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The Year 2014 - My Personal Review Page

2014. Oh yes, I'll take it ...
2014 was a breakout year. It feels like I got my heart back. And me and God got closer. Believe me, I still have loads of problems, fears, and nagging concerns about life, but something has indeed changed. I have crafted this page for me, not anyone else. So I can remember.

2014 was much better than 2013 and 2012. For that, I'm so grateful. I don't want the year to end.

Mount Democrat, Colorado
I did my usual summer climbs of 14ers and 13ers. That's me on Mount Democrat with Jake, the wonder dog of Buckskin Gulch.

Photos and write-up by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Bike Across America Route Bike Across USA III (that didn't happen) - The plan was to bike across the country a third time in Feburary-March, but plans fell through.

I still have my website running: I'm not sure if I'll ever go again, but the desire weighs on my heart and I do pray about it.

Bike Across USA Book Published Book - This has to be the biggest accomplishment of the year. I spent much of the spring doing a final editing run of Chapters 12 thru 18. Over the summer, my friend Chris did an amazing job proofreading it. By September, I began to work with a graphic designer who helped with the cover and layout, and it went "live" on Amazon on December 11. :)

Why not treat yourself to a copy of my bike across America story? It's available on Amazon in print and as a Kindle eBook.

Horse Ranch in Colorado Splankna Counseling - Many thanks to Donna in Buena Vista for introducing me to Splankna counseling in 2014. I think I saw her five or six times -- each session was valuable in helping win my heart back.

Adjacent Image: A group of horses in Chaffee County. I also made a video as I biked past them. :)

Turner Peak, Colorado Men's Ministry Groups - Thanks to Kent Naegele who started a thriving men's ministry that's part of Clearview Community Church. We did the "Fathered by God" video series, followed by the "Wild at Heart" video series. Then in the fall, I had the honor of leading my own group on Wednesday nights.

The most important thing to say about this is ... God healed my wound. (At least one of my wounds, maybe more?) It's still a daily process to fight for my heart, to claim the life-changing truths as a son of God and lover of Jesus. As I said earlier, I'm not the same person. And this is good!

Voice Memos - I got my first iPhone in February. Among the many benefits, I discovered the voice memo function where many days I was at the Buena Vista Rodeo Grounds or "my special, secret place in the forest" to pray aloud to God. The benefits of this discipline have been significant.

Adjacent image: The overlook on Lost Canyon Road during the fall colors season. (Sept. 23)

Salida Christian Counseling Salida Christian Counseling - My counseling practice with locations in Salida and Buena Vista has gone well. The number of clients is not where I'd like it to be, but I'm still grateful. In fact, I'll say that as leader that I've grown the most in the past year. I've learned to take risks, trust and believe in God, and never quit.

Great Sand Dunes National Park
High Dune with Mike

Mount Sherman, CO
Mount Sherman with Bill

Turner Peak with Thomas and Mike

Hiking Mountains - As usual, I did a lot of hiking in the high country. Special thanks to Mike Vernon for joining me a few times. I also climbed once with Bill Rogan, Thomas Lunt and Mike Hughes.

The most memorable hikes ...
  • Mount Shavano
  • Mount Sherman
  • Geissler Mountain
  • Peak 13078'
  • Mount Democrat
  • High Dune
  • Mount Princeton, CO Living with Sam - Special thanks to Sam for allowing me to rent a room for eight months. That proved to provide much stability for me, which was much needed after I took the risk of moving back to Chaffee County in October 2013.

    Secondly, I won't get into details, but I'm so thankful for how God used Julie to help me find my current living situation. Wooooo hooooo! :)

    Buena Vista, Colorado First Full Year Back In Buena Vista - 2014 was the first full year that I was back in Buena Vista. I'm so happy to be back in the mountains. :)

    The adjacent photo was taken as I stood on East Main Street on February 1, as part of a snow images collection. I posted it on the BV Traffic Light page and people went bonkers with liking and sharing it. :)

    Adopt a Highway Colorado Great Friends - I'd like to single out Kent, Pete, Mike, Chris, George and Jim. They know who they are. Just good people! :)

    Adjacent Photo: I thought my Adopt a Highway sign that reads "Friends of" was fitting image for this spot.

    2014 Fantasy Football Season Fantasy Football - We had another enjoyable fantasy football season. Keith Short, a first-time manager, won the championship with the South Park Swathers.

    The Garbage Cans went 9-4. I won my division, scored the highest regular season points, and got the #2 seed, but my team was disasterous in the playoffs. I got knocked off in the semifinals. The only positive is that I did win the Manager of the Year Award. :)

    Not Too Shabby Video Series - I made my first "not too shabby" video in November 2013, and I ran with it full force in 2014.

    Currently, I'm at 165 videos. Just click play and enjoy them in succession! :)

    Sunrise Health Insurance - I had reliable and affordable health insurance for 2014, which undoubtedly improved my well-being and mental health. (Previously I went 22 frightening months without insurance in 2012 and 2013.)

    I realize people have strong political opinions about Obamacare, and honestly, I take no position. All I will say is -- I'm grateful.

    Fall Foliage "Living the life" - Day to day stuff is never easy, but upon looking at all the photos and adventures I went on this year, it's hard not to smile.

    A few noteworthy excursions:
  • Turtleback Mountain, New Mexico (February 15)
  • Cycling Independence Pass (May 26)
  • Cycling the Steep Hill at Chalk Creek Canyon (June 10)
  • Fall Colors (September 19)
  • Me and Kelly Fight (Happened in 2003, but it's been on the front page all year)

    Heartbreak - I'll share something that embarrasses me. There was a girl in 2013 whom I fell in love with, but my heart was broken. For much of 2014, I really didn't get over her. It's just the way it was. I do wish this anonymous girl the very best -- I mean that.
  • Candy Crush Board Candy Crush - I began 2014 on Candy Crush level 515 and finish on 788. Hopefully I'll hit level 1000 in 2015! :)

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