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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Macfarlane

And That's a Wrap - New Years Eve 2023

Updated: Dec 31

2023 is a year I'm not sorry to see in the rearview mirror. This year had some definite lows, but this New Year's Eve, I'm feeling optimistic and hopeful for what this coming year will bring. I realized a while back that there were as many truly great moments in 2023 as there were struggles. Wrapping up this year, it is those good moments I am focusing on. With that in mind, here is my BEST OF list from 2023.

Best books I read:

  1. Enough, by Cassidy Hutchinson. I knew the highlights of Cassidy's story, but in this book, written and read by Cassidy herself, I got a deeper sense of how it all went down. I got some comprehension on how these politicians lost the plot on what it means to serve your country -- they were all just people. And that assessment includes Hutchinson. That was my favourite part of this book. Here, Cassidy Hutchinson makes it clear that she was also imperfect. She doesn't shrink away from letting us see her humanity, and in that, her ultimate bravery stands out all the more.

  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, by Mark Manson. I was working in a bookstore when this book was first released, and I resisted purchasing it because everyone else was. This year, I finally read the book. Well, actually, I listened to it on audiobook while on road trips this summer. There is a surprising amount of wisdom in this book.

Favourite Road Trip Destinations:

  1. Edgewood, BC. I've wanted to see Edgewood for years, but this was my first time there. I liked it so much that I actually went back a second time. What I liked? Incredible scenery, friendly people, and a memorable swim in a waterfall.

  2. Kaslo, BC. I scheduled and canceled the trip to Kaslo three times before I finally managed to get there. Once I arrived, everything about the trip was wonderful. I think I was meant to be there exactly when I was. What I liked? An amazing thunderstom hit -- and no one reacted like the town might burn to the ground. Morning yoga on one of the most beautiful beaches. Live music night at the Angry Hen Brewing Company.

  3. Rock Creek, BC. Rock Creek gets an honorable mention here because I never intended to visit -- I was only driving through. Except, I had to find a washroom, so I pulled into a government campsite and that stop ultimately became the highlight of the trip. What I liked? Half of the campsite was burned by the fires of 2015, and driving in, you drove through miles of burned-out but still-standing timber. Swimming in the Kettle River and watching people jumping into the river off the trestle.

Best Waterfall:

  1. Edgewood - Now, to be fair, I saw several waterfalls this year, and Edgewood was actually one of the smallest. But I got to make some new friends in Edgewood, and I got to swim at the falls in Edgewood.

  2. Hemleken Falls - Located inside Wells Gray Provincial Park near Clearwater, this is one of the largest waterfalls in Canada, and it is magnificent.

Top Moments:

  1. Sheena took a semester off school and moved home so I got to see her whenever. Loved her drop-ins to just say hi.

  2. Swimming in the Edgewood waterfall.

  3. Meeting Michelle

  4. Bonfire on the beach in Savona.

  5. Interviewing my dad and all the time we got to spend together while I prepped up his biography, Wings of Art

  6. Building the She Shed ALL BY MYSELF

  7. Armstrong Tulip Festival

  8. Fintry with Alison. We went there together -- our first time -- and a week later that side of the lake largely burned down in a massive forest fire. Timing is everything.

  9. Hanging out with Craig at the beach while he dug boulders out of the sand with his bare hands and turned them into a beach chair equipped with a leafy shade canopy. That was one really great day.

  10. Meeting Char at her home in Summerland.

  11. Amanda Marshall concert with Maria.

  12. Growing lettuce in the garden for the first time ever.

  13. Falkland Stampede

  14. Successfully completing the draft of The Backwoods Writer: How to Write a Novel (Had to work for this one!)

  15. Publishing my second box set

  16. Playing in the kitchen with tea recipes - Tea by Leigh

  17. Creating an entryway bench and coat rack (very pleased with myself!)

  18. Mission Hill Estate Winery

  19. Boat ride and hot tub with Shannon, Chrissy, and Craig.

  20. Shakespeare in the park with Eric.

Best Songs:

  1. Open Flame - Tucker Beathard

  2. Meant for Me - Colbie Caillat

  3. The Fire - Chris Stapleton

  4. Say Goodbye - Zack McPhee

  5. Outta Yours (Acoustic) - Steven Lee Olson

  6. Your Place - Ashley Cooke

  7. Heart they Didn't Break - Maddie & Tae

  8. Where I Find God - Larry Fleet

  9. You Don't Get To - Kenny Chesney

  10. Dirt Cheap - Cody Johnson

  11. Beauty in the Struggle - Bryan Martin

  12. Friends - Tyler Braden

  13. Blink - Chase Matthew

  14. Some Horses - Old Dominion

  15. Never Not Remember You - Cooper Alan

  16. How You Make a Man - Craig Morgan

  17. Gratitude - Brandon Lake

  18. Feels Country to Me - Zack McPhee

  19. Hey Whiskey - Tim McGraw

  20. Steal My Summer - Russel Dickerson

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