Q: What goes great with cold weather?

A: A chimney fire, of course. Preferably one that leaves you unable to heat your house until many things are fixed.

Yes, that’s my week in a nutshell. On the bright side, because it’s really necessary sometimes to find one, we saw a fox on the late night drive away from the house. More than that, the kids, pets, and I all managed to get out the door in what must have been a kid-pet-mom world-record setting time. And everyone is fine. And the exciting flames didn’t manage to set fire to the house, so it will be fine once it is warm again. And many, many more things.

But all in all, I have to say that 2012 is a year I’ll not grieve to see come to an end. It’s been rough on most everyone I know, much harder for many than it has been for us. As we limp our way into the darkest days of the winter, my thoughts are on all those small blessings, the everyday ones that are so easy to take for granted. Not even small, though they can be easily forgotten, things like family, like the certainty that spring follows on the heels of these cold times. Like having enough to be able to share.

If this has been a hard year for you, you’re not alone. If this has been a great year for you, it’s okay to feel good about it. Tell me how 2012 has treated you.