Happy New Year Everyone,
Wow, the first day of the new year. One can’t help but look ahead with excitement and anticipation to the new year. Sure there will be some challenges, lots of mistakes (little ones I hope!), and only a little heartbreak and disappointment but it’s sure better than the alternative.
Last weekend we spent the Christmas holidays with our daughter Melissa in Minneapolis. Our plan was to leave from there to head up to North Dakota to check on our mom’s but instead we are back home in Madison. Our travel was halted by the snowfall and blizzard that closed down most of the state for a couple of days starting Christmas Day. Some places had up to 20 inches of snow followed by those howling winds that sweep across the Northern Plains out of Canada. This blizzard brought to mind a couple of winter storms when I was growing up in Western North Dakota. I recall one winter when I was in high school that we didn’t have school for almost a week because the roads were blocked and the buses couldn’t run. After being cooped up out on the farm for a few days and spending most of the day hauling feed and water to the cows, thawing frozen water pipes, and trying to keep from freezing to death, we were really happy to board that bus for school! I think it was the same winter that we went to the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City, driving down the I-94 was like driving in a tunnel, snow piled up on both sides of the road. We are going to give it another try in the next week or two, hopefully the winter weather will cooperate.
While looking ahead one must think about what we learned from our experiences this past year. One of the things I learned this past year is that for me writing is good for the soul. This year I wrote 52 blog posts and shared hundreds of photos. Now it must be said that last year at this time, I publicly resolved to keep a daily journal. While I started with good intentions, I didn’t make it to the end of the month before I broke that resolution. Even today, I can’t find my journal on my messy desk! I’ve read that one must do something for at least six months before it becomes a habit. I think that’s true. One thing that I did make a habit this year that I’m kind of proud of is flossing my teeth on a daily basis. Prior to this year, I only flossed my teeth only occasionally usually just before my visits to the dentist! This year, my dentist and hygienist told me that I needed a deep cleaning procedure explained to me in layman terms that it was like using a pressure washer on my teeth and gums. Sounds painful doesn’t it?! This required two trips to the dentist about a month apart and the dreaded shots of novocain. As I was leaving the first appointment I was given strict instructions on proper tooth and gum care that I have taken to heart, I’ve only missed flossing once or twice in the past four months. I like my dentist and the hygienist but I only want to see them a couple of times a year and don’t to go through this again!
So what are my resolutions for 2017? I’m going to try the journaling thing again (if I can find my journal!), see if I can’t make it at least a couple of months. I also resolve to continue taking steps forward to better health by setting the goal to take an average of 65,000 steps a week as measured by my Fitbit. This means that by the end of 2017 I will have taken 3,380,000 steps! And it will be an increase of about 300,000 steps (just under 10% increase) over 2016. I say an average per week because during the colder months of the year like January and February it’s harder to get those steps in without being outside. So keep following this blog to see how I do in the coming year!
Before I move on to the second installment of some of my favorite photos of 2016, I’ve got to tell you about the current book I’m reading. It’s a travel book by Bill Bryson titled “The Road to Little Dribbling” with the subtitle “Adventures of an American in Britain.” It’s laugh out loud funny and takes travelers to unusual and out of the way places. Bryson is an interesting guy, he was born in Des Moines, Iowa but has lived most of his adult life in England. He’s prolific author probably best known in the US for his book “A Walk in the Woods” his chronicle of hiking the Appalachian Trail. When we were in England this past May, our host took us to the nearby city of Durham. Our host told us that Bill Bryson was the Chancellor of Durham University, largely a ceremonial position but that he was quite active on campus. Check out his work especially his newest book referenced above.
Now on to some of my favorite photos from 2016. Just titles not much narrative.
Well, that does it for 2016. Look forward to new and exciting adventures and hopefully lots of photos in 2017.
Until next week, travel safe.