Project 52, Week 50, Part Four – Photos and Friends

It’s time for Project 52, Week 50!

50 weeks ago, on my 52nd birthday, I began Project 52. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, each week I’m taking one year of my life and blogging about it. This week, I’m covering the year I was 50 — June 14, 2014, to June 14, 2015.

This week, I’ve already covered the 75th Annual Bates Family Reunion, Fabulous Friends at Fifty, and Herons and Egrets Around My Beautiful Lake, and I’ve only covered through the beginning of November.

At this time, I was enjoying my work at the library, but still hoping for the Youth Material Selector position. I found out on November 18 – more than six weeks after my second interview, and almost a year after the position had come open – that I had not gotten the job. Fortunately, I was enjoying my current job. It’s probably better for me in the long run – a whole lot more variety and more work directly with the public. But I can still follow the new children’s books. All the same, at the time this news was a blow.

Meanwhile, we did some marshmallow flinging (and measuring the distances they traveled) in Crazy 8s Math Club – just to remind me I do have an awesome job.

I got contacted by my first scammer via OKCupid. No, he never asked me for money. But we were emailing, and he didn’t want to meet, and I realized I didn’t want to exchange endearments with someone I didn’t even know. He didn’t speak good English, and said some amusing things like, “If you were here, I would kiss you in the head.” But when I wasn’t buying it, he stopped emailing. Annoying and discouraging. Months later, another scammer started emailing me. I’m embarrassed that it wasn’t until a friend expressed skepticism about the guy’s claimed military background that I thought to google his description of himself – and found the military bio that he’d copied from!

Google is your friend in finding scammers, by the way! You can also do a reverse image search with the picture. In this way, I discovered that the picture of that good-looking man was actually the picture of a male model whose name was not the same as the one on the profile.

Of course, if they fail at basic math in the tragic story of their wife’s death and the grandson in Paris who would have to have been born when the son they told you about was 12 years old – well, they shouldn’t be trying to scam a math major!

It was all very discouraging. Eventually, I decided that I lucked out with meeting my ex-boyfriend John and making four additional friends because of meeting him.

I’m a hard one to match by online dating. My Christian faith is very important to me – but I have some nontraditional views, that God will eventually save everyone. And I’m politically liberal, but I prefer evangelical worship services and believe that God will give you guidance about your everyday life – and want to find a man who’s seeking to please God in his everyday life. I have two Master’s degrees, which could be intimidating, and I have a weakness for men who can write an articulate sentence.

I think I did stay online for most of the rest of the year I was 50. But eventually, when the scammers started getting me angry (One said he loved my enthusiasm. Well, I am enthusiastic. How dare he pretend to genuinely appreciate me when he was only planning to use me?) – I decided to take a break. Now it doesn’t seem fair to start dating someone right before I start reading for the Newbery committee – so I will rethink things after that finishes. But for now, I still have prayer!

At the time, I was again reading for the Cybils Awards. It’s always fun to get boxes of books in the mail!

Our system hosted author Jennifer Holm at an event at the government center, and I got to usher.

And I simply didn’t get tired of my lake and all the life it sustained.

On December 4th, I went to another Christian concert with Mabel, featuring Casting Crowns, Mandisa, and Sidewalk Prophets. It was inspiring! I especially love Casting Crowns’ song “Thrive.” I was thriving!

Here are some fun pictures from our staff Christmas party. The game we played each year was that if you got someone to say the word “Yes,” you could take their beads. I was into it that year!

Here I am with my friends Paul, James, and Lynne. (Alas! None of them still work at Fairfax!)

And the whole group!

Then came our Small Group Christmas party:

George and Nancy:

Evie and Rob:

Debbie and Ray:

Renee and Erik:

On Christmas Day itself, I had a lovely cozy morning with Tim:

The sky was extra beautiful on Christmas Day that year.

We finished up Christmas Day with dinner at Darlene’s house and taught them how to play Splendor!

I enjoyed stalking the heron lots more that weekend!

By the end of the year, we’d made our Cybils short list. That year our Finalists were: Greenglass House, The Castle Behind Thorns, The Jupiter Pirates, The Boys of Blur, Nuts to You, The Swallow, and The Luck Uglies.

And we finished out the year with a party with church folks at the Sallees’

And that brings me to the end of 2014! I’m making slow progress with Year 50, but it was a big year!

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