Thanksgiving is a great time to reminisce. I have been blessed with another great year. I am thankful!
This year, we welcomed grandchild #6 into this world, baby Olivia. Thank you Kelly and Jason, for this precious little treasure! 😀
We have six grandchildren now. That in itself seems incredible to me, surreal. It is the source of my deepest gratitude, an affirmation that I have accomplished my mission in life. I feel like I have passed some sort of test. Like my First Grade self when he did a good job, the Universe has put a star on my forehead – six stars actually!
Here is a picture of them at their group baptism a few months ago:
I am thankful for each one of them. It is so fun watching them grow. It is hard to believe Max is already four, and Kenzie two! Thank you, Megan and Mike, for always leading the way!
None of this would have been possible without my children. I am so very proud of the good people they are. Accomplished, hard-working, generous, kind, loving, intelligent, fun. A father could simply not ask for more! – All four are married now, as this year Kevin married Natalie in a spectacular wedding! Welcome to the fam, Natalie!
Before that, Kevin invited me to his bachelor party. I was honored to be included in a group of such outstanding young men. Of course, a great time was had by all, and… I made friends with a wolf!
We made several trips this year to our Ohio homeland to visit with family, and we were visited in Winston Salem by my daughter Ginny, husband James, and their Helena, Sylvie and Alexander. We enjoyed some fun, hot-summer days with dinosaurs, the SciWorks Children’s Museum, haircuts with grandma Gail, violin shopping, and what-not. Our doors are always open to visitors from afar!
Besides our trips to Ohio, Gail and I enjoyed several other trips, starting with our winter birding trip in January with our Forsyth Audubon group. This year we went to the South Carolina coast. Among the countless memorable moments, we logged another life bird, this lovely Roseate Spoonbill:
In February, we met up with my brother Ed and wife Genie at the Chicago Auto Show for their charity event. What a fun weekend with an incredibly fun couple!
May was an outstanding month of Spring migration birding. This year we revisited two separate spectacular locations: the New River Birding and Nature Festival in West Virginia, and Magee Marsh in Ohio. Most memorable moments were Kevin and Natalie joining us for a day at Magee Marsh!
In October, we enjoyed a few days on horseback at our annual trip with Eric to Pisgah View Ranch. Great weather, delicious food, and of course beautiful horses. I enjoyed a night of star-gazing. Eric enjoyed the square dancing!
Earlier this month, we geeked out at the Walker Stalker convention in Atlanta with friends Sally Reed and her daughter Marie. This is THE convention for fans of The Walking Dead. It was awesome to be in the same room with cast members, directors, producers, etc. We took a day to visit several filming locations. What fun! Here’s a pic with Carol! Carol!!
After that, we drove down to New Orleans, a city that had somehow escaped Gail and me. It was our first time in NOLA and we touristed the heck out of it! Some people are probably still reeling from our excessive Facebook pictures and checkins. Ha!
Oh yeah, another thing this year, I quit my job! For the past 8 years I have been working as an Internal Medicine hospitalist in Winston Salem, for a company that has changed hands twice during those eight years. Too many things had changed, and not all for the better. So, 33 years into my career, I quit, again, to start something new, again! I am now working purely as a locum tenens, independent contractor, doing the same Internal Medicine hospitalist work, now in several locations throughout North Carolina. To organize it all, Gail and I started our own company, Broadwings, PLLC.
Oh, and yet another thing, this year I wrote my first novel! I had already self-published a few small books, but they were nothing compared to this project. I’m pretty proud of it, and I have met a world of creative people who have truly enriched my life. Mission 51 is a fun Science Fiction/Historical Fiction that is still in the works but soon-to-be-published. If you have not checked out the project, I invite you to visit the Mission 51 home page on Inkshares and follow! The book will be dedicated to my immigrant parents, with all my love. 👽
None of these things would be special if they weren’t enjoyed and shared with others. As always, I am so very grateful for the countless wonderful people who are present in my life. Thank you Gail, for sharing every moment. You are the perfect partner, and we make a great team! – Thank you, family. You are my very literal blood. I treasure every moment we are able to spend together. – Thank you friends and eFriends, here, there, and all over the world. I value every interaction I have with you. You make me feel like a true citizen of the world. I feel the love! – And thank you, Universe, for the gifts of loving parents, loving family, loving friends, good health, food on the table, roof over my head, education, opportunities, satisfying work, and for my energy and curiosity.
It has been a super-great 2016. I am grateful! 😀