2017: A Good Year for Me

There was a lot to be angry and sad about during 2017, but I can’t afford to start a new year focusing on the negatives. Life is just too short to waste time on the darkness. Instead, I’m going to begin 2018 by reflecting on the positives over the last 12 months.

Judy and I welcomed in 2017 by watching the fireworks in London with a couple hundred thousand of strangers and it was glorious. It was even better to spend time with Scotty and his lovely wife and get the grand tour of Tetbury, England.

We continued that trip by spending the first week of January wandering Paris and enjoying all the history, sites, and food in that beautiful city.

Dining in Paris

In April, after months of dedication to practice and lessons, I decided it was time to invest in a new guitar for the first time in over 20 years. I liked my new Fender Strat so much, that I went crazy just three months later and bought an Ovation acoustic to go along with it. As it turns out, when you have instruments that are fun to play, you actually spend more time using them.

Another hobby that I got serious about was learning to taste and appreciate whisky. It’s been a fascinating trip digging into the origins of Scotch, bourbon, Japanese, and other variations of this golden liquid. And all these years I just thought it was just a tool to keep up with my Aussie pals when closing down San Francisco bars.

The Beginnings of My Whisky Collection

At the end of the Summer, Judy, Patch, and I took a trip to Texas to visit our family and friends in Austin and Houston. In fact, much of 2017 was about connecting with loved ones and there can never be enough of that in my life. I’m blessed to have so many people who care about me and for that I’m very thankful.

My sisters, mother, and me

In September, we took another trip overseas to Italy. Judy and I had never been to Rome or Florence, so we did a deep dive into these ancient cities and fell in love with both. Thanks to friends who gave us plenty of tips, we made the most of our week there.

The Colosseum in Rome

For Thanksgiving, I made a solo trip to Austin and Houston to spend the holiday with two-thirds of my kids and give thanks with my sisters and 93-year old mom.

With my two Austin kids

We wrapped up our year by flying in our Austin kids and spending Christmas in Yosemite—all five of us sharing one hotel room. The views were breathtaking and the time with our adult children was precious.

Our family in Yosemite

Thanks, 2017. For all your rough spots, I can’t complain about what you allowed me to accomplish.