Reflection and Reminiscing: 2019

Reflection and Reminiscing: 2019

2019 was full of amazing adventures!

Honestly, I always want to share everything I learn after discovering new places, but this year was so busy it was difficult for me to keep up.

Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Italy, Canada. A couple layovers in London, and a drive through Slovenia.

Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado. A couple layovers in Detroit, MI, and a drive through Vermont & New Hampshire.

All I wanted in the beginning of the year was enough snow to go snowshoeing, but I hurt my foot in January and was pretty much immobile for half of January and most of February. Frustrating.

Another frustrating thing I’ve had to deal with for most of the year is allergies. It’s dumb, and even more frustrating than I could have ever imagined. It has affected me greatly and I’m so very tired.

That’s life though, and I know how fortunate I am that these are my only complaints.

On a positive note, two awesome things that happened this year is I finished getting my bite and teeth fixed, and I celebrated being with Nathan for 20 years!

2019 was full of traveling adventures and attending live shows. I did a little bit of hiking and exploring as well as continued learning French, sewing bags, crafting books, and planning for future travels.

Also, I spent a fair amount of quality time with my cats.

Hopefully the pictures I chose for 2019 will tell some of the stories I’ve been wanting to share.

The Year in Pictures


Saratoga Springs, New York

Hayes Well Spring, Saratoga Spa State Park.


Worcester, Massachusetts

Me in front of a stone griffin who once stood guard at the original Worcester Union Station (1875).
Mural on the back of the Palladium.


Saratoga Springs, New York

Looking out my front window.
Barred Owl outside my garage.

I am the most unremarkable person.
In my waking hours I feel a perpetual panic.

the fear of being forgotten
An Existential Crisis

in a fleeting moment of reverie
I tripped over death.

Embraced by the silence
I felt a calm elation
Reveling in my own existence

in this place time doesn’t exist
Sweet Solitude

just beyond my reach
utterly hidden in plain sight
I saw you at the edge of winter
drinking in the sun
stoic, beautiful, silent

I saw you smiling in a moment of knowing
Excited to show me what was beyond my realm

I must admit, I hesitated.
I had been there before.

A place of perfection.

The decision has always been mine.
but somehow suffering is preferable.

your expression was so solemn.
and in my moment of doubt you disappeared

Sometimes I hear your distant song, calling me
Sadly, in my world I cannot find you

Some people call you Wisdom.
but you never told me your name.

Copyright © 2019 Alicen K. Hutcheson. All rights reserved.

I wrote this poem, inspired by my little Barred Owl.
Regularly through the winter, I watched him sunbathe on an old tree stump outside my sewing room window.

It broke my heart the day he died. I didn’t know he needed my help. I learned that owls get poisoned by eating poisoned prey, like mice.

Personally, I had never considered that birds of prey could inadvertently get poisoned, because I myself would never use poison to kill mice. I’m sensitive.
Plus, my cats do like to eat them when the mice are brazen enough to be seen.

Barred Owls mate for life and breed in the winter. The male hunts. The female keeps the nest safe.

I was so full of sorrow for the owl’s wife. Her husband never came home, and she didn’t know where he was.

In the spring, as the naked trees began growing their seasonal green attire, my husband and I saw a little Barred Owl in a tree near the old tree stump.

Cohoes, New York

Cohoes Falls, Overlook Park.


Schuylerville, New York

Dix Bridge, Hudson Crossing Park

Catskill Mountains, New York

Another birthday hike to Kaaterskill Falls. Happy 43rd birthday to me!

Bastion Falls!
Laughing at myself. Snow and ice was everywhere and I was hiking in my t-shirt almost immediately.
Kaaterskill Falls!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Me at the Christ Church Burial Ground.
Me in front of Independence Hall.


Albany, New York

I asked my oral surgeon, “Can I take a photo of my x-ray?”

Great Oak Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center.

Fort Ann, New York

Shelving Rock Falls
Me and Nathan at Shelving Rock Falls.

Bear Mountain State Park, New York

Bear Mountain across Hessian Lake.

Long Island City, New York

Holiday Inn L.I. City – Manhattan View


Sparrow Bush, New York

Visited some baby owls.

Saratoga Springs, New York

My teeth and bite are finally fixed and finished!! June 12th

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Nathan and I in Amsterdam!

Munich, Germany

Me with Sitzender Keiler.

Salzburg, Austria

Me at the Mirabell Gardens.

Werfen, Austria

My travel companions and I outside of Eisriesenwelt.

Abtenau, Austria

I love Primordial! (Photo taken by Becky).
Wolvennest. (Photo taken by Andrew).
Our last day on the mountain. #whiteshirtsunday

Kanfanar, Croatia

Group selfie at the Dvigrad Ruins.

Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj Townscape on the Adriatic Sea.

Pula, Croatia

Me inside the Pula Arena.

Venice, Italy

Me and the Church of Saint Barnabas.

Sirmione, Italy

Group selfie at Scaligero Castle, Lake Garda.

Verona, Italy

Me leaving Verona! It was uncomfortably hot…


Brooklyn, New York

Nathan and I on the Pulaski Bridge going into Brooklyn.

Jersey City, New Jersey

View of Downtown Manhattan from Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

Chatham, New York

Hand Hollow Conservation Area.

Saratoga Springs, New York

Yaddo Gardens


Saratoga Springs, New York

Me with “Lucky Penny” outside of Saratoga Gaming & Racing.

Otisfield, Maine

Thompson Lake.

