Kerri Ough - a work in progress...

In the Rearview Mirror: 2016

January 2016

I remember starting the year sober tromping through fresh snow in St. John’s. I hadn’t been altogether healthy for a long time leading into January, but I have a long held tradition of staying dead-sober for the first day of the new year.  I like to ring in January 1st with a clear head and go traipsing around the city where everyone else is hungover or sleeping in.  I remember taking some of my favourite photos of St John’s on January 1st of this year. Soon after, I went on tour with the band to the Prairies. It was a 10-day swing in the snow to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and it went really well.

I landed in Ontario at the end of January, in time for my eldest sister Nicole’s birthday. We celebrated with dinner at Dad’s and I made my very first chocolate cake from scratch. I stayed around to clean a little, to think about mom, to figure some shit out and get a tattoo.

St John's Jan 1 2016

February 2016

I got my first tattoo on February 2nd at Pearl Harbour Gift Shop in Toronto. It hurt like I imagine a saw hacking through my sensitive skin would hurt, and it took ten days to scab and heal, but I love it. It was the beginning of something new for me. It’s a reminder to tell me to shape up and take care of myself, so I can stick around a long time for those who want me around. I flew home on February 3rd and started my first Whole 30: a way of eating that eliminated sugar, bread, dairy, legumes, booze and more from my diet. By mid-month I had lost weight, was sleeping better and had fewer aches and pains in my joints. It was an incredible experiment and it opened my eyes to my bad habits with chips and chocolate. I am a Whole 30 convert.

Tattoo - 2 days old

March 2016

I settled into a routine of drawing every day in March. I was happy to be home, with a routine and off the road for a few months (but for a vacation to Hawaii coming up March 21st.) 

What I remember most about the first three weeks of March is sleeping a lot, eating good food, hiking when the weather allowed and a ton of drawing. My birthday dinner was spent with my Newfoundland family at Mallard Cottage. Then we flew to Ontario and the celebrations continued in Port Hope at my skating birthday party at the local rink. In Port Hope, Brian and I met up with our dear friends John and Gabrielle for dinner before hitting the road (er, sky) for a two-week vacation to Hawaii. Ah, two glorious sun-filled weeks. Surfing, reading, drinking, walking, swimming, hiking and bathing in the sunlight. Hawaii is my new favourite place on earth.

Drawing_March2016

April 2016 

From Hawaii we hopscotched our way home to St John’s, NL via Vancouver, BC to visit our friends Nicole and Iain, and their daughters (including their new baby!) We then ferried to Victoria, BC to visit Sue and Matt (and their new baby!)  I squeezed in a visit with my childhood friend Patricia and her family before taking the early flight from Victoria to Toronto to visit Brian’s mom and brother, then to Port Hope for my Dad’s surprise 70th birthday party. And what a birthday celebration it was! A surprise to end all surprises. Everyone came, his friends, his family, his neighbours, his old work buddies, and all of us kids. The next day we squeezed in a visit with Brian’s Dad before flying back to St John’s where I would stay put for two and a half months.

Dad Surprise 70th

May 2016
In May I continued to explore my drawing potential and Brian and I took a trip to Gros Morne for the long weekend. There was hiking, camping, eating, drinking, reading and sleeping. Just being outside together was perfect, but we were given stunning weather (unheard of in May.) My best sleeps are in tents.

BO_grosmorne-may2016

June 2016
The last partial month at home enjoying my routine before hitting the road again with the band for five special house concerts.  Oh, and I got my eyes lasered. NO MORE GLASSES, NO MORE CONTACTS. Worth every penny, er, dollar (er, hundreds of dollars…)

July 2016 

Our touring schedule was frenetic, and it made the summer hard. We were darting all over the place in a way that made me weary. To the west cost, then to the US midwest  – where we played one of our top 3 hottest shows in Manhattan Kansas. We were back in Ontario again at the end of the month – all the shows were great, but it was hard on our bodies (and our wallets.)

August 2016 

There were three excellent things about August. Visiting with family in Ontario. Spending time in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia (and making the decision to return in February to record our next album there.) Third, getting to know my new friend Meaghan after our show in Indian River, PEI. The tour routing continued to take a toll on my mind and body (Alberta to NS to PEI is not smart routing.) I craved my own bed, I wanted to be home again.

September 2016

This was my favourite month of 2016 for a few reasons. 1) Brian went on a camping trip to Wyoming which meant I had my house to myself for the first time since moving here for 9 consecutive nights.  2) I joined the stunning, relatively new YMCA in St. John’s and started running again. 3) I stopped eating sugar and stopped drinking for the second month in 2016, and, not surprisingly was happier and healthier than I had been since February. 4) I had not one, but two beautiful visits with my friend Treasa who was visiting from Ontario and 5) at the end of the month, I had a long overdue trip to London, ON to hang with two of the best humans I know, Carolyn and Lisa.

KO sept 2016

October 2016

I walked into the salon and asked her to chop my hair off.  Blond and short. The way I love it. It was necessary, and long overdue.  For Hallowe’en, I dressed up as a pickle and handed out a ton of candy to the neighbourhood kids. We had the most kids we’ve had in four years. Brian and I carved the perfect pair of pumpkins: he, an alien gourd, and me a traditional scary pumpkin face.

pumpkins-oct2016

November 2016 

Brian and I celebrated 4 years married, and 10 years together with dinner at Merchant Tavern in St. John’s. I continued running, and started beating some personal bests. Traveled to Tennessee with Caroline and Sue and their 8 month old babies and played two excellent trio shows, one of them after driving 7 hours across the state with hilarious babies napping intermittently in the back of the van.

December 2016

2016 was a big anniversary for our band, 10 years on the road, making music and carving out space for us in this weird and wonderful music industry. We toured across Canada, dipped into the US for a day, and ended with a big blowout show in Cobourg. Brian flew in for a few days and we did the familiar run around Ontario hugging our loved ones, and kissing babies. We got home a few days before Christmas and just ate, and drank and slept as much as possible. We made big plans for 2017 with a couple of resolutions we’ll share with you at the end of next year. In my short life, 2016 will go down in history as the year I made the most transformations, inside and out. I won’t ever forget the progress and the setbacks, the pain and the discomfort of that growth, and the successes and little wins I saw in 365 days.

Dec2016_DadsHomeTurf

Thanks for reading.

xo/ko

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