Well it’s happened again: another year has come and gone and I still haven’t won the lottery. Oh, don’t worry, I’m not in panic mode yet, but I must admit time is running out. After all, I wouldn’t want to win millions and millions of dollars and not have the time to spend it all. Would you? Of course not. That would be the ultimate insult.
But, all kidding aside, it is hard to believe that it’s nearly time to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve once more. A lot has changed. For one thing, at this time last year I had only one granddaughter. Now I have two! I also had two cats, but now, sadly, I only have one (we lost Cassie in April). But we still have Calliope, who’s gotten a new lease on life, and is enjoying her time in the sun as the “only cat.” Over all, it’s been a pretty good year. Here’s a brief summary.
My little “company,” Escarpment Press, had the privilege of publishing two very unique books for two very interesting authors: Gene Masters (Silent Warriors: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific) and Lucelle Raad (Accidental Artist: Memoirs of a Flawed and Ignorant Traveller). Gene, a fellow fly fisherman, actually accepted my invitation to wet a line with me, and traveled from his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, to spend several enjoyable days this fall as a guest in our home in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
During the process of publishing her autobiography, Lucelle and I enjoyed many two-hour-long FaceTime sessions, and have really gotten to know one another. Her life story is an amazing one, and she is quite a stitch. look forward to our being friends for many years to come. My life is certainly richer for having both authors in it.
In the spring, I traveled to Bluffton, South Carolina, to visit my brother, Gene. We took a day to visit the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in nearby Pooler, Georgia, and also enjoyed a Savannah Bananas’ night baseball game. I admit that I ate way too much bad food, but surely worked off some of the excess calories as the two of us stood dancing for at least an hour after the game to the music of a group of college students who regularly attend.
In July, Becky and I traveled to Bellevue, Washington, to visit her daughter, Lauren, and son-in-law, Brad, and had nearly two weeks of perfect weather. We stayed most of the time at an Airbnb, and our host, Mu, a charming software engineer, made us feel as if we were staying with family. Rather than attempt to navigate the busy traffic of nearby Seattle, we chose to use public transportation, and were pleasantly surprised at the freedom it gave us to really enjoy our stay. Highlights of our trip were visits to Bainbridge Island, the Space Needle, the aquarium, and the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit. Using our Orca travel pass, getting around was a breeze, and I can’t say enough about the excellent public transportation in Seattle.
Last month, Becky had successful cataract surgery, and is now seeing better than she ever has before. I guess that means I ought to pay special attention to keeping my office space nice and neat and my scraggly facial hair more closely shaved. Yeah, right!
Finally, over the holiday season, my two sons, Dave and Matt, their wives, Robin and Stacy, and our two granddaughters, Abigail and Alice, will be visiting us for a day or so (I can hardly wait to see them). Then, on Christmas Eve, Lauren and Brad are flying in from Seattle for a much anticipated, four-day visit. Sadly, Becky’s son, Jared, won’t be with us for the holidays. But at least we got to see him over the summer, when he surprised us a with three-day visit. He’s a licensed massage therapist and life coach, and he left us eating and feeling better than ever.
All in all, it’s been a wonderful year, filled with many blessings, especially the family kind. I hope it’s been a good year for all of you, too. I’m taking the next two weeks off, so here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with health, prosperity, and lots of happiness.
See you in 2019!
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