Notes below were posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Vacation

We went to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji for 3 weeks in Feb - Mar 2008. I took a bazillian pictures, but will just share a few here. I'll post some albums on my Facebook page when I get the time to arrange them.

This first picture is of a Fijian sunset. Probably not much different from one on a good day from the NC coast, but it was beautiful being in Fiji and we had a great time boating and snorkling.

This is at the beginning of our trek from Fiordland National Park across NZ to Dunedin. Beautiful area called Milford Sound.
Of course I had to take some pictures of roos in the wild. This was in Melbourne.

On the Sapphire Princess for the cruise part of our trip. Sydney Opera House in the background.

A Few Good Family Pictures

The first picture was taken at the Durham Museum of Life and Science at the Butterfly House. I showed a friend the pic and he commented "I didn't know that angels grew wings so early." I totally agree.
This second picture is of Megan on Haloween 2008. A princess of course.
This is just a good picture of Matt & Laura for those who haven't seen them for a while.
This is a picture of some beautiful dolls. Megan is the one in the middle.

Notes below were posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Fire

A lot has happened since I updated my blog in fall ’07. I can’t remember any good excuses from November 5, 2007 until February 16, 2008. But on February 16, 2008 my house burned down. Now, before you get too alarmed or begin feeling sorry for me, let me add that no one was injured and materially I actually am better off now than before the fire. I suspect that there are only a small handful of people that might read this blog that do not know me well enough to be aware of the fire and the year following, but here is a quick synopsis:

• The things most commonly referred to as significant losses – family photos – were saved since I had archived them to CDs which I was able to recover
• We had good insurance which has enabled the purchase of a home that better suits our needs and egos than the one that burned
• The main thing that was lost was time. We have been consumed with the replacement of essentials (like clothes), securing temporary housing, purchasing a home, and all new furniture.

Now, having said all of the above let me reiterate the main thing. We actually are better off now than before the fire. We probably should have moved 10 years ago or earlier, but the hassle kept us from it. The home that we bought in 1976 served us well, but was purchased as a place in the woods with room for a couple of horses. Now that Barbara and I are the only residents (kids and horses long since vacated), living closer to town in a neighborhood suits our needs better.

Enough about the fire, and I won’t mention it further in the blog. I only do it here since it would seem strange not to mention such a significant event in our lives.

We travelled to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji shortly following the fire (oops, there I mentioned it again). This was a trip in the planning for more than a year. We were able to recover our passports. God knew that we needed the trip – and we did. The 6 days between the fire and departure had us physically and emotionally exhausted and the getaway allowed us to rejuvenate and provided time far enough away that we were not dealing with the daily needs relating to the fire. I’ll post some pictures of our travels later in “catch-up” entries.

Megan continues to develop as the blessing that she began 3.5 years ago. More pictures of her, of course, will follow since she probably is the greatest reason for my starting this blog.

Funny how this Internet thing has evolved. I started with a personal web page, migrated to blogging, and opened my Facebook page in October. Each activity has its own benefits, but I’ll probably continue to use this blog for sharing pictures. I am fully aware that not many people are that interested in my personal thoughts, but it’s a catharsis for me to put them down, and it gives me a resource to use when friends ask for pictures of trips/grandchild (hopefully multiples in the future).

More to follow in the days to come.