A look back at a good year

We just concluded a year filled with great memories for me. I reached some milestones, had some firsts and — overall — had a really great year.

The high point of my year had to be getting this job at the Herald Democrat. I’ve really enjoyed my assignments and like everyone with whom I work. It’s just been swell.

I’m not sure how much of these columns the boss reads, so I wanted to make sure I got that up high for him to see before I talked about the real highlight of my year — my trip to Italy. I do like working here, but a nearly two week tour of Italy is pretty impossible to beat.

My wife and another teacher from her school took 20 high school students on an educational tour of Italy over 10 days in June and I got to go along as a chaperone. It was an incredible experience and everyday it provided us with new memories we’ll never forget.

Of course, that highlight was quickly followed by a big low for the year when I had to go into the hospital for three days after I developed a wicked infection shortly after returning home. It was unrelated to the trip and my doctors got me all fixed up, but it was the first time I’d ever been admitted to the hospital.

Shortly before that trip, my grandmother passed away and then shortly after, I was also involved in an automobile accident that totaled my car. Both of those incidents occurred just after my 35th birthday, so I was beginning to assume my good years were behind me.

Losing my car seemed like a lowlight until the insurance check came in and my wife and I were able to buy a new car. As we’d previously always gotten used cars, it was the first time either of us had ever bought a brand new car, so that was a great memory.

We also added a new member to our family when my wife found a stray dog running free near our neighborhood. She picked him up out of fear for his safety and we found that he didn’t appear to belong to anyone. Roger, as we named him, fit in with us quickly and our other dog, Bert, took to him immediately.

Much like any year, 2012 had its ups and downs for me, but there were definitely enough good times that I would be happy with a 2013 just like it.