We started 2012 with a walk at the beach and a promise to breathe and keep things in balance.
It was the last time that happened all year.
Like many of you, we had a year full of ups and downs, challenges, setbacks, milestones and, well, you name it. Through it all, we tried — very hard — to keep laughing. Here are some of the highlights; click the links to read the full stories.
2012 marked the first time I took a business trip — two actually — and I was really sweating the plane and being away from home. I managed to survive, though, and get back home despite a delay out of SFO on account of some idiot plugging one of the plane’s toilets.
In April, Catherine turned 16 and celebrated in style. Later that month she and Basil took a weeklong trip to DisneyWorld with the GHS chorus, which competed and had a ball performing and visiting the parks. I enjoyed an extended uninterrupted train of thought in their absence and since they returned I’ve been wondering when they plan to leave again.
In May, I celebrated a year of teaching Jazzercise — a second job for me and one that reaps enormous rewards. How lucky I am to enjoy the company of such amazing women and be privileged to bring the gift of fitness to people several times a week. Plus, the dance floor seems to be the only place where people listen to me.
Late in the spring we were feeling a little flush and so bought new carpeting, repainted Catherine’s room and purchased a new sofa for the den to replace the old one that had seen better days. Of course this all elicited a deluge of difficulties — the lawn mower, coffee maker, oven and dishwasher decided to give up and before we knew it we were replacing them all.
Also over the summer, I had perhaps my most memorable moment: I left the house wearing two different shoes, and didn’t notice until Catherine and I were outside the high school ready to deliver her Epi-Pen and inhaler to the nurse’s office before the start of school.
We spent a few days in Seaside Heights, N.J., in August, and then a few months later, Catherine and Basil were back in the neighborhood helping to deliver three truckloads of donations for the residents there who lost all in Hurricane Sandy.
Unlike so many people, we escaped Sandy with minor tree damage in the yard and few days of no power. The root ball of the one uprooted tree in our backyard was finally chopped apart and carted away last week after several days’ work. Its removal is our Christmas gift to each other this year.
Speaking of which, we ended the year on some high notes, with Catherine’s wonderful choral concert and some news I’ve been hoping and wishing for: It seems I have found my birth mother. I’ve had no luck contacting her by phone yet to confirm the information that matches so well, but I’m determined that 2013 will be the year I can finally say “I know” and not “I wonder.” (Yes, all you journalist friends, I know I buried my lede. …)
From our house to yours, warm wishes for a holiday season brimming with love and laughter.