A lot of us can’t wait for 2016 to end. We lost many pop culture icons – David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Gene Wilder – but on a personal level, I lost too many people close to me this year. 1/2 my grandparents – Mom’s mom passed in September, and Dad’s dad in November. Also, we approaching the anniversary of my friend Rhett’s death in January, and I still miss playing video games with him. Travel was numerous and long, my job had long and stressful hours, but a lot of good and fun things happened this year as well. Let’s move past the sad things that happened in 2016, and carry the good, warm memories into 2017. Here are a few special items to note:
The annual journey to CT for Food Allergy Awareness had our biggest team yet! Cousins who live nearby joined us, and my parents came down too. We raised over $1,000 again this year, giving our team special recognition at the event. I am so thankful for all of our generous donors!
Texas was this year’s Horror/Haunted house destination, and this time I was able to visit my friend Russell in his native city of Austin. We visited haunts in Dallas, Houston, AND Austin in a three day multi-destination road trip! We had a blast. If you’ve never been to Texas, their haunts have something I’ve never seen before – the dreaded foam room. Floor to ceiling foam filled a 20 foot hallway (see pic), and while we started to choke almost immediately, we barreled through and we came out totally soaked, but triumphant!
Escape rooms became my new obsession in 2016. I did a bunch with my nieces and nephew over Easter, and I quickly wanted more! These feel like point-and-click computer games come to life. I found more to do over my birthday. And now it seems every time I see my family, we add a new escape room challenge to the visit. For my CNY friends, I highly recommend Escape the Estate (Shoppington Mall) and 5 Wits (Syracuse Destiny) for a great night of family fun.
The rest of my family continues to be in good health and good spirits. Although too many funerals brought us together, it was good to see everyone. Nephew Tyler is almost as tall as me (just short by 3 inches) and he’s only 13! Niece Samantha has joined my escape room addiction, and she and Tyler visited me in Chicago this past summer (we did Fox in a Box here). Dad is still working, but we will see how long that lasts. Mom is part-time tutoring. My sisters and niece Alexis work long hours, but still remain beautiful and fabulous.
I’ve lost 15 lbs over the past 1.5 years, and thrilled with my progress. I hope that the upcoming year will be better than 2016, and I bet good things await you. Remember, even when there are tough times, there is still joy to be encountered in this world. Make sure to squeeze your loved ones daily, as you never know how much time any of us have here on earth. Wishing everyone peace and love (and a little silliness) for the new year.