31 December 2013

New Years Eve 2013 - Closing the Book

This is the last day of 2013. We had a very good year ourselves, but others not so much.

We learned today that a very dear Uncle passed away (actually on 12/1/2012). I don't know how this did not come to our attention but somehow it did not. I sent a Christmas card to my Uncle Tom and Aunt Betty as usual. Today I got a card from Aunt Betty noting my Uncle's death. I am crushed.

I have four favorite Uncles and he was one of my special peeps. (Now three have passed.) I was the flower girl at my Aunt and Uncle's wedding when I was a kid. And when Mike and I traveled to Chicago, we would always spend some time with them. On each visit they took us out to dinner, often to some pretty fancy places including his Country Club (he was a dentist and an avid golfer). Every time we tried to pay, but they would never let us. I still felt like their little flower girl when this happened. 

In October of 2012, we took my mom to Chicago to see her cousins, Tom and Betty. They had not been together in a number of years and were so happy to connect again. For the first time, Mike and I took these three 80-year-olds to late lunch. It was their choice, so no place fancy. We were so happy and proud to pay for the meal and I felt like a grown up finally.

Mom spent the next two nights with them, while Mike and I continued on to visit our good friends Tim and Nancy in the Chicago suburb of Palatine. We picked my mom up two days later, hugged and kissed good-bye. So many fond memories swirling in my head right now, but that was the last time I saw my dear Uncle Tom.

Our bro-in-law had a tough year also. First he got attacked twice by bee swarms in his backyard. Many stings on his face especially. Next he had knee surgery and now the poor guy as shingles. That's a lot of suffering in one year. 2014 has got to be better for you, Jim.

Our friends Tim and Joe both had surgeries and glad to say successful.

But all in all for us it has been a great year. Aches and pains yes, but no big issues. We had a wonderful trip to Key West FL, then on to Providence RI and back home. Another trip to New York City which was fabulous. Several trips to northern Michigan, including one to Sault Sainte Marie in the upper peninsula to visit his cousins and attend Engineer's Day at the Soo Locks. We drive to Lansing MI to see my brother Bob's newly renovated kitchen and it is faboooolous. And we visited Mike's family in Ohio on a frog hunt.

And we got a new rescue cat, Bella, in March. Don't know how we lived six month without a cat in our home. She is a brown and black tabby and looks like her cousin cat Widget in Ohio. They both have a wild side and get a little bitey at times. Sometimes we call her Bella-lugosi (the actor Bela Lugosi played the vampire in the 1931 film Count Dracula).

Besides traveling, we've been busy this year. Mike doing a tremendous amount of reading on his Kindle. Me doing various charity and other fun things--Ladies' Library Association, starting a new community garden, researching our ancestry, creating websites at Cool City Web Design, photography, and a few other things. I just can't seem to slow down.

I'll continue the above, but also adding a goal of completing the 365Project.org project. Here you take at least one photo a day and post it on line. To see my photos starting tomorrow, go to:

If you see something that touches you in some way (either positive or negative), leave a comment. That really makes it more fun for me. Or if this is up your alley, join the fun and take the challenge.

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