Good afternoon everyone-2015 has been a good year in many ways. While I have had some physical struggles and unfortunate setbacks along my journey in 2015 there are many things that happened that I am so grateful for and feel incredibly blessed to have that I didn't have before. It was an exciting year for many reasons as well as one filled with adventures. I have read a lot of these TOP TEN moments that Karen Fiddler hosted. I finally have taken the time to write mine out.
This first one has made it possible to be able to do so many of the other ones thruout the year.
1. I finally after 5+ years of taking care of Mom full time by myself I now have help. Thank you God. That happened the end of April. I have an aide come in M-F from either 8 am-2 p.m. or 9 am-3 p.m. depending on the aide's availability. They bathe Mom, fix her meals and do light housekeeping. In addition to the 30 hrs per week I also have 480 hrs of respite care a yr which averages out to an extra 40 hrs per month. So I have more of a life now. and what has made it possible for my trips.
2. I talked with 3 Active Rain friends that I had never spoke to on the phone before. It was so incredible and a wonderful addition to my year. First was Jon Kolsky , Next was Wanda Kubat-Nerdin and last but certainly not least and actually a new friend this year and that is Debbie Laity. I have actually spoke to Jon a few times this year. He even called on my birthday in May which was so nice and such a wonderful surprise.
3. On my trip in September to PA and NY I got to see my childhood friend of 50 yrs Jane from New York who I haven't seen in 8 yrs. What a great reunion that was. I spent several days with her and her husband. She will be moving to Tenn this year after her husband retires so she will be much closer and I can visit more. One of my trips this yr will be in June to help her make the move.
4. I got to see my brother Ron twice this year which was a treat because I haven't seen him much in a number of years because he lived in Fla. I first got to visit with him in June of this year on his way to NY and then again in September on my PA/NY trip because he moved back to NY in June because he was going to be a grandfather.
5. I got to go to my first big RV show in Hershey Park Pennsylvania where I got to see lots of Class C RV which is the kind I plan on getting when I am free to travel full time as well as attend many helpful seminars all included in the price of admission which was $10.
6. I got to do a lot traveling since May of this year. I have gone every other month someplace new including the months of May, July, Sept and November. All car trips. All within about 5-6 hrs from home except NY which was 12 hrs but it was broke up by first stopping in PA.
7. My trip in May included visiting Ocean City MD and riding the tram around the boardwalk, Virginia Beach, Chincoteague Island in Va and seeing the ponies and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.
8. July's trip included 4 different gardens. Many of you know about my love of gardening and my 1/2 acre garden. I visited Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring MD, Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton MD, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Sq PA and Lewis Ginter Gardens in Richmond Va. I think all but the topiary gardens I knew about because of Roy Kelley. Thank you for the inspiration for that trip Roy.
9. My trip in September included the RV show in Hershey Park PA, it also included visiting Chocolate World. a zoo and another garden, then it included visiting NY which was getting to see my friend Jane and my brother Ron and a nice treat on the way back home was meeting someone from Active Rain that I have known since the early days of Active Rain and that was Susan Mangigian and also got to meet her famous 4 footed blonde haired boy JJ. We went out to lunch and then back to her house to meet JJ and the kitties. She has a beautiful home and was a wonderful hostess.
10. Now my last trip was filled with many firsts including the place itself which was Pigeon Forge Tenn. It was 8 fun filled days much of which I haven't even had a chance to blog about yet. One of my firsts was a carriage ride, as well as feeding a camel and Rudolph at the same zoo. Saw lots of Christmas lights as they had Winterfest going on. The list goes on in that place.
All in all it was an exciting year which helped tremendously to offset the physical challenges and setbacks as well as the sadness at losing my 28 yr old nephew in June. He died of a heart attack. He was my brother Ron's only son.
Now I am looking forward to my first trip for 2016 in a week to sunny Fla. My first flight for the year. I am planning on meeting 3 AR friends if all goes well. Toni Weidman , Christine OShea and last but not least our very own Kathy Streib . I also will be attending another big RV show in Tampa and visiting Busch Gardens and Sea World and who knows what else. Onward into 2016.