Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year's Eve!

This is the last post I will write in 2014.  As I type this, it's 6:18pm in central Europe.  In a couple of hours, I expect nutty, drunk Germans will be in the street setting off fireworks.  Last time we lived in Germany, it was a lot like armageddon.  People were setting off so many fireworks that it felt a bit like a war zone.  Our dearly departed MacGregor was totally traumatized and spent most of the night huddled under my desk.  I don't think Zane or Arran will be quite as freaked out.

Today, I've spent a good portion of the day arguing with an Italian friend about a news article I found yesterday concerning a kindhearted South Carolina sheriff who took a 9 year old boy from Pennsylvania hunting.  My Italian friend thought it was crazy that the cop would take a young boy hunting.  I grew up in a rural community where this was very normal stuff.  So did Bill.  My Italian friend was making the point that youngsters in America are indoctrinated to using guns and handling money at a very young age, while European kids learn about wine and sex.  Sadly, I think my Italian friend is misinformed.  Seems to me, a lot of American kids are being helicopter parented these days.

Later, I stumbled across the following photo...

Yes, this is an actual Play-Doh toy...

Evidently, no one at Play-Doh noticed that this toy resembles a dick.  I had to share it with my fellow Americans here in Germany, many of whom thought this was pretty hilarious.  I must admit, I do too.  I also wonder, how many little kids see a dick when they play with this?  It's the parents who think it's dirty, not the kids.

2014 turned out to be quite an interesting year.  We started it in Texas and are ending it in Germany.  If you had asked me last January if I thought we'd be in Germany on New Year's Eve, I probably would have laughed at you.  I kind of hoped it would happen, but never thought it actually would.  I seriously thought we'd be staying in Texas.  I guess life is what happens when you make plans.

2014 is the year I lost my dad.  If I'm honest, I am not sorry he died.  I don't believe he was happy in the state he was in.  I don't think he'd been happy in years.  My mom worked hard to take care of him.  I think she misses him, but I also think that taking care of his needs was very hard for her.  For all he went through in this lifetime, he lived a very long and fulfilling life... a respectable 81 years with one wife and four daughters who were his and never disowned him.  He had a successful Air Force career, ran a successful business, and had a lot of friends and loved ones.  I think he led a life well lived.

2014 is the year I discovered the awesomeness that is Paul Thorn...

My life needs more Paul Thorn in it...

This was the year I got to do two space A trips and see my long lost friend, Audra, who lives in France.  This was the year I got to go to Virginia and see my long lost family and a couple of old friends, even though I stressed and bitched about it non-stop.  And this was the year I worried about being totally broke, but we have more money now than we've ever had.  Things have turned out okay.  At the very least, we got the hell out of the house from hell, right?

I have high hopes for 2015.  Stay tuned.


  1. Sounds like an overall good year. I understand your feelings about your Dad. I felt that way when my grandfather died, especially regarding my grandmother. She spent so much time and energy taking care of him that she really flourished after he died.

    Sadly, she was gone about 9 months later, but she lived more in those 9 months than she seemed to have had in the last 10 years.

    I hope you have a wonderful new year, Jen! I know we don't talk all that often, but I do always enjoy it when we do.

    I wish you all the best.

    1. Aw, thanks Dave! Don't be a stranger! You are one of my blogging mentors, you know.

    2. Awwww right back at ya! Blogging mentor? I think the student has surpassed the master, especially since I haven't blogged in a couple of years now.

    3. :D In the early days of this blog, I regularly looked your way for inspiration. So yes, you have been a good teacher.


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