of so many, many people and their acts of kindness and giving. I really had to rely upon others for just about everything for several weeks and there is no way to ever fully express my gratitude for this.

    it definitely does take a village to heal a neck!

  49. Irene

    Happy New Year to Mary and Everyone!

    I have moved back into my little house by the brook and in front of the mountain after two years of trying to make the relationship with my husband work again. I have found peace and tranquility mixed sometimes with loneliness and doubt. And lo and behold, my ex and I are now able to have a conversation without arguing and blaming. I have tried on and off for twenty-five years to make it work. And now it seems to be working…for both of us. Things are very different when control is relinquished. What is, is allowed to be and work itself out naturally without all of my machinations of trying to make something fit the way I think it should be. This is a strange concept for me, but one I am working hard to maintain. Ahhhh. The wonderful peace of it! And so, I am looking forward to a year of continuing to learn and grow. Yes, even at this age of sixty-four years! I am communing with my two pugs, two cats, two horses and two beautiful grandsons. Cautiously, I can say, “Life is good.”

  50. Reading the posts is such a joy. Thank you, Mary. This was a beautiful year in many ways — starting with my dad’s death (a tough loss, yes, but he and my mom are now together, and it was a privilege to be beside him when his time came), graduations in the family, spiritual growth, a wonderful mountain vacation, and so on. I even found the silver lining of social media as I reconnected via Facebook with my Australian penpal from 40 years ago. Another of the year’s joys has been this blog and the White Feather Farm community. Happy New Year to all. I look forward to checking out your blogs, books, etc.

  51. Fantastic blog and comments. I’m going to come back again and again to reread. My daughter is here visiting. She’s been teaching in Quito, Ecuador. I went to visit her two years ago but we haven’t seen each other since. These are wonderful and loving days together and so grateful to have them with her before she goes off on her next adventure to Saudi Arabia.

  52. What wonderful stories, every one of them. I have tried to single out my best thing from 2012, and think it might be that I finally made the connection between the meat on my plate and my strong love for animals. For years it bothered me but I was able to push it out of my mind. This has been a year of spiritual growth and with it came the realization that I can no longer be the cause of suffering and death to any animal on the planet. For me, it was the right decision and it has brought me much peace.

    So looking forward to another year’s worth of WFF. Thanks to Mary and all the people who make it such a blessed sanctuary. Happy New Year, all.

  53. After a few years of not feeling confident enough that the Universe will always take care of me, I was finally able in November to make the decision that this will be my last year of teaching. I have come a long way to be able to make that leap as I have a lot of fears and not a lot of savings. I love the kids (I teach high school), but after more than 30 years of more and more demands placed on teachers, I’m so tired. So now I am ready to live each “last moment’ in the present, and then start my new life in June.
    Happy New Year to all the great ladies here!
    Cynthia R

  54. After 16 months of being horrifically angry at my brother we reconnected at my nephews wedding. It made a special day even more significant.

  55. Mary, what a wonderful idea. I loved the story of your Dad looking for your toy in the rain. My positive story is I have a wonderful husband and we are both healthy. Tonight we will toast all the upcoming possibilities for the New Year and reminisce. Blessings to this wonderful blog community.

  56. We as a family are sitting together at the local Mcdonalds, enjoying the last evening of 2012. We are at Mcdonalds because two are 7 & 6 years old. For me being here is the only place I want to be….with my family. I have had a wonderful year of learning to appreciate all that I have.
    Nothing, thankfully, spectacular one way or the other has come about. But it is spectacular to be thankful everyday.
    I am so very thankful for this blog.
    Happy 2013 everyone.
    Carol Davis

  57. Mary, I also loved the story your Mother told you about your Dad finding your toy. Your question to her made her think of the good memories she shared with your Dad. This year a cousin, I haven’t heard from in many years, sent me a CD of the voices of my family. My Mother died in 1979 and my Father in 1989. My sisters and I are in our 70’s, well I’ll be 70 in April. It was amazing to hear our voices when we were teenagers and to hear my Dad’s voice with his Swedish accent and my Mother’s sweet, soft voice. It was certainly a treasure and one I shared with my sons. It sounded so funny when we said on the “tape” that we had rented the tape recorder for the day and we were so mystified by the “new technology”. Wow, has times changed. So many things to be grateful for and one is the fellowship here at WFF. Wishing everyone peace, and the ability to find a bit of good news in every new day.

