2019 ... Just an Ordinary Year!
I think once I wasn't a kid anymore and after my kids grew up and moved away ... well ... life just became ordinary. And - you know - well ... that's OK. I mean ... except for a few big things like epic journeys, births, or landmark events, life is kind of ordinary. So ... let me tell you about my year - or an ordinary life.
I think I'll start with family. I visited Perkasie in June. Perkasie is where Chris, Hannah, Betsy, and Maggie live. One thing I love is going to grocery stores and just looking around (Lamoni's Hy-Vee is small - but I'm glad it's here!). It's amazing how many brands of one item they have. But the highlights - just being with them. Betsy's soccer, reading to the granddaughters which was a nightly event, taking walks, and watching the girls enjoy the neighbors swimming pool - nothing beats 'em. Nick, Katie, and the granddogs moved from Los Angeles to Chicago where he and Katie bought a condominium. He visited shortly after the move. We watched TV, barbequed, and just enjoyed hanging out. A trip to Chicago for the four Rees boys is planned for the first week of March Madness in well ... March. Thanksgiving at the Mathews in Sioux City - my favorite holiday. Andy flies into Omaha where I pick him up and head to SC. Don and Barb turned a cold and dismal outside into a memorable time inside. December - a trip to Phoenix to see Andy (just one week after being with him in Sioux City). But part of seeing him was going to the Cardinal - Steeler game which the Steelers won - the last time they did this season. Met his friends, rode in a Ferrari at HIGH SPEEDS, and just enjoyed Andy. What a great trip (of course I went to grocery stores - every day!). My brother Dave and I call each other on every Steeler score and win. Unfortunately, we didn't talk as much as we did in past years ('nuf said).
A lot of things happen in a small community especially when that small community has Graceland University. Once again, I took courses in the Spring (Portfolio Development for Graphic Artists - you never can tell) and Fall (Graphics). When I took art courses I learned ... I was not an artist. After taking all the graphic arts courses I learned - I'm not a graphic artist. But I've enjoyed each course and the instructors were superb. Next up this coming semester: Global Eco-Cinema (A transnational survey of films that deal with environmental issues). In addition to these courses, GU gave me access to some great concerts and their fitness center which I still utilize regularly. Oh ... yeah - there's the Commons cafeteria where my friends Les and Dee have a monthly lunch (I do some serious grazing - if we had this kind of food service when I was at Bowling Green State University ...) and find our way to for special dinners - can't wait for Valentine's this February.
Did I say a lot of things happen in a small town? Christmas Dinner at the Community of Christ is a great way to cap the year off with community fellowship. There's also Mystery Book Club and timeBanking/Lamoni. Riding my bike on the rails is still an obsessive-compulsive activity. Unfortunate, weather got in the way this year so I didn't reach my goal of 2,000 miles. I'm still a Trails Commissioner and became a Planning and Zoning Commissioner this year. I write Around Lamoni articles (though I've cut back this year) and the weekly movie synopsis for the Lamoni Chronicle. I was a judge in the regional History Day program - these young people are impressive (I wonder if we were). I wrote or help wrote grants that resulted in adding a leg to the trails and one for two bocce courts that will be added this year. Jim Jones and I still take the trek 30 minutes south to Bethany regular for racquetball - still not too old to play! And Tuesday night is Movie Night when Les Gardner and I spend a couple hours ... well ... watching movies. Les is from Australia, and we found a show on Netflix called Wanted which is an Australian series. It's really good - and it's fun watching him enjoy it.
Z, the cat who is somewhat behaviorally challenged, still roams the house. She's gotten better as she's aged (rarely draws blood anymore) but still a handful. She desperately wants to go outside and rushes the door every time I open it - she knows the sound of every opening door in the house. And if she's successful, she runs around until I catch her which isn't always easy. But you know what ... it's nice having another heartbeat in the house.
Just an ordinary year - which means not too different from other years. But that's OK ... nothing wrong with ordinary!
If you aren't alredy, let's be friends (Gary's Facebook).
And ... if you've gotten this far ... I hope you had a great year.
Family is the Greatest Gift!