I was born in Upper Michigan and learned there, living on a small farm amidst a panorama of seasons, to appreciate all of the beauties of God's creation. It was there that I developed an interest in creative art and writing. As a retired R.N. I now find time to explore my creativity and share it with others. I hope that I can inspire others to become more aware of all the everyday gifts in nature that are all around us.

It amazes me that people are so willing to spend not just hundreds, but thousands of dollars to have a luxurious room, in an elegant hotel, just to watch the big ball fall in Times Square. Of course, the room comes with all the trimmings of fine foods and drinks, but still I consider it an extravagance that I could not afford, and if I had the money, I would not spend it that way. I read in the Sunday paper that to see the direct ball view, at the New York Marriott, the cost was $2,800 per person. I guess I am old fashioned and a real party pooper, because I feel that I would rather be safe at home surrounded by my loved ones and recalling all of my blessings and sometimes not so happy events of the year past.

The past year has brought me sadness, grief, and a broken heart, but it has also brought me true love and the greatest joy a person my age, 77, could ever hope to find. I have a whole bright new future ahead of me and I am so grateful for a chance to share my life with a wonderful, Christian man. We both feel that God has led us to this point in time so that we can grow old together in the shadow of one another”s love. In the meantime we are , at heart, younger than springtime and sharing laughter and enjoying the simple things of life.

It takes a special kind of courage, I would say, to follow one”s heart and lift up roots of all that is familiar, to entirely change a predictable way of life. Maybe it it is not courage, but a reckless desire to change the course of one”s life and how lucky we are that prayers were answered and destiny brought us together.

Whenever January comes and we welcome a bright New Year, I always am filled with optimism for all of the wonderful things that the year could bring. It is like beginning to read the first pages of a wonderful book, and I anticipate each new day with joy and thanksgiving . We know that not all good things may come but if we have a song in our heart and try to see the bright side of life, we are sure to find good fortune along with whatever else may come. We usually find what we are looking for, if we have faith and search hard enough.

I wish that all people may have peace and love enough within their being so that even the dark days will be brightened with rays of hope for a better tomorrow.

Happy New Year to all.