Happy New Year!

Ah, new beginnings! A time to reflect on the old and plan for the new. A time to assess and make changes. A time for New Year’s Resolutions!

As you haven’t heard from me in a while, I figured I’d share with you a few of my resolutions that are intended to make me a better person.

1.

Hmm. Let’s skip that one and head straight to

2.

Okay, not much luck with that one either. Maybe I’ll just fill you in on last year’s happenings and to hell with any improvements!

A steady constant has been the monthly outings with the ladies to the local golf courses. I have added my twist to scoring, as regular scoring is just too complicated, with bogies, eagles, birdies, doubles, triples and par. Simplifying, if I end the day with as many balls as I started, I call it “par”. More balls, under par; less, well you get the idea. Last year, I was on par for par. The best part of golfing, anyhow, is the socializing!

I continue to play softball, although much slower than ever. You can still see hints of my former blazing speed when the batter hits the ball right back up the middle. I still manage to get all my body parts and major organs out of the direct path of the ball. My shortstops really appreciate the extra field they have to cover. They say it keeps them in shape.

When I can muster up the energy after a long day at work, I head out to a few local clubs to listen to some music. My regular monthly outing is to a local coffee-house to listen to NetteRadio‘s latest showcase. The artists vary, but the acoustic music in the coffee-house setting is right up my alley. Occasionally I’ll head up to hob nob with the Beverly Hills crowd to listen to Justin Grennan and the Project, a smooth rhythm and blues band.

Rounding out my cultural education usually involves my yearly sojourn to Laguna Beach with good friends to see the current conception of Pageant of the Masters. No matter how many times I see this show, I am completely amazed at the artistic vision to take live models and seamlessly incorporate them into masterpiece renditions.

Another long anticipated venue was the latest Cirque du Soleil to hit the area. The tickets were purchased more than a year in advance, but it was worth seeing! Next January is Michael Jackson’s Immortal Tour. I hope tickets are still available!

Work has taken over much of my life, and the physicalness of my job (not to mention my advanced years!) leaves me little energy for much else. I guess I should be thankful that business is steady, but Calgon is no longer able to take me away! I did muster up the strength to attend a photography class at the local college. Learning how to enhance my photos with software was it’s purpose. Hopefully by Spring, I’ll be able to get back out there and put all my new-found knowledge to work making my art.

In October, I took an extended vacation to travel around the United States in my car! The intent of traveling in October was to attend my high school reunion. It was an extraordinary journey that came to being as a minor protest against airlines and their “charge for everything” idiocy. There is something to be said for non violent protests, as the trip not only got me back in touch with Mother Nature, but back in touch with many of my childhood friends.

The weather cooperated too, for in a 25 day trip, my convertible’s top was up for only 2 HOURS! I was able to see the astonishing colors and sites of Bryce Canyon, fall foliage across the nation, and gorgeous vistas in the Rocky, Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Smokey Mountain Ranges.

The best part of the journey, though, was the time spent with family and friends, all across the nation. The generosity of spirit of the friends I hadn’t seen in 10-30 years who opened their homes to me, putting me up, feeding me and sharing advice on other sites to see was immense. A special thank you to Bryan and Tracy, Cher, Doug and Sue, Joann and Charles, and Lisa. And a sad farewell to Mike. Time has gone by but the joyful memories linger.

Spending time reminiscing with high school friends, relishing the memories of youthful play reinforced my belief in a charmed upbringing. Being home during my birthday month also meant being home to celebrate with my family. Morning kisses from my nephews, Sister’s apple crisp on the stove, Mom, pleased with her technology upgrades and a dinner or two to celebrate the start of another birth year all part of my cherished memories.

I hope this note finds you happy, healthy and looking forward to a year filled with the same.

And I hope your New Year’s Resolutions are as simple as mine, because you’re all perfect just the way you are!

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