Now that I have finally gotten in the rhythm with my blog after so many valiant attempts over the years, I thought I would start the tradition of a New Year’s post of reflection. Surely that’s a healthy thing to do, right? 😆

Let’s start with the bad.

We started the year on a couple of pretty low notes and the swings just kept coming all year long. We lost Jasper, my Jack Russell Terrier, to diabetes in late 2021 and found out in early 2022 that we were being forced out of our lease and would need to find a new home, again, in just three weeks. Luckily, we found a new home pretty quickly, albeit the rent is higher than we ever expected to pay but that is par for the course for this post-pandemic, late-stage capitalism, economic nightmare we are all living in now.

This Summer brought us a rash of medical and health issues for us and our families. We lost my “Papaw Trotter”, my father’s father, this year as well. He had more than his fair share of cancer battles, including a pretty bad case of lung cancer, and his body simply got tired. That does tend to happen when you get near 90, but it is always hard to lose someone no matter what the circumstance is.

This Autumn brought the death of our first family pup, D.J. (Dog Jr.) and Winter brought colder temps, for most of the country, than we have seen in seventy years due to a cell of cold air that escaped Siberia and washed across North America.

And now for the good? Well, kind of.

If I’m being honest, I’m having a hard time thinking of many good things that happened this year. The midterms? LOL At least a “red wave” wasn’t added to the heaping, steaming pile that was 2022.

We are, of course, perpetually thankful to be living here on the Oregon coast. It is beyond amazing and I can’t imagine being anywhere else for the rest of my life. We could really just use a little less stress in 2023, but hey, who wouldn’t wish for that?

How about a few things we enjoyed this year?


At the top of my list would have to be my photography. When we were younger, Crystal and I were both very into photography. We had a few film cameras and we constantly bought new cameras as the technology came about. When we started our relationship, there were no consumer digital cameras worth having. Our top of the line camera at the time produced 320×240 images – a bit more than a thumbnail these days. But, as life got busier and Lucy grew up, we just dropped the hobby for a long time. For me, it just got difficult to keep up with the cameras. The technology was moving so quickly and new cameras were getting more and more expensive.

However, we have now reached a point where there are more megapixels than you need. These super sharp digital photos that 50 megapixel camera produce just aren’t to my liking. I am much more of a fan of the film look and feel – more emotion than sharpness. So, finally the consumers win in a scenario. A 10-year-old digital camera is now more than 24 megapixels, which is more than enough for the hobbyist. I picked up a few mirrorless digital cameras, a handful of vintage lenses, and a beautiful Pentax K1000 35mm film camera. You can follow along with my photography journey here on the blog. I post 2-3 photo journals of a week in which I post the good shots from the day and sometimes notes about my progress practicing the craft.

Current Kit Status:

  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX100 Mirrorless Camera
  • Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera + 2 Kit Lenses
  • 7Artisans Sony eMount 27mm Prime Lens
  • Pentax K1000 35mm Film Camera + 2 Kit Lenses
  • Pentax SMC 35mm Prime Lens
  • Pentax SMC 50mm Prime Lens
  • Nikon D3300 DSLR Camera + 2 Kit Lenses

Renn Faires

We finally got to go to not one but two real renaissance faires. Another benefit of living in Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest in general, is the sizable faires. We attended the Oregon Renaissance Faire and the Cantebury Renaissance Faire. To be honest, my back was in such bad shape that we didn’t get to enjoy the full experience, however, it was a load of fun even with the limited time we had. The vendors were amazing, the food was way too expensive, and the whole place was brimming with amazing costumes. It was a creative inspiration wonderland.


We had a blast looking for agates this year and we found some really beautiful pieces. We’re going to try to get even more rockhounding in this year and maybe even move our hunt inland to explore some rivers and streams.

Looking forward.

I’m not a big fan of setting New Year’s resolutions based on my past experiences, but living the agency life for so long I do tend to think in milestones, so here are a few of those for this coming year:

  • Landscape Photography – start working on a photo book of the coast, explore more vintage lenses, and start selecting shots to offer as prints
  • Street Photography – much more of this!
  • Leather Crafts – I have purchased a full kit to get started working on leather crafts
  • Renn Faires – we’re very much looking forward ORF in June, I hope to spend more time at the event.
  • Camping – way more camping this year!
  • Health – lose even more weight, try new treatments like acupuncture for my back pain, hike more and more in hopes of brute forcing my body to last 5-10 miles (which directly effects my ability to do more landscape photography)

Puppy photos are always good. 🙂

  • Steven Trotter is a graphic designer (UX/UI, web & branding), photographer, and maker living and working on the Oregon Coast. Trotter Steven