Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And so it Passes

Pikes Peak during January 2014
2014 ends tonight. What a year it has been. I am at the same time happy and sad to see it pass.

It is the turning of the year that helps me take a moment and review the year.

One of the high points was the trip to Oregon during July. Wow, what a beautiful place. I highly recommend it as a place to visit. It may be too rainy and cold to live there.
Consensus Blending: The Mad Scientist Lives

I had forgotten how much I traveled during the year: to Colorado a bunch of times and to Alaska during February. Then there was also the Consensus Wine Blending at Keswick--which is always a great weekend in Charlottesville, VA. Spring Training to Sarasota got me out of the cold for a few days and into a baseball state of mind.
Alaska in February: Who Travels There Then?

And there were also trips to Ithaca and wineries. I lost count of how many wineries were visited this year--but I know they were in five states: Maryland, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Oregon. 

There were wine dinners and wine evenings throughout the year the kept me busy and helped me to enjoy life to the fullest. 
Sarasota with the Orioles Bird

Spring finally arrived, and with it Opening Day and the fantastic Orioles baseball season which saw my team come just short in the League Championship Game. OK, so they were swept. But the Orioles proved themselves as one of the best teams in baseball. 

There were celebrations during the year: I officiated at two weddings during the year and celebrated my parents 60th anniversary and a host of birthdays. But, there was also the mind-numbing loss of our nephew, Troy,  that will never be fully overcome or understood.


Mom and Dad do 60

Out of the loss though, I began learning a new sport: golf! I played in a tournament and discovered that golf is enjoyable, frustrating, more frustrating, and a life sport to compliment racquetball as something that I do and not something that I only watch others do.
Tracks in the Hail Stones after the Storm

During the year, I survived a horrific tornado-infested hail storm in Denver. I have never seen hail fall from the sky in the volume or size that I witnessed during one afternoon in the Mile High City. 

Beach time was very limited and I was able to make it to Ocean City for Labor Day--my only beach trip of the year. For the first year I can remember in a long time, I did not snorkel or dive into the waters of an ocean. I barely got my feet wet in Ocean City as the surf was rough and cold.

Chris Enjoying a Late-October Evening fire
An October evening fire and wine began capping the year's events. As the mosquitos finally went away we were able to reclaim the backyard. From there there was the succession of holidays: Halloween, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas--all great and all special.

As I reflect upon the year, there are so many events that occurred that is it hard to recap them all and I know I have missed a few great ones. But that is the point--even with the numbing loss we experienced, 2014 was a great year. New vistas achieved, new places visited, and friends and family were at the center of all of it. 
On the Beach
My Preferred View of the World

Who knows what 2015 will bring. I already know that will have a new experience before January plays out--and I am looking forward to the Caribbean warmth that goes along with it.

Another Consensus Blending trip is on tap in an effort to repeat as the champions--and if not, at least have a lot of fun.


--Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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