  58. June ’12: Hubby, who’s semi-retired says “can we buy the motorhome now, huh, can we??? ” [A road not traveled but much discussed.]
    July ’12: We venture north and find the ‘perfect for us’ house in the Willamette Valley of central Oregon. Race home to central California coast to sell existing home. Hubby retires for good.
    Guess we must be ‘centrists’.
    September ’12: Move in to a couple acres; country quiet; new pace.
    December ’12: Find a small Border Collie (Meg) in need of a new home—tho all she’s ever known is 24/7 in an outdoor kennel of a goat farm. Oh, dear, here’s a challenge.

    But the aforementioned center is we all keep trying to show her as the ‘right’ way. May she know we love her forever; we’ll work this through.Little timid thing that she is, when she let’s her spirit shine, she’s amazing!
    ! My year has been beautifully fluid. Moving, change and solitude. This has been the most diversity I’ve experienced in many moons.As I look back, it doesn’t even seem real. But when I walk outside I’m impressed with the sights and smells of all that grace the nostrils: fir, pine, cedar, and all that I’ve missed. Suffice to say, it’s an olfactory experience. And a blessing beyond words.

    May this new year bring peace, prosperity, compassion and joy to all who share these pages. Namaste.

    • Cheryl, this whole blog posting has blown me away. In this one request, Mary has asked us to look at the positives in our lives and share them with others here. It is bringing a family of unknowns together. But when you mentioned your new BC (Meg, by name) I had to post to say, another Meg lives here in southern Ontario, Canada. Our Meg was a no-name puppy for three weeks as she’d arrived before I’d had time to think of a suitable name but one day carrying her outside, the sun shining on her coat, I said: you’re exactly the colour of nutmeg and Meg she became. I’ll think of another Meg in Central Oregon. It is wondrous living in the country when all you’ve known has been urban living. The night skies are magical, the sounds of the country different than those we’ve known in cities. What a change in your life. Good luck with your Meg. BC’s are very intelligent creatures. Time to trust; time to love, she will bond with you eventually.
      SandyP in Canada

      • Is there room to park our ‘rolling B&B’ when we come visit? It seems only right that the two Megs get to meet. ;>)

        If there is any way we could pull it off, my dream trip would be to take my hubby back east to all the places he’s never seen; to see my paternal fore-bearers homesteads in upstate New York; and, of course, pay homage to the magnificent Ms. Muncil and the Katz/Wulf team of spirit voyagers. A true bus-man’s holiday! Getting itchy already….

      • We’ll have room to turn around somehow, Cheryl. My husband manages to maneuver his thirty foot glider trailer around and about the laneway and the farmer’s walk, so I’m sure we can manage your traveling B&B although it may be a tight fit. There is so much to see of North America that is so beautiful. I hope you can go for it.
        SandyP in Southern Ontario, Canada

  59. I found myself brave enough to take online classes this to fit in my schedule.It has been great for me to learn and help in me in my job. I love your blog and record many of the quotes in my booklet I carry with into my day. Thanks for the positive reinforcement along the journey. My word for the new year is light and I am looking for it in everyone.

  60. Thank you so much for your blog, Mary – I so love the positive energy it emits!

    My “grateful” story might seem small but I appreciate all the folks that let me turn left when the cars are getting backed up at the light, so that I can head up the hill to work! It’s such a nice gesture and I’m always so appreciative that folks will make the effort to do that!

    All the best to you in 2013!

    Helen

  61. Happy New Year Mary. Ben is adorable in this photo.
    My New Year story is I am on a journey to be much more spiritual in my life. I am overlooking the negative and concentrating on everything positive from now on. I will strive to find ways to enhance my life and surround myself with positive people.
    I am thankful for these positive people and especially for your blog each day Mary. It starts my day right and I look forward to reading it each day.
    Thank You.

  62. I discovered a beautiful new path by my house through the woods with views of Eagle nests. My stress test came back clear. Work was busy and I am employed well with great health ins. My friends are kind. Number of good gatherings on my deck……

  63. First of all thank you Mary for this blog and your uplifting words. I look forward to it every day. This year I learned that I am happy unto myself. Got engaged and realized that that was not what I wanted. Realized I already had all I wanted and needed. There might be a man/companion in my future but it will be out of joy, not desperation. It is my intention to make decisions from a place of joy, not fear.

