And so another year begins.

2019.

Typing that and seeing it feels weird. Weird because I am beginning the year sick with the flu.

Our title should be, “A Rumination of 2018 So I Flu Forward to 2019!

Pheww!

Last year, even though I wasn’t able to attend my HS reunion in the Philippines, I did re-connect with a couple of my close friends back there, and for that, I am thankful.

First month of the year is my natal month. In particular, same as the “more famous” people I share with namely, Elvis Presley, David Bowie and Stephen Hawking (this I learned only when he died).

By the end of the first month last year, we experienced the super blue blood moon. A cosmic trifecta of a supermoon as what The National Geographic called it. 35 years in the making.

I wonder what my age would be called?

February rolls in. The month of love 😍

And my love for snow was not met. I had to serve a civic duty and be on jury duty.

March comes raining in. From here on, the posts I had were all about pounding anger and I had to let them all out.

From the (much-needed and most welcomed) rain, it had also brought wretchedness and snarled up traffic — in turn, brought out monstrosity in me.

By this time, I had given Ed Sheeran’s music a second chance. There were only a few I liked. Four so far.

One was “Thinking Out Loud” second was “Castle on the Hill” third is “Kiss Me”and last is “Perfect”.

The rest either I have no care for or haven’t given it much “airtime”.

It was also around this time I met this friendly train conductor. We got to talking and had told him that I am coming from up the hill, also warned him not to get surprised if he sees me (which was almost always) running and then be asleep on the train.

He was very understanding.

He would wait a few moments and scan the parking lot to see if he could spot me running when I’m not on the platform yet by the time his train come rolling in. I really appreciate that.

It was a good six months before he got shuffled to another time slot.

I know I have a couple of pieces about the train conductor but never made it published. Every time I thought about finishing (one of them at least), I’d think it lacks something so I never post it.

Or I’ll get depressed or too sleepy or too tired or all three!

One of these days I should really polish it up and update it. Oh well!

Then in April I started to get affected by the decline of a friend’s health. I may not show it because I like to show the sunny side of me, and even that, had started to get to me.

I got tired of being the funny one.

And I got angrier. Sadder.

I can’t bottle them up anymore.

I have to express them. That’s what blogs are for, right?

But I didn’t write more. I was too angry and/or too depressed to write.

Instead, I began to take more pictures.

See my Instagram page. If you have an IG account, Find them under these hashtags – #traversinglines #cajonpasscommute #sunriseoncajonpass #mybeerandskittles

Or you can visit my blog page and scroll down to see some photos.

In 2017, if my calculations were right, I took 130 pictures.

In 2018, I took 70 more pictures than in 2017. Did I find more interesting photos? I sure did and had found more than enough to be thankful for and brighten my day (or night).

A lot of sunrises and sunsets and full moons ha!

May June July, some really bad traffic. Don’t want to go back to that.

But I finally got a photo of the LA skyline.

Colored them a bit for a touch of playfulness.

A lot of picnics happened around this time and went to do a lot of forest bathing. Our love for convertible driving has heightened. Weather was almost always perfect.

Especially at night when we, all, as a family, experienced our first drive-in movie. I loved it that it is “acceptable” to come in our pajamas and stay in the car and watch a movie in our Mini.

We had blankets and pillows and snacks and drinks with us.

We watched “The Incredibles 2”. We loved the first and even loved the part 2 more.

By the time the latter part of the movie, our youngest was fast asleep. Sweet.

We were then treated to the biggest moon we’ve ever seen in our lives on the drive back home.

When we’re not out driving or watching a movie, I go biking.

I love the outdoors. I’d rather walk/run outside than go to the gym and be stuck in there.

I love ice skating. I love swimming.

And I love to eat 😉

Here’s a snap of me with my “new” banana bike. Hubby bought it for me. He knows how much I love bikes!

This was taken in our kitchen right after hubby had put it together. Bless that UPS man who had to carry and deliver it.

Heard me gushing about it in the store when I saw it.

Sadly, had to return it. A cruiser but not meant for my taste. Didn’t have the brakes on the handles. Plus the wheels were too big for me.

So, I stuck with my old one which was fine with me really.

September sets in.

Considering a drastic career move, I decided to up my exercise routine.

I started doing really strenuous workouts that pushed my body. I know I have not reached my physical limits yet.

I attended these trainings and mock tests which would leave me all bruised up and very sore for a week.

I have tried three times and failed.

My (tween) son even tried out during these mock tests (we’d do it in secret because minors are not allowed)

First time he tried, he failed. Second time, he wasn’t around. Third, he made it!

I do (sometimes) doubt that maybe I may be too old for it.

However, I could try again in another six months.

Then an itchy feeling of wanting to move out of state or out of the country was felt.

Seemingly odd enough, it never happened.

The only venturing into unchartered territory I ever did was the one I shared with two hundred more passengers in the train.

A train had struck a person the tracks and tracks were then closed for investigation.

We explored the freight line with the help of a freight line worker (of course) whom we had to pick up to show us the way while I was watching our route via the Map app on my phone.

I’m a’freight to say this is our route!

We made it eventually through all tunnels and out of the unknown.

Once I saw a familiar stop back on the very familiar route, I dozed off.

Just like that, just like my Dad, I can sleep anywhere.

While on the train, I am almost always catching up on winks (oh if not catching up on my latest tv series obsession – which is now, Call The Midwife) so making friends or even saying a small thing or two to another passenger is rare.

I am a friendly person once I get over the shy-ness and most often than not, just-want-to-left-alone part of me.

So I am proud to say I made about four new friends this year!

End of October, a close friend of mine died of cancer. Been battling the bastardly disease for seven years.

It’s been hard for me after that.

I have only been recovering from last year’s death of a friend, here’s one again.

How do old people cope?

How do they move on?

I’ve shut myself out again from the rest of the world.

Because I wanted to focus all my energy, all my (spare) time to my kids and to my family, I could not do anything else.

I could not write or even think of what to write.

I could take pictures but would not care to post any of them.

Plus the looming deadline of me having to make our annual family album, all my time and energy had been spent on uploading pictures. Going through each photo had been very time-consuming.

It was getting harder to decide which goes on the album.

It was a self-imposed deadline. I think my family would be forgiving if I have it ready by March or sometime this year.

With the help of the Christmas holidays which has always been an exciting and happy time while growing up, I started to feel some spirit back into me.

And because of that, I think I will be okay.