Fast Away and All That

Colorado River as seen from Toroweap Overlook. Grand Canyon National Park.

We’ve come to the last weekend of the year and I find myself wondering what I’m going to do with the blog. I haven’t made any final decisions other than to promise that I’ll be here more in 2024.

At least that’s today’s promise. I’ve got plans for 2024 and we’ll get to that later. But we’ll also get to the post that acknowledges that plans can and do change.

I don’t like to do year-end reviews but, as things go, 2023 was a pretty good year. I had some cool things happening.

So, as Bing sang to Rosemary, “When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep…”

Please don’t fall asleep while reading this, but for me anyway, it’s good to review my blessings of the year.

In January, out of necessity, I bought a new (to me) Jeep Renegade. It’s ruby-red and it helps with the portrayal of the man in the red suit. I’ve been quite pleased with the vehicle. Unlike my 20-year-old truck (which still sits in the driveway for landfill runs), the heater works.

In February, I participated in my first Children’s Book Festival at Gayton Kirk. I’ll be back again in February of 2024. So far, I’ve published four children’s books, all available on Amazon. Yes, there’s a new one in the works.

We spent the first week of April at the beach. Sure, it’s cold then, but we were right on the waterfront. We’re heading back there for spring break this year.

While at the beach, I was contacted by the artistic director at Firehouse Theatre and offered a role in one of the most significant theatrical productions I’ve been a part of. Sound of the Guns is an original play/musical telling of experiences in the Gulf War. It was an honor to be a part of it.

On the tail end of that, my cousin and his wife flew up from Texas to take my wife and I to see the Doobie Brothers for my 65th Birthday. I hadn’t seen Ron in, literally, decades. And, to be honest, my comment on Facebook about someone buying me tickets to the concert was mostly me being a smart-ass. But they picked up on it. We had a wonderful visit and the concert was phenomenal.

If you follow me at all, you know that August was The Old Man Bucket List Road Trip (™). My best friend from college and I met in Kentucky and took a trip out to the Grand Canyon and points between. The travel memoir is a work in progress and may show up here in installments. It also may not.

Shortly after I got back in town, we packed up our son and shipped him off to Japan for a semester. He’s still there and is returning at the end of January. It’s time.

From there I returned to Kings Dominion to be a scare actor and had an amazing time with an amazing group of people. I hope to be back.

Without even time to catch my breath I rolled right into rehearsals for Tinkers Toy Factory at Kings Dominion’s Winterfest. We’ll be wrapping that up this weekend. Along with my other Santa gigs, I stayed busy through the season.

In the midst of all the above things there were the usual work, and yard, and house, and church, and family…not in any particular order.

Was it the best of years? I don’t know. But considering our two years of 15 days to slow the spread and The Great Unpleasantness of the Summer of 2021 (™) that we’ve endured since early 2020, it was a pretty darn good year.

What does 2024 hold? I have plans. I may even get to some of them.

For now, I’ll bask in the memories of 2023 and enjoy the last of the holiday eggnog.

Available on Amazon.

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