    I also just got back from a week long trip to San Diego to visit my son who I hadn’t seen since August 2012. He’s in the Navy. Wonderful time of connecting, laughing, loving, appreciating. He’s a wonderful young man and I do love him so.

    Learned this year that I want to be friends with my ex but I don’t want to get back together. Good to know. Once again, a decision from joy not fear.

    Paid off the house and currently building a basement apartment after lots of much needed house repairs. I’ll never have to worry about flooding again!!!

    Life is good. I am blessed. Here’s to more JOY and less fear. 🙂

  64. I cleared out my garage totally dumping the very old past and newer clutter, records childhood mine and generations above me. It is now just mine and my car’s a burden lifted that I had been caring. No more care taking other people memories. Great freedom.

  65. I am so enjoying reading and re-reading all the posts. We are such a warm, caring community. It is so heartwarming to get to us all from this loving vantage point. What a way to start off the New Year. Mary Muncil – this could have been one of your VERY best ideas.

    The thing about me that comes to mind is how helpless, hopeless, afraid, etc. I was as last year began. Had no idea if or how or when I would pass through this time of doubt and fear. And here I am today – back on track – with a little help from my friends – all of you – and the guidance of “our” Mary.

    When Mary first posted this, I immediately thought that I have done nothing….now I realize I did accomplish a great deal this past year.

    Looking forward to sharing another year together.

    • Please ‘count’ all of the sharing you have done on this blog! We can always count on you to share a song, a smile, a meaningful link, a video! You’ve done a lot of sharing and giving here and I know I am one of many who appreciate it and you!

  66. My husband retired from his job on the railroad after 33 years of service.
    One of our dogs was very ill and she recovered after being treated by a holistic vet with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

  67. Love this idea, Mary! I’m a little late in coming but all of the posts are so enjoyable.

    Two happy stories come to mind: Our dog, Skeeter, recovered from a frightening poisoning incident early in the year. She now comes with me to the elementary school so first and second graders can read to her; we call them “Skeeter Readers”. I treasure my Skeetie every single day.

    My longtime sweetheart, Brad, lost his job in July~ just in time for sailing season! 🙂 Brad is considering making boat restoration, his hobby, a full-time job. He is so much happier now than he was when he was working for a mindless, senseless corporation.

    Thank you to everyone who posts on Mary’s blog for your kindness and wisdom. 🙂

  68. I too am a little late, but just have to share that in mid-2011, the world, and I personally, lost an amazing soul, a dear friend and kindred spirit named Sonia who was the most self-aware, self-educated, positive and magical person I’ve ever met — and having hung out in Northern California through the 80’s and 90’s, I have met a few! Sonia was a friend to many, a mentor in much the same way you are, Mary, with a tough-as-nails persistence about getting anyone who had one to drop their personal struggle story, whatever that might be, and start using affirmations and trusting in spirit vs. the material realm. She was one of a kind. She died of kidney cancer at the age of 59; and this earth is so much poorer for her loss. But what does that have to do with this page, right?

    Well, after a few months’ time, her husband, a wonderful soul with the most hilarious cynical sense of humor, who is a creative sound-engineer/ musical genius, and one of her other oldest friends, a talented and beautiful professional soul/rock/blues singer who suffered through a really destructive relationship a few years ago (and survived it), began corresponding back and forth quite a bit following Sonia’s passing. They started dating, and over the summer in 2012, he cleared out and sold his house and moved 3000 miles across the country to share her little house on the West Coast. Which happens to be “home” for him, where his elderly mother lives less than an hour away, and his siblings are nearby as well. The happy couple is now starting a music production business together and are sickeningly-sweetly in love — nothing personal, but Facebook pages full of smarmy odes to one another — really!!!!

    But seriously, I doubt almost any of us who knew Sonia would have imagined these two together in any context other than professional common ground — yet I also know that there is nothing that would have made her happier than seeing these two people, who have both struggled in life and survived personal tragedies that would have sunk less resilient souls, find the true beauty in each other and take care of one another for as long as they are both still here on the planet. Migosh, it almost gives one faith in the power of midlife romance! Thanks for the opportunity to tell this lovely story with a true storybook ending!

  69. My goats had their first babies, and everyone was healthy. I learned to milk the mommies, and to make cheese. I bought some ducks, and now I get to watch them waddling around the farm, commenting in their duckie way on everything. I got new neighbors who are delightful. I spent time with friends. A friend told me about your blog! It was an excellent year all around.

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