Friday, January 12, 2018

My End of the Year 2017 Letter

December 31, 2017 Winamac, Indiana
Dear family, relatives, and friends,
The end of 2017 is here, 2018 is almost here.  So let’s see if I can get an end of the year letter together.   As we all know, procrastination is one of my best skills. 
I hope everyone is having or had a Happy Halloween, a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays.     
As usual, it seems, 2017 was a pretty big year.  Let’s see if I can talk about it without getting too carried away.   And no, I am not going to talk about politics. 
I managed to visit 75% of my kids.  I missed making it to North Carolina.  North Carolina is at the top of my 2018 list. 
Was it ever fun flying in a little 2 seater airplane around the mountains and glaciers of Juneau AK.  Daughter Maries friend took me for a ride in her little airplane.  Also, the great total surprise birthday party for my step Granddaughter Kiera. 
Camping it was in Minnesota on my son Bruces birthday...  Me with my tent and Bruce & Ruth and Ruths sisters family in their campers.  And a trip with Bruce as he inspected all the lakes in his county around Bemidji, for invasive species of plants and snail critters.
I made it to DDRanch in Oregon in August to help my brother from Boston who was helping with their new camping venture.   It was very good and interesting watching the total eclipse with everyone including all the campers.  It is just amazing as usual to see the operation that Linda and son Jeff and my grandkids have going on at DDRanch
Son Tommy from NC came up Thanksgiving to help straighten out some stuff.   I am still having trouble finding stuff that I saved because I might need it later.   While he was here and brother Earl was here they cleared out the trail in the pines to moms old bench.  I later cut up the down trees lying across the trail.  I had not walked it for several years.  Now the trail to moms bench is open again. 
An extremely sad happing was the passing of my dog pal Brandy in early December.  We had been together for 14+ years or so.  It had an extremely emotional effect on me.  But I am recovering.  All kinds of things remind me of her.  This evening for instance, as I was eating popcorn.  She would pick the dropped ones from the floor and catch them when I tossed them to her. Popcorn was the only thing she would catch when I tossed it. Brandy’s life story is on my Blog. I am sure I will always miss her.
In early July I had an attack of old age spinal degeneration, as I call it – Degenerative Spondylolisthesis.   It got to the point where I could hardly walk.  So had to see the doc.  They sent me to the local hospital Physical Therapy.  The PT managed to get it straighten out and manageable.  I have been following their instructions since then, some of them, and so far it is manageable. 
I sort of word it that in the last Year and a half I have aged more than I have in my previous 80 years combined.  Probably as a result my Sepsis and Colon Cancer occurrences in 2017 and the Spondylolisthesis in 2017.  But not too worry I am still doing well. 
Which leads me to my biggest goals for 2018, Stay out of the Hospital, visit North Carolina, climb up the Fire Tire at the Tippecanoe River State Park on my 85th birthday, and do the big bridge (Mackinaw) walk on Labor Day.  Everything else will just be extra. 
A huge surprise, source unknown, package arrived in early December.  It turned out to be a Christmas present from my kids. It was a new (gently used) windows 8.1 HP Pavilion 17.3 laptop computer.   They had heard that my 9 year old Vista computer was giving me trouble and decided they would replace it for my Christmas present.  It is testing my computer skills to and beyond the limit.   The 1st mistake I made when initially cranking it up was to forget my computer password that I had just assigned.  I finally had to take it to the local tech and he was able to bypass the password. Then I heard that I could get a free upgrade to windows 10, in a roundabout devious method, even though the free upgrade had expired about 6 months ago. Everyone said I should do that.  I managed to get that done.  Took me about 8 hours moving through the maize.  Whew!!.  Now I am trying to figure out how to use it. (I am on the old Vista Computer typing this).
Patty is still working hard with her Pulik Club of America.  Really keeps her busy, which she enjoys immensely.  I get to dog sit when she is gone.  The 2 big times were to Connecticut and Tennessee.
I did manage to complete an important 2017 goal and set up about 5 cairns from Dad’s old field rock pile.
Well I think that is enough for now.  You can if you wish look at this as, ‘sort of’ a Christmas Card. . . . which I am very bad about (not) sending out..   
I hope 2018 is a great year for you.