Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome, 2010!

Happy New Year's Eve to all you doubters who thought I wouldn't post again in 2009!!! When I started thinking about saying goodbye to 2009, I thought of my post from December 23, 2008 where I did a recap of the horrible year we had. All-in-all, I think 2009 did me proud and lived up to its expectation of being a better year. Here is my recap of 2009 (some of it may be redundant after my catch-up post in October, but here goes):

January 5th we moved my Dad into the retirement community and said goodbye to the house where we all grew up. It was a poignant moment and we all handled it differently. I said goodbye when I was there alone the night before it was "sold". It was like watching the end of a TV series when the cast walks off the set and it goes dark --- I had to lock the back door, putting my key inside on the counter before I shut the door. Looking back through the locked door into the kitchen where my family shared many a meal. It was sad, but I had to remind myself that it was what needed to happen for my Dad's sake. I have to drive by that house every day after work and I always look down the driveway to see who's home. I hope the new people have many happy memories in that house. My sister, P, is in touch with the new owners on Facebook, and they send her updates and pictures. It's pretty cool to see.

February was totally uneventful, and I loved it that way! We hired a math tutor for Pal, who comes to our house twice a week. He's a good kid, out of college and looking for a job. He does wonders with Pal. He even helps him with other homework if he has it.

The first weekend of March, Hubby and I were able to escape for a weekend and go to a luxury hotel in Maine. I say escape because Pal was NOT happy about us leaving, to say the least. He stayed with Hubby's sister and her family and according to him, he was "miserable" all weekend! We, however, were NOT miserable! We were near the ocean in Maine and that Saturday turned out to be an early Spring surprise, where the temps went up to 70ยบ! We walked on the beach and watched the crazy surfers, dogs running and little kids digging in the sand. Then we went for a drive up the coast, got a little lost, and stopped at a "world famous" hot dog stand. http://www.floshotdogs.com/

In April we barely stayed home! The first weekend took us to New Jersey to visit some friends who moved there. Their son is one of our many Godchildren, but the only one that both Hubby and I share as Godparents. (We each have 4 others, separately!). On that Saturday we all took the train into New York City and went to the American Museum of Natural History. What a place! It's where they filmed "Night at the Museum". It takes up 4 city blocks and you need two full days to see the whole thing. On the ride to and from NJ, Pal read the entire first book of Harry Potter! He has since read all 7, and even read 1 & 2 again!
On April school vacation, we went on a Cruise. It was just awesome. We went to St. Thomas, Tortola and Samana. The latter was horrible, but the other two made up for it. We even swam with the dolphins in Tortola - that was totally cool!!!

May was quiet, and again I am thankful for quiet! A friend of ours who runs Pal's Cub Scout pack was nominated and won the town's Good Guy award. That was so much fun to see him honored - he truly deserved it. We were even quoted in a local newspaper from parts of our nomination letter! Later in May, Hubby bought a new pickup truck and we went camping with friends and got to use our brand new (used) pop-up camper for the first time. It was great! Our favorite memory from that trip was the 3 boys (Pal and their 2) playing army all over the campground, and as they were leaving the camp site, one of them yelled "The battle will ensue in the ferns on the hill!" It was their battle cry and we all laughed so hard.

June brought the end of my work year, the end of school, and the decision of whether to put a new transmission in my 9 year old van or trade it in for a new vehicle. We ended up putting the transmission in, which didn't pay off in the long run (see December for update on this!). In light of my Mom's colon cancer, it was suggested that all of us get a colonoscopy, so mine was in June. Everything was fine, for all of us, thank God! In late June, Pal started a Summer program where he went every day from 8:30-1:00 for June through July. I loved it. Him...not so much! Pal also started taking Karate lessons. Again, I love it. Him, not so much! But, he made a commitment to it and will be taking lessons until our contract expires next June!!

July was filled with going to our campground and enjoying that new camper, too! We also did a family trip with all of the kids in the family to a local water park - with a cookout at the camper after. We also shared season tickets to a Triple-A baseball team called the Lowell Spinner's, so we went to our share of games. It was a lot of fun.

In August we were barely home, again! The first weekend we went camping with the same friends in our pop-up. This time we went to Maine and the campground had a lot of stuff for the kids to do. The campsites were a little too close for our comfort, but we had a good weekend anyway. The second weekend, we went to Florida. Instead of another Disney-filled trip, we decided to do the "other" parks...shhh, don't tell anyone! Boy, was it HOT. I have never sweat so much in my entire life.
Then I went back to work, earlier than usual this year, because of a new position. You can read about that in my October "Marathon Start" post. Pal also went to Cub Scout camp for his final year. More about this in same October post.

Back to school came September 1, and then Pal turned 10! We also had a visit from one of our cousins in Arizona (see October post again!). My family also walked in the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk in honor of my Mom.

October was colder than normal for our area. On the 3rd weekend, the Cub Scout pack went camping with the Boy Scouts Troop to a mountain in New Hampshire. I was excited because the women folk were NOT invited!! A whole weekend to myself?!?! Whoopie!!! Well, not so fast, there G! The temps dropped into the low 20's, and the men decided after hiking 9 miles up the mountain that they would prefer sleeping in a warm bed at home. Oh well, there goes the big bed all to myself!
The 4th weekend Hubby and I went to Erie, PA for my friends wedding (see Weddings post in October). In late October, I decided to join a local Chorus for their Christmas show. I hope to audition for them in January to be a member. They are part of the Sweet Adelines.

In November I had some moles removed from my face and that was one of the most painful experiences of my life! At least they were all benign, which I knew, but it was nice to be reassured. For my Dad's 77th birthday, we got the whole family together and made him one of his family's famous recipe's...Ropie Pie. It is a potato and meat mixture which I find repulsive but he was thrilled. Pal also competed in a Karate tournament and placed 2nd and 3rd in the 2 categories he was in. We were so proud of him. The following week he got a belt promotion, too! Exciting stuff. The very last weekend of November was my 20th High School Reunion, which I swore I would never attend. But, after reconnecting on Facebook with some good friends, I decided to go. It was...interesting!

December brought more van trouble. This time it was a power steering pipe that rusted. Then 2 weeks later it was the entire front end suspension. We decided it was TIME. So, now I am driving a leased Toyota Rav4! We had never considered leasing before but now that I know I will not have to deal with an aging car again, I am loving the idea! Pal also shocked us at his Band concert by getting up to do a trombone SOLO! Again, we were so proud!

At Christmas I went to see my Mom in the NH, and she seems to be doing okay. She has good days and bad, but for the most part things are status-quo. We still could not be happier with the decision to move her to the NH. As for my Dad, he also continues to struggle with all the changes in his life, but for the most part is doing alright.

So, after a hellish 2008, I am happy to say 2009 was good to us. May 2010 be prosperous, healthy and happy for all of you, as well!!

Happy New Year!

-G

1 comment:

Aubrey said...

Best of luck on your Sweet Adelines chorus audition! It's so much fun!

Member of The Blend Chorus www.theblendchorus.org in Fort Collins, CO