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Monday, December 30, 2013

Year End

This has been a tumultuous year.  Gretchen's accident has been the major story of the year for us.  Thankfully, she has recovered amazingly well from her terrible injury, but of course things won't ever be quite the same for her.  However, she is adjusting to her "new normal", and for those who don't know her well, they would not even notice any difference.  Compared to where she was on that terrible day in February, it's a miracle that she has recovered as well as she has.  She is very lucky, and so am I.

As for myself, I am grateful that I have continued in remission from MM.  It will be two years in March since my stem cell transplant, and so far I feel terrific.  Of course, this is month-to-month, and I keep waiting for the "Sword of Damocles" to eventually fall.  But until then, yay!

We have had a wonderful Holiday Season, albeit a bit stressful.  We were blessed to have the whole family visit us over Christmas.  Holly and Ryan flew in from San Francisco on the Saturday before Christmas.  Then Brian, Pam, and our 3-year old grandson, Logan, drove up from New Jersey on Christmas Eve.

Logan and Sophie
Friends and family, including Jeff and his girlfriend, Christine, celebrated here on Christmas Eve, as we savored pasta and our traditional ham.   It was a real treat to experience the excitement of Christmas morning as Logan opened his gifts from Santa.  Everyone, including Jason, was here to enjoy Christmas day.  A feast of roast prime rib rounded out the day.  It couldn't have been better! 

Over the past ten days, our fireplace has been constantly ablaze, as the winter weather has enveloped us.  As in days of yore, the hearth has drawn our family together over these holiday times.  We probably went through a half a cord of wood, but it has been so comfortable and satisfying for us to all gather around the fire and savor our time together.

Yesterday, Jeff, Brian, Christine, and I all went to the Patriots game against the Buffalo Bills.  The weather was terrible, but we had a great time tailgating with Ryan and his family. Despite the torrential downpour of rain during the game, we had a great time, especially since the Pats pulled out another win.

As wonderful as this was, I'm getting a little old to spend a whole day braving the elements to tailgate and watch a Patriots game while freezing my ass off or soaking to the bone and then spending another two hours or more fighting traffic to get back home.  Know what I mean?  I think I'll pass on trying to go to a playoff game this year.  A comfy seat in front of the TV beckons.

Today, everyone returned home, and we are now surrounded by a somewhat blissful silence.  Ah, the sounds of silence!  Tomorrow is New Years Eve, and we have no plans.  There was a time when New Years Eve was a time of great excitement.  One year as a child, I wanted to stay up for midnight, but my mom made me go to bed.  I lay awake in an excited state until the bewitching hour, when I got up and went downstairs to celebrate somehow. My mother, who was still up, said "So what do you want to do?"  So I decided to go outside and celebrate by throwing a snowball at midnight.  God!  What a dork I was.

As an adult, I used to host New Years Eve parties for many years.  Wahoo!  But times have changed.  Now, I no longer have any desire to stay awake to ring in the New Year.  I mean really, what is the difference between 11:59 and 12:01?  Nada!   I expect we will be in bed long before that witching hour.  Goodnight everyone, and have a Happy New Year!

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