Enjoy this virtual Christmas card painted by my son Joel Strauss!
It's becoming a tradition for me to use his paintings for cards and I love being able to gift people with original artwork.
I can't thank you enough for all your support through these past years, and I'm especially grateful for those of you who buy and read my books. There's nothing like knowing your hard work is enjoyed and appreciated! I've put out a lot of books over the last ten years, probably close to 70! And I can't believe the 25th Ginger Gold Mystery is releasing soon. It's been such a joy writing cozy historical mysteries and bringing Ginger Gold, Haley Higgins & Samantha Hawke, and Rosa Reed to life.
If it sounds like I'm saying goodbye, I'm not ( ☺️ ), but I am going to slow down in 2024. I turn 60 in the summer (wow, I can't even believe I'm writing that number), and I feel like it's time for me to stop and "smell the roses."
For those of you who've been following, you know it's been a tough few years in the Strauss house. In the midst of covid in 2020, I lost my dear, dear friend Donna, whom I still miss terribly.
In 2021, our daughter Tasia had a cardiac arrest, and lived only because she was with a friend who knew CPR. We're so grateful we still have her with us, but it's been a challenging and difficult road for her and for us as her family.
In 2022 our daughter-in-law Chelsea was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and went through major surgery and a long chemo journey. (A year after her last chemo, she is cancer free. So thankful!)
2023 was less life threatening (thank goodness!), but we still had a few hurdles. Norm had his identity stolen and a lot of money, which thankfully we got back after many months and many more hours on the phone with the Canadian government. I had shoulder replacement surgery (a hard fall 5 years ago caused the developing of severe arthritis) and I'm gradually getting back my range of motion. And we moved. Again. (Lost count how many times we've moved since we got married 36 years ago, but almost as many times as years.)
Many great things happened as well. Norm and I spent the first three months of 2023 in Mexico (we try to go every season). I picked up the Ukulele Bass and Norm and I started a folk duo (having a lot of fun playing together, house concerts mostly. You can check us out here: https://normstrauss.com/mr-mrs-strauss). I made the long trip from Western Canada to Eastern Canada to visit my oldest son Joel (the artist) and his beautiful wife Shadi. And now I'm looking forward to celebrating Christmas with the rest of my family.
Looking into 2024, I feel filled with anticipation. I know what I've planned: my goals and dreams. I also know that something always happens that I never could imagine. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but always hopeful.
Besides writing and music, Norm and I are spending the month of March in Mexico for a little R & R. Other than that, no special events are planned, but when the unplanned happens, I'll let you know.
What about you? Was 2023 a good year for you? Anything special in store for 2024? Let me know in the comments.