Thursday, January 26, 2012

4000 miles

 Yesterday, the odometer on my old exercise bike, which I use regularly when I don't go for a walk, turned to 7000. This is measured in miles. The last times I posted anything in that regard was when the odometer turned to around 6000 miles; that was in January 2011, and 3000 miles in March 2009. So, in somewhat less than three years, I have put 4000 miles (6435 km) more onto the old, trusty "wheeled horse". The earlier post can be viewed here:

March 2009                                                                                              January 2012

These 4000 miles represent both tragic and uplifting changes in our family. The tragic part is about our son, Derek. He died last year, on May 3 ( The uplifting part concerns the birth of our niece's son Alexander, a strapping addition to our extended family. Our daughter-in-law, Airdrie, and granddaughters (Derek and Airdrie's daughters) live next door; it's wonderful to be so close to them. We consider the three of them to be "our kids", along with Lucy, the girls' little shitsu/poodle, which came into the family a couple of years ago. 

My wife and I have traveled here and there in that time and met friends, old (sadly, one of them has died, too, and a couple of others are seriously ill) and new. "The kids" have done the same, but have gone to different, and more exotic places. We've had our enjoyable family gatherings for the yearly holidays and birthdays. I'm still running my small business. Life is carrying on...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hope for a better year

It's been a month since I've put up a post. In the meantime, we celebrated our family Christmas. It was a bitter-sweet experience for our immediate family. Our son Derek was not there (as he had predicted a year earlier), but we had a new addition to the family. His name is Alexander, the son of our niece and her husband; he is the first baby boy in the family, since Derek himself was born. The young people had a great time at Christmas - as usual, too many presents (they didn't mind).

My wife and I spent New Year's in Puerto Vallarta, with good friends. Our host (and good friend) had unfortunately contracted pneumonia earlier in December, and had just gotten home from the hospital for Christmas. Therefore, he was not quite his normally exuberant self. Talking to him today, and he sounded a lot better. We met many people we hadn't seen for a number of years and several very interesting people we had never met before.

We have visited Puerto Vallarta for New Year's for many years. The city has improved its beachfront walkway (the Malacon) wonderfully, see picture. It is always nice to walk under palm trees in warm weather when it is miserable at home.

The weather was a nice 23 to 26 degrees Celsius during the day, and not much less during the night; we spent every evening outside, or in open-air restaurants.

The Mexican people greet a new year with fireworks galore. These were going off all around us for almost an hour after the New Year arrived. 

We all expressed the hope that this year will be better for all of us.