Good morning all:

Weekly end-of-year insight quotes:

”Now starts the 11-month unemployment season for hand-bell choirs..” – unknown

then, an alert for Monday morning : “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

For the first time in memory Marcia and I are spending this (read all caps) evening at home. I know it to be a fact because Marcia stocked up on chocolate, dark bars from Aldi, and chocolate oranges—the kind you slap on a counter-top to dislodge each small segment. Now best get started on my coffee, in part to aid in this writing and in part to plot our “New Year’s at Dirk and Marcia’s” events—other than Sudoku for Dirk and knitting for Marcia. And I will not watch Dick Clark on our ‘temporary’ 13” TV. Do you think I could get by watching Mel Brooks and John Candy in Spaceballs for the umpteenth time?

Actually – and this is what I am telling myself – tomorrow is going to be busy with meals and open houses, so we need this evening to get ready.

By the way, I used the word ‘temporary’ as we are still grasping at straws holding on to a slight hope that our stolen TV will return. Mid January will be the trial date for the gang leader who burglarized our home. After all, the detective said………

Third place – I have been told by certain unnamed folk that I should be less curmudgeony. Chalk it up, not to advancing age, but advancing wisdom. Nevertheless, due when due is due (I love that line)….

Recent years have had me wax regarding the abysmal leadership in the ‘Nati and how a lack of vision is damaging this town.

Well, here are two hugely positive bits.

This past week Lonely Planet published their Top 10 US Travel Destinations for 2012. Yes, the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world, that Lonely Planet. First place went to the US Virgin Islands, 2nd place went to Hudson River Valley, New York, and …. drum-roll please…. 3rd place—Cincinnati, OH!

How about them apples (or flying pigs)?

Second is an amazingly huge thing; the World Choir Games. Since 2000 when they were held in Australia for the very first time these games have been held every two years following the Olympic ideals. This, the seventh games, will be the first time that the World Choir Games will be held in the USA.

Starting July 4th hundreds of choirs from over 70 countries will come to our town, bringing over 20,000 participants. World championships in 23 categories will be declared as well as free friendship and celebration concerts held all over the place. This will be an once-in-a-lifetime event!

What to do, what to do – cabin or a quick trip home? Luckily there is some time to ponder.

How do they do it? – Once again the parents managed to drag out the Christmas celebrations – “only for the kids” mind you – for several days. We had a great time; with one new addition to our holiday “traditions.”

Right after they were married Jason and Cathy moved to Ashville, NC. As newlyweds in new start-up lodgings and rudimentary cooking skills they opted to eat out. Turns out that the only restaurant open on Christmas day, in all of Ashville, was a small Chinese place.

Every year since then, our vegan couple, has continued by enjoying the holiday with a festive Chinese dinner. With Marcia and I in town this year we joined in. Only one exception, we had carry-out, or as the Brits would say; take-away. We had more fun, more community, and no one had to spend half a day in the kitchen. Think a new tradition was born?

ClosingHappy New Year to all of you; may peace, health, and prosperity abound. Not only that, but may you also have a fantastic dose of inquisitiveness, passion, and wonder.

This week a happy birthday to Gene. And, this coming week will be Marcia’s birthday so she’s getting two mentions, today and next week.

Make it a great week everyone and be safe.


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