A Visit From My Sister Rebekah

My sister came to visit with her husband and youngest son and I took them all over New York!

Saratoga Springs, NY

I took her to all the parks in town that have natural springs!

Schuylerville, NY

Hudson River from Dix Bridge.

Victory, NY

Saratoga Monument.

Lake George, NY

View from on top of Prospect Mountain.
Lake George.

New York City, NY

Atlas facing Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
One World Trade Center.
Lady Liberty.
Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge.

It was so great to share bits of New York with my sister and her family, I didn’t want it to ever end.


Provincetown, Massachusetts

The Atlantic Ocean.
Herring Cove Beach.

Corinth, New York

Spruce Mountain Elevation: 2,005 feet.

Spruce Mountain Fire Tower is 73 feet tall.
Me & Nathan at the top of the tower! 1st time my husband went to the top of a fire tower!


Amsterdam, New York

North Chuctanunda Creek.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Monument Mountain Elevation: 1,642 feet.

View from the top of Monument Mountain.

Denver, Colorado

Group selfie at Black Sky Brewery.

Red Rocks Park – Trading Post Trail

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Group selfie at Wardruna.

Estes Park, Colorado

Me in front of The Stanley Hotel!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Alberta Falls.
The Loch!
Nathan & I at Many Parks Curve Overlook.
Group selfie at Rainbow Curve at the end of our Rocky Mountain National Park adventure.

Hancock, Massachusetts

View from Route 20, near the Taconic Crest Trail.

Cohoes, New York

A view of the Mohawk River from Peebles Island.

Montreal, Quebec

Me and my husband outside Piranha Bar, October 31.

Nathan and I traveled up to Canada to celebrate our 20 year anniversary on Halloween. It was an evening of relentless wind and rain, but I had an amazing time with my husband doing what we love doing most, traveling and listening to live music!


Montreal, Quebec

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal
Looking up before entering the Basilica.
My 1st time inside the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal.
The Basilica’s Organ Pipes.
Le séminaire de Saint-Sulpice, built in the 17th century.
The Sculpture Garden
Le soleil.
Claudia & me. I love this cow!

Liverpool, New York

Onondaga Lake. I recently learned that this lake is considered the most polluted lake in the United States!
My friend Tambre & I did a little exploring at the Liverpool Village Cemetery.

Albany, New York

View from Patroon Island Bridge (I-90) heading towards Massachusetts.

Montreal, Quebec

Messe des Morts group selfie. I love this capture that Becky got. The men are tired, us ladies have been fueled by whiskey, and the usual question at a music festival can be asked, “Where is Andrew?”


Montreal, Quebec

Getting ready to hit the road after Messe des Morts. #whiteshirtsunday

Saratoga Springs, NY

My backyard during a snowstorm lull. We got around 15 inches of snow by the end of this Nor’easter.
I finally got to go snowshoeing this year! Some winter worship at the Woods Hollow Nature Preserve. I needed it to be winter.

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Group selfie outside the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Fall River, Massachusetts

Celebrating Becky’s birthday, ready for our anticipated Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum tour.
Inside the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum. #whiteshirtsunday
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum (Andrew J. Borden House, c. 1845).
Oak Grove Cemetery.

Albany, New York

My husband took this photo while I was driving. View from Patroon Island Bridge (I-90) heading towards Massachusetts.

Saratoga Springs, New York

My husband and I in our “ugly sweaters.”

2019 Events I Attended

  • Pours for Paws Pup Crawl – Downtown Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Rasputina – Putnam Place, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Peter Murphy 40 Years of Bauhaus, Ruby Celebration – Palladium, Worcester, MA
  • I’m on Cloud Wine: Wine & Chocolate Festival – The Desmond Hotel Albany, Albany, NY
  • Chris D’Elia: Follow the Leader Tour – The Egg, Albany, NY
  • Legions Descend, Sinmara, Suffering Hour – Ralph’s Diner, Worcester, MA
  • Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philadelphia – The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA
  • Tchornobog, Abyssal, Délétère, Merrimack, True Black Dawn – Brooklyn Bazaar, Brooklyn, NY
  • House of the Holy – Austria
  • Falls of Rauros, Wayfarer, Saor – Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NY
  • Saratoga Harness Racing – Saratoga Gaming & Racing, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Alice in Chains, Korn – Saratoga Performing Art Center (SPAC), Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Behemoth, Gojira, Slipknot – Saratoga Performing Art Center (SPAC), Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Cauchemar, Pagan Altar – Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NY
  • Sonata Arctica, Kamelot – Palladium, Worcester, MA
  • GWAR – Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY
  • Wardruna – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
  • Cloak, Uada, 1349 – Piranha Bar, Montreal, QC
  • King Diamond – Palladium, Worcester, MA
  • Belphegor – Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY
  • Messe des Morts – Montreal, QC

Not that it matters to most, but I made a top 5 list of my favorite metal albums released in 2019, with number 1 being the most addictive.

  1. Véhémence – Par le Sang Versé
  2. Alcest – Spiritual Instinct
  3. Ellende – Lebensnehmer
  4. Mgła – Age of Excuse
  5. Blut Aus Nord – Hallucinogen

Blog posts I actually finished in 2019

Historic Congress Park

Montreal Adventures

Europe 2019: How Could I Not Smile?

Camping Trip 2019: Hudson Highlands

Discovering Cohoes Falls

Saratoga Spa State Park 2019

All the Selfies!

In the end, I had a spectacular 2019 and look forward to what adventures will occur in 2020!