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What a Year! A Recap of My 2012

2012 was a huge year for me. I got a new dog, my husband came back from Afghanistan in one piece, I published my second book, my daughter kicks butt in every way, and I am blessed with some of the most amazing and generous blog readers out there. It’s enough to make a girl weep. (Excuse me while I blow my nose ;-).

Without further ado, here is a recap of the past twelve rollicking months.

  • Jake is deployed to Afghanistan 1 of 16
    Jake is deployed to Afghanistan
    2012 begins with Jake, a Captain in the Army Reserves, nine months into a deployment to Kandahar, the spiritual homeland of the Taliban and the most dangerous province in Afghanistan. Despite the dangers, he becomes close with a few of the Afghan soldiers he is tasked with mentoring.
  • Solha is attacked 2 of 16
    Solha is attacked
    The stray puppy Jake befriends while in Afghanistan escapes from her enclosure and is visciously attacked by a pack of feral dogs. The soldiers find Solha lying in a ditch. They struggle to nurse her back to health.
  • Jake is determined to bring Solha to the United States 3 of 16
    Jake is determined to bring Solha to the United States
    Jake manages to link up with the animal charity Nowzad that rescues stray and abandoned animals in Afghanistan and other war torn countries. The charity agrees to facilitate Solha's transport if we can come up with the $3,000 it costs to ship her home (commercial airlines don't exactly travel to Afghanistan so securing flights are tricky).
  • I host a fundraiser on my blog 4 of 16
    I host a fundraiser on my blog
    Within a day and a half of posting a fundraiser on my blog, extremely generous readers help me come up with the $3,000 it costs to transport Solha home. Jake and I are both elated, stunned and extremely grateful. It's a reminder that even though I spent a year alone as a single parent in the country, I was never truly alone. I wire Nowzad the money; flights are secured. I e-hug all my wonderful blog readers.
  • My book comes out! 5 of 16
    My book comes out!
    As I prepare for Solha to arrive in the United States, my book Rurally Screwed publishes! It's a dream come true.
  • Solha lands in the United States! 6 of 16
    Solha lands in the United States!
    Our new Afghan friend arrives days before Jake is due to come home. Solha is stunned by her new world, having never seen grass in her young life. Right away, I can tell that she isn't like dogs in the United States. She is super strong and agile, can bust out of any enclosure and forages for food by eating weeds and bark -- our property is a smorgasbord compared to Kandahar.
  • Jake comes home! 7 of 16
    Jake comes home!
    A few days later, Jake arrives in the United States. Solha, June and I head to the airport late at night to meet him. He hasn't seen June and I for an entire year. It's a joyful, tearful family reunion. While we embrace, Solha eats a seatbelt.
  • I land the cover of the New York Post 8 of 16
    I land the cover of the New York Post
    That's me, wearing a mountain of makeup, designer duds and holding a chicken, evidence I'll do whatever it takes to promote my book, even if it means dying of embarrassment.
  • Solha slowly adjusts to the country life 9 of 16
    Solha slowly adjusts to the country life
    I won't lie -- it hasn't been a seamless transition, but overall Solha seems to enjoy her new life in the country. No Taliban in Virginia! Yes!
  • Cicada invasion 10 of 16
    Cicada invasion
    The very air hums with an infestation of cicadas that emerge from the ground in massive numbers once every 17 years. The bugs are everywhere! Ordinarily, I'd think a pestilence was beyond gross but because it happens during such a momentous year, I take it as a happy omen.
  • My family starts to get back to normal 11 of 16
    My family starts to get back to normal
    For us, this means chicken farming and chores. Raising birds for meat is sooooo much easier with the muscle (Jake) around. He is so happy to be home.
  • The power goes out 12 of 16
    The power goes out
    A terrible Dericho wipes out the power during the hottest week of the year. For some families, this is a travesty. For us, it's not a big deal because we already sorta live like pioneers (what is this thing, "AC?").
  • June turns two 13 of 16
    June turns two
    We celebrate by making her first fruit pizza. Disney World, it's not, but it does the job.
  • We build a new barn 14 of 16
    We build a new barn
    After a year in a place like Afghanistan, Jake is doubly grateful for our comfortable country life.
  • June starts preschool 15 of 16
    June starts preschool
    She's not a baby anymore.
  • 2012 ends 16 of 16
    2012 ends
    What a year! I have so much to be thankful for -- a new dog, a new book, a wonderful daughter, so many amazing blog readers, AND I got my husband back. I can only imagine what 2013 might bring. Can't wait!


Jessie blogs at Rurally Screwed. Check out her books Rurally Screwed and Tart & Sweet


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