Well it is time to wrap 2016 up, put another one in the books. It was a great year for me, on many levels. I stayed healthy for the most part, with the exception of one scare, stayed away from doctors almost completely. None of my family members bought their final ticket. Business was very good, got lucky a few times. Visited a town called Everyman in Texas. Ate pigeon in Florence. Took a jeep down the most incredible and steep thirty five mile trail in Canyonlands, Utah. Started the year chasing sandhill cranes at New Mexico's Bosque del Apache in the snow. Had an exceptional trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone. Met some beautiful nuns at the Salt Pueblos. Kept the blog flowing, at a reasonable and doable rate. Got some exceptional pictures. Joshua Tree, Bristlecone Pines, Goblin Valley, Saguaro. Lost my hawk nest, after so many years, miss my babies. Miss my black burmese cat Nigel, lost him too. Visited my brother and his family in Canada. Hit the eastern Sierras and the Salton Sea. Nailed the peregrine falcons at Torrey Pines. Planted lots of succulents and flowers. Changed the carpet in the bathroom. Suffered through an election. Hit an eighth of a ton recently, first time. Chipped a bottom tooth the other day biting my nails. Cultivated and maintained friendships as much as possible for a guy who develops a late life social inversion and goes into hiding. Put over 30,892 camera shots on my hard drive. Read some good books. Didn't play enough guitar. Never cleaned my office. Or my garage. Still need a new mattress and a dishwasher. Planted trees including my most recent dig, a Palo Verde and a weeping Japanese maple, whose name is undetermined but was cheap. Didn't buy any new camera gear but fixed a lens to the tune of five hundred bucks. Binged Better call Saul and now Breaking Bad, which I sort of hate and have to fast forward through on occasion. Have no new enemies that I can think of. Wrote practically no new fiction, one of my few regrets. Started writing a book and never finished it. Never learned Italian. Or actually used my gym membership.
A bird on a wire, in the words of the dearly departed Leonard Cohen, but managed to keep my footing.
It was basically a year when everything went my way. Can't count on that again but it is nice when it happens. A career year for me artistically with the camera, kept learning and refining. Never had to actually open my store for regular hours which was nice. Was allowed to be pretty selfish, still got the bills paid and took umpteen trips. Have to thank my incredible wife most of all for putting up with and loving me and being good natured and flexible and also to you and the rest of my friends for coming along for the ride.
May your most important dreams and wishes come true in the new year. Be yourself, no one else can.