I had a fine day today, November 28, 2013. Along with my son, I hiked a segment of trail in the Cuyamaca section of Anza-Borrego State Park, in the Laguna Mountains, northeast of San Diego. Afterwards, we enjoyed a simple, but well-crafted meal at Julian Cafe, in the town of Julian, where my late wife worked for a year, just prior to our wedding. It’s always a pleasure to visit Julian, and it was a way to include Penny’s spirit in our observance of my 63rd birthday. Growing up, my parents were always glad that I enjoyed turkey, as there were several times that my birthday fell on T-day. Today was the latest of those. Finally, Aram and I went to a showing of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. It hit the spot, and all its targets, for sure. I liked this episode better than the first, and will be glad to see the next two installments.
Now, to revisit the reasons I am grateful, this Thanksgiving. I was able to successfully divest of a house in Phoenix, thanks to Matt Deuitch, I resolved several dental issues, thanks to Kamran Ruintan and his team. I enjoyed an earlier visit to San Diego, as well as this present one, thanks to my son, Aram, and his naval command. I had lovely visits across several states, beginning at the home of my Colorado in-laws, David and Mindy Kosak, and ending with a short, but reassuring visit with another friend. Along the way, Mitchell Silas, Derek and Sima Cockshut, Jim Graeve and Summer Rae, John Glaze, Wes Hardin, Christina Fullmer, Sandra Liz, Beth and David Glick, Nataly Loveless, Tom D. Stevens, my in-laws in New Jersey, and my family members in Massachusetts and Philadelphia provided me with emotional support and hospitality. My uncle, George Boivin, reinforced my sense of self, towards the end of my journey in September. I have had consistent emotional support from my Baha’i friends and fellow American Legionnaires in Prescott. I am grateful to have made so many friends in social media, including my newest good friend in Prescott. Most of all, I am grateful for having grown so much emotionally this past year.
The year ahead is sure to present more challenges and opportunities. I will, most immediately, attend seasonal gatherings in December, and the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, in Phoenix. I am a hiking enthusiast, and segments of the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, the McDowell Mountains, near Scottsdale, and trails in Cave Creek, will be on tap for the winter months, as will hikes in the Prescott area with friends, both old and new. I have tentative plans to spend three weeks in France and the Benelux region, later in 2014. These may be postponed until another year, if I am assessed a hefty tax bill, relative to the short sale of my Phoenix house, last February. It won’t matter, because I would have Plan B, a month’s hike of the Colorado Trail, as my backup. A move, from my current residence, to another home in Prescott, later in the spring, is also likely, for the sake of the well-being of my family-at-large.
My 2014 will continue the building of my character, my relationships and my overall life. If it’s as fruitful as the past two years have been, I will be triply blessed. My gratitude remains, regardless.