As 2013 comes to a close I am reflective of the past and quietly looking forward to tomorrow, the beginning of a new year. The past year of reflections include memories of great trips to fun destinations, significant issues affecting family and another interesting year of work at the Nine Network.
As for the work, my staff had two significant resignations. In April our foundations director retired and then in December the director of major gifts and planned giving moved on to a new job. Both are nice people. It will be a challenge to replace them and yet all changes of this type offer opportunities to upgrade the positions with new talented people who will bring new ideas and talents to their job.
This will be my last year as the Vice President of Development at Nine Network. I will resign my full time position effective June 2014. I’m going to find something else to do where I can work nine months a year and travel for 12 weeks or so. That should satisfy our desire for travel and my desire to continue doing some useful work of some kind.
My goal before I leave is to help Nine Network achieve our $25 million Igniting the Spirit of Possibility goal. We are at $22 million as we end December. I think we surpass the goal soon.
Kerry and Kris packed up family and possessions and left San Francisco returning to their home in Mount Vernon, Washington. Sienna and Sebastian are making the adjustment pretty well. Kris’s contract with Oracle expired in December. He may get another offer to join another Oracle campaign beginning in May or June of 2014. Larry Ellison is deciding if the Oracle will defend the Americas Cup and race again in a few years.
Brent has spent more than a year living in Saint Louis. He had been living in Washington, California, and Colorado for most of the past six years. He has such a special spirit about him. He is a joy to be around.
Kelly and Mark bought a new home in Anacortes, WA. The Guemes Island resort continues to be successful year after year. Rumi and Teo are getting bigger month by month.
Todd and Jessica have had a very interesting year. Jessica changed jobs, while Todd has switched from advertising to consulting. They continue to be amazed at Scarlett and share in the joy of parenthood.
Brian made the biggest surprise announcement. He and his girl friend, Emily, are expecting a child in April. This will be granchild number ten for Sandy and me. We are looking forward to the trip west when they give us the OK to come see the baby. In the meantime, Fisher is looking forward to being a big brother.
Craig and Nicole are still living in the fast lane. Their lives are as busy as ever. Olivia is 15 years old and started driving lessons. Evan is still playing three sports year around. Ella is on a traveling soccer team.
In April, Sandy and I flew down to Tallahassee. Jim Short picked us up at the airport. We enjoyed a three day weekend with Jim and Debbie. They showed us all the cool places along the forgotten coast of Florida. The trip included Apalachicola, St. George Island, and Carrabelle, a small fishing village where they now live. Jim and Debby are happily retired. They sure know how to treat their guests….good food and good friends.
In May our PBS annual meeting was in Miami. After five days in Miami (working), Sandy I took a few extra days of vacation to Key Largo and Key West. I’ve got a Jimmy Buffet t-shirt to prove that I was there. The margarita’s seemed to taste better on Key West.
In August we traveled to Atlanta for the NETA Conference. Sandy joined me for an extra day with our friends Joe and Pam Krygiel. Joe resigned his CEO position with Catholic Charities and he returned to Delta Airlines as a flight instructor. They are planning to move to South Carolina next year so we will have another great destination to visit. We enjoy their company.
Then, in September, we took my first ever, three-week vacation. We traveled the first week with our good friends, Jim and Eileen Schaller. We flew to Seattle, ate dinner that night near Pikes Market. The next morning we took the Clipper Ferry Boat to Victoria, Canada. After a one night stay at the Empress (and enjoyed High Tea, by the way) we traveled by ferry boat again to Vancouver. After two pleasant days there we were off by train to Mount Vernon WA. Fortunately, Kelly picked us up and provided car transportation to her home in Anacortes, WA. We enjoyed two great days as Mark’s guest at his Guemes Island Resort. Then, we headed for the Snorting Elk Bar at Alpine Inn, Crystal Mountain for a spectacular view of Mount Ranier. The final day we were back to Seattle for plane departures. We had a great time with too many highlights to mention here. Being with Mark, Kelly, Rumi, Teo, and Brian and Emily on Anacortes and Guemes was fun.
When the Schaller’s headed home, we still had two weeks left for our trip to see Kerry, Kris, Sienna and Sebastian in San Francisco. What a great time.
We were in San Francisco when the USA Oracle Sailing team was competing with New Zealand for the America’s Cup finals. Kerry’s husband, Kris, works for Oracle. So, we had VIP treatment as guests and family members of the Oracle team. If you follow sailing you know that the United States team had an amazing come from behind victory. At one point they were down 7-1 only to come back to win 9-8. We were there for every victory, and oddly enough ,we never saw them loose a race.
When they lost races we were in Healdsburgh, California visiting our friends, David, Gretchen and Oliver. Or, we were in Yosemite National Park with Kerry and her kids and my nephew Luke Politte and his girl friend Amber and little Leo.
Yosemite was awesome. I love national parks and Yosemite was my second favorite next to Glazier National Park in Montana. All parks remind me of our friends Leo and Mary. Leo passed away in September after a nine month battle with cancer. We know he is in a better place but we miss him.
As I write this it is December and we are on a ten day trip by car. On December 22 we headed south to Nashville, then on to Chattanooga. By the 23rd we were driving through Atlanta and on Christmas eve we returned to Apalachicola Florida for a two night stay in a haunted, turn-of-the-century hotel called the Gibson Inn.
On Friday, December 27 we show up on Sanibel Island and Captiva with no reservations. This is one of their busiest weekends all year. Traffic jams were all over the island, restaurants were packed, waiting lines for all of the popular places, like Lighthouse Cafe, Grandma Dots, Mucky Ducks. That didn’t stop us. Sandy visits a real estate office for island rentals. They say, “Sorry Charlie” the island is sold-out. Five minutes later, and right across the street, I notice a small place partial hidden by Palm trees. They had a vacancy. And, even though the Parrot’s Nest looks funky from the outside it turned out to be just what we needed for a two night stay on the Island.
On our trip home we had an over night stay in DeFuniak Springs Florida, lunch at Bay Saint Louis Mississippi, and dinner in Jackson Mississppi with an overnight at one of our favorite places the Cabot Lodge.
So, the year 2013 comes to close. We are prayerful and grateful for our great family that chooses to love each other above all us. We look forward to 2014. It’s going to be the best year ever!