Was it a good year? Was it a bad year? Was it any kind of year at all? Was it a year that I want to remember or was it one that I would rather file in the past and forget about as quickly as possible? Not that it's easy to remember everything that has happened in the past year as, even though time seems to fly by quicker and quicker every year, last January was still a long time ago!
The year started out with the annual American Group holiday party in January where I ended my reign as the 2004 Employee of the Year and I gave over my coveted parking space in the front of the building to ... well, actually, the wrong person in my own somewhat biased opinion. Nothing against the guy who did get it but I was, well, surprised that it wasn't who I thought it was going to be.
On to better things when, in late April, Jen and I flew down to Orlando, Florida to attend the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch Navigators Conference. It was a terrific conference and learning experience and Jen and both came back with renewed enthusiasm for our jobs. While there we had the chance to spend some time at both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom so it wasn't exactly all work and no play but, I swear, if I ever, ever, ever have to go on The Small World ride again during the course of my life I am going to scream!
Amanda's 8th-grade graduation from Teachers' Memorial Middle School in June comes to mind as the next highlight of 2006. Along with her diploma she managed to snag not one but three different awards - not bad for a kid who transferred schools in late October!
I made two trips down to New York City this year - both of which were in the company of my friend Paula - once with the girls and once without. The trip without the girls saw a visit to Bobby Flay's Mesquite Grill for some damned fine food and I must say that even just the remembrance of the chipolte mayonnaise still makes my lips burn! We spent some time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on that venture. When the girls went down with us later in the summer we spent almost a full day exploring the Museum of Natural History and then followed it up with a subway trip out to Coney Island to ride the Cyclone rollercoaster and eat hot dogs at Nathan's Famous on the boardwalk.
The girls and I took another road-trip in July with Paula which led us to a great beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island on the perfect beach day. Unfortunately, that trip resulted in a subsequent trip to my local emergency room for treatment of a third degree sunburn and cellulitis on my left foot - ouch!! But we had a lot of fun and the seafood we ate out on Point Judith was well worth the rest of it! I just need to learn to more liberally apply sunblock and keep in mind that I do not come from ancestors whose skin would actually do more than freckle and burn and freckle and burn and freckle and ...
When thinking back on 2006 it was easier for me to remember the good things than it was the bad things which I think says a lot for the year as a whole. Like all years throughout the ages there were good times and bad times - funny times and sad times - memorable times and forgettable times but whatever they were, they were my times.
I'm not sure what sort of bricks 2007 will add to the wall of my life but whatever they are, I'm sure that they'll be interesting bricks upon which to build the rest of my life.
Happy New Year - I wish you all 'bricks' of happiness and joy throughout the coming year! Thank you for letting me share my life with you!