As I say my good byes to this awful year, I can’t help but be a little grateful. A lot grateful.
Grateful for Dr. Star who put a new hip in me. Right before the surgery he asked me, “Now which hip are we doing?” Being a little puzzled, I said, “The right one!” To that he said, “Uh oh, we’re all out of right hips.” Ha. Ha. It’s way funnier now.
I’m grateful for Jennie. My oldest daughter has become my most valued hiking partner, and a great support in my efforts to finish the AT. Love that, and her.
I’m grateful for Landi. She truly wants me to be happy. Now that is a great wife. Love her.
I’m grateful for Marta. Daughter number 2, only chronologically, always calls. Almost every week. I’m not much of a phone talker, but it doesn’t matter to her. She just calls. No matter what. Love that, and her.
I’m grateful for my trail daughter Kelly. It’s more than 4 years now since we met on the Appalachian Trail. She continues to be a third daughter to me. She too, always stays in touch. Checks up on me after surgeries or other medical procedures. Sends me photos of all her adventures. Love those photos, and her.
I’m grateful for my new AA friends. Since we moved to Easton, PA, it meant I had to get reconnected to AA in a new area. The Giving Pond Group, and the offshoot group, the River Otters, have made me feel so welcome here. Love that, and them.
I’m grateful for Zoom. I can go to an AA meeting, anywhere in the world, at any time, day or night. Love that.
I’m grateful for Betsey, John, Gates, Scott, Nella, Cousin Norma, Lindy, Larry, Solo Hiker, and Chris. My friends and hiking and writing supporters. Thank you! Love you guys.
I’m grateful for Jean Bean Turner and Cousin Anja Venter, my art supporters. They have encouraged me to the point where I have no fear about my painting, or any other creative pursuit I attempt. Betsey, too. I was really scared to let anyone see my work. No more, because of those three. Love you guys.
It’s a wonderful… oh yeah. I’m grateful that I made it to 70. I had a few life threatening events. Thyroid Cancer. Sepsis after prostate surgery. A fall which caused a concussion, while I was alone on the AT. Any of those 3 could have ended me. I’m here and very grateful.
Back to that last thought. I am on the most wonderful journey any 70 year old idiot of a man could ever ask for. Sobriety has enabled me to have a better life than I ever could have imagined and if you can’t tell by now how grateful I am to just be alive, you’re not paying attention.
Like that cartoon said at the top, it’s not about the journey or the destination. It’s about the company. The people you meet and grow to love along the way. Thank you. Thank you for a pretty great 2020.
Happy New Year All. May you and your families and friends have a Healthy and Prosperous 2021. Covid free. This year that word Covid will lose its power. Another disease in the rear view mirror.
All the Very Best.
P.S. Sailor, Special Ed, Crazy Quilt, and Pollyanna. New AT and I think, life long friends. Love you guys, too. Thank you!