It is New Year's Eve. It could also be called New Decade's Eve. 2019 is about to end. The 2010 decade is about to end. I can honestly say these past 10 years went by fast.
This picture was taken at Christmas 2009. We didn't know it at the time but this was the last picture of my parents with all of their children together.
Here are my siblings and I from this Christmas. I might be biased but I think we've held up quite well.
The past 10 years took my family on a lot of adventures. We started the decade with vacations that usually involved long weekends at Norris Lake.
I visited New York City for the first time in December 2010. I've visited a number of times since then, including seeing Ground Zero (very moving) and seeing a play on Broadway.
In 2014 for our 25th wedding anniversary, we went to Maui for 10 days. It was heaven!!
Other vacations included Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Orlando, Naples, Florida and Panama City Beach.
2015 started a biannual tradition of going to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.
Kristin and I toured the Chicago Art Museum while we were visiting various dental schools.
Ed and I have started taking trips just the two of us to places like Savannah.
As a family we ventured to Iceland. It was incredible and I hope to go back someday.
For our 30th anniversary, Ed and I cruised to Alaska.
Browsing through Facebook for pictures to include in this post, I noted how many of my pictures are of weather events. Watching the weather is something I inherited from my dad. He mentioned once that he would sit on his back porch with his dad and watch storms go by. It is curious how interests are somehow genetic.
This is the tree in front of my house buried in snow from a late winter storm in 2013.
In 2014 I saw a rare weather phenomenon called snow rollers. Snowballs like this were all over the place near my house.
And of course there were some incredible sunsets over the past 10 years.
Some close to home.
Others a bit farther away like this one on July 4th while we were in Maui.
Or this one in November 2015 at Indian Lake.
The past decade brought many changes.
The kids are now all grown. They've graduated high school and have ventured out on their own. Kristin has 5 more months and then she becomes Dr. Kristin, DDS. Blake has another 3 semesters to complete for his bachelor's degree. Trisha is well established in her job as a surgical nurse and is now planning her wedding to Craig. They became engaged on Christmas Day.
Another change was a change of careers for me. In November 2015 I left the company that I worked at since 1984. After a few months off to decompress, I started working for myself as an independent IT consultant. I now go downtown to work for the State of Ohio, my current client. I'll continue this gig as long as they'll keep me or I turn 60, whichever comes first. In 2024 I plan to call it quits and officially retire.
The biggest changes over the past decade have been the most emotional. My family home is no longer in the family. This is a picture from one of the last times I slept at the house. This is from the fall of 2014. A few months later Mom was moved into the a nursing home and my nephew took over the house. He later bought it from us and then subsequently sold it. It is now being 'renovated'. Not sure what the house will look like when the people are done, but it will be different. The trees in this picture are now all gone. They were cut down as part of the renovation process.
And the biggest change was saying good-bye to Mom and Dad. My faith tells me that I will get to see them again someday, but that doesn't make missing them now easier. I was blessed with the best parents. They were incredible role models.
It is time to look forward to what the new year and the new decade will bring. Some things I know, like a new son-in-law and maybe grandchildren. Also watching my children move away. Kristin is probably moving to Texas and Blake intends to stay in Cincinnati. We'll see what else life has coming.
Hope you have a wonderful new year and new decade. Hope all of your dreams come true!