2011 – Our Year In Review

It is customary, at this time of year to take stock in life and review the passing year. These annual compilations don’t tend to announce any new news, but do serve the useful purpose of review, just in case you missed something. Hopefully, most readers will find this exercise instructive.

Now class, when I say, “ready to teach”, you say, “ready to learn”. Ready? “ready to teach”, “ready to learn”, “ready to teach”, “ready to learn”, “ready to teach”, “ready to learn”. That was great class, so let’s begin teaching and learning.

Compiling the above twelve representative photos, I’ve noticed this trend in my life that my most interesting activities occur in the warmer months. I attribute this to my winter habit of hibernation. Most representative of this behavior, was last February’s storm damage. I slept through the storm. Realization of the damage only dawned the next morning, while looking out the front windows, at the crowd of neighbors that had gathered to gawk.

The placeholders for March and December are just that. December’s photo at least is inline with the retrospective theme of this post, but March, with its dullness, is just mocking me. In real life, January was just as dull, but in the virtual world of this blog, it came alive. Anne’s cousin Mac, asked me to post about his friend, Raymond Davis. They were bike buddies and Mr. Davis was in the news. He was being held captive in Pakistan, as a CIA spy. This one post garnered quite a few hits. Most of the comments made were supportive of Davis, but some were not. I elected not to publish those comments.

The most sorrowful event of 2011, was the passing of my mother, in May. She had been ill for some time, so it was not unexpected. She lived a full life that involved travel around the world. My father’s photo of my mother, epitomizes this and captures the moment, as they float together in a hot air balloon above the Serengeti at dawn. She is missed by her husband, her three sons, two daughters-in-law three grandsons, and many friends.

Our two sons, Dan and Dave, the artist and the engineer, are in graduate school this year. At year’s end, Dan has one more semester to go at CalArts, for his Masters of Art, and Dave has one semester down and TBD to go at Purdue, for his Doctorate, in biomedical engineering. Also this year, Dan had a summer internship at Ox-Bow, in Saugatuck and Dave finished up a year-long internship at NIH.

The summer months were full of travel, mainly to Michigan. In preparation for these travels, we bought a Prius. Prius, iPhones and Lattes, we have arrived. Anne, Jay and Carl left for Michigan first, by way of Tennessee, not exactly a shortcut. I eventually arrived on the shores of Gitchy Gumee, but then only briefly. We headed down-state to the Indiana line, left the Prius with Dan and proceeded to bicycle up the Lake Michigan coastline to the Mackinac Bridge, some 500 miles, with 500 friends, some from Saint Louis, most new to us. It was a great time and put us in fine fettle for our annual MS-150 bicycle ride, in September. Also in September, on one of our local rides to the park, Anne had opportunity to rescue a balloonist, she really threw herself into the task.

So, another year has come and gone. I’m older and wiser now, well, at least older. 2011 was a year marked with loss, but it also showed signs of promise. Near the end of their season, this year’s Saint Louis Cardinals miraculously came alive. They went on to capture the championship, but not before passing through the fire that was the 6th game of the World Series. That game was probably the most excruciating and delightful that I have ever seen.

At year’s end, we find ourselves thankful for what we have, family and friends and the good health to enjoy both. We are mindful for what we have lost, but also remember what we once had. At the cusp of the new year, we are hopeful for what it might bring.

Leave a Reply