Thursday, December 8, 2022

A retrospective

Unless something of monumental significance happens between now and December 31st, or I end up with some excess time on my hands (not likely), I plan to close out the year on this blog, as I have done for the past few years, with my fiction and non-fiction reading lists. Before I do that, I thought I would do a quick recap of the year. I'm in a rare pensive mood, so it's appropriate. 

Our fifth grandchild was born in January, a boy, to Daughter and SIL. They have replicated the family in which Daughter grew up -- two boys and a girl, with the girl in the middle. Life is busy for this young family and with them less than two hours away in Huntsville, we delight in seeing them often. 

Younger Son married in April, and we are three-for-three in the in-law department. They plunged into married life, buying their first home and each of them changing jobs within a few months of their wedding. They are two and one-half to three hours away in Birmingham, depending on traffic, so as we often tell them, "We can be there for lunch or dinner!" My company's main offices are there, so I make the occasional trip there and can check in on them. 

Older son and DIL1 continue with their busy lives in Atlanta, with a five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. They are about four hours away. It's not a terrible drive but, for some unknown reason, traffic in Chattanooga, which is right on the way, sometimes comes to a standstill. 

The boys and I had a great trip to Phoenix in July, marking another MLB park (Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks) off the list. It was a good baseball year for me overall, for that matter. In addition to the trip to Phoenix, I saw the Astros and Nationals play in D.C. in May; the Braves and Marlins in Atlanta later in May; the Braves and Cardinals in St. Louis in August; and of course, the Astros and Phillies in the World Series in Houston in October (oh my goodness, I'll never get over that one). 

Of course a major highlight of the year was our trip to the U.K. and France in September which I recounted here a few installments ago. I'm lucky to be married to someone who takes me to cool places! 

My relationship with the publication where I wrote a column for 11-plus years came to an unfortunate end in August, for reasons that remain unknown to me, at which time I moved it over to Substack. So far, so good, and I'm appreciative of each subscriber. 

Wife and I lost a longtime dear friend, part of our friend group from our years in Little Rock, to cancer in November. He and his family were a demonstration of strength and grace throughout his illness and the way he lived his life will always serve as an example to us. When we went to the memorial service, we saw people we had not seen in many years -- in some cases 25, which is how long ago we moved away -- and we were reminded how blessed we are with the heritage of relationships we have formed over the years. 

I continue to work and have no plans for retirement -- not now, anyway. There are days when I think I would like to be done, but the days I am happy to still be gainfully employed far outnumber them. I have a great gig -- 100 percent remote. I have a great, supportive manager and three competent professionals who report to me. 

Along those lines, when people ask me about working from home, I tell them I would not want to do this if I were 20-30 years younger. But in the sunset of my career? It is pretty close to perfect. 

As I said, I'll be back with my year-end reading lists soon. As usual, the TBR is long and gets longer, but I managed to get to some good ones on the list this year. 

Oh yeah, for longtime readers of this blog who are aware of our international Christmas Eve tradition (although our Christmas Eve is now usually observed December 26th), this year is Canada. I'll try to post some pictures in January. 


Kelly said...

You've had a very good year, Bob.

Thanks for telling us this year's theme and now we have a lot to look forward to: international dinner celebration photos AND book lists!!

Ed said...

I don't know much about driving in Tennessee, but I know that the last mile of Interstate 24 before I turn south on Interstate 59 is always at a crawl. I've often wondered what in Chattanooga backs up traffic that far.

Can't wait to see your version of poutine!

Jeff said...

Looks like it was an excite year, family wise. I look forward to your books and your Christmas dinner celebration. I'll do my book list in early January.

Debby said...

Bob, you have had an amazing year. I have been taking stock here too, and find that I have so much to be thankful for too.

Becki said...

It sounds like you had a rich year. It's so good to reflect at year's end and recognize the many blessings we have. I look forward to reading (and seeing pictures) of your Canadian Christmas dinner!