I am sitting here at my desk thinking of the events that happened over the past twelve months, and how I can write some perspicacious prose that people would remember me by. So what happened to Paul this year? How would I characterize the past 12 months of my life?
Let's start with January. I was in a ski clinic when I accidentally caught an inside edge, or crossed my skis, and the next thing I knew I was laying on the snow, with my colleagues hovering over me and telling me not to move. I felt embarrassed when the Ski Patrol took me off the mountain in a stretcher. To make a long story short, I suffered a concussion and spent the day at UVA Medical Center getting a CAT Scan. Contrary to what some people may have thought, I saw that I actually had a brain after all. Lovely. So I came though it okay and finished the season continuing to teach skiing. I got back on the skis that were so nasty to me. But I must admit, the accident affected me more than I thought it would. I find myself being much more cautious on the snow, sometimes being overly so.
After ski season, I went back to my other profession as a Professional Photographer. During the months of April and May, I did some soul searching as to where I wanted to take my business, and I found two aspects of photography that I really love --- Photojournalism and Fine Art Photography. I love photographing the events in and around Nelson County, Virginia. I have shot for Blue Ridge Life for over ten years. I find it interesting to review the photo shoots that I do every year such is the Piney River Mini-Triathlon and the Nelson County Kite Flying Festival. I love to photograph any kind of sporting event, and also fine art performances such as music or dance. The Fine Art aspect is something that I am in the process of developing.
I also completed a project that took me back to my days as a Software Developer. I successfully implemented my own database management system to track and analyze my website. I loved writing code during my IT career, and to be able to do it again was wonderful. So I learned Microsoft Visual Basic and Structured Query Language. I could also learn Python if I was motivated to do so. My DBMS creates 20 reports on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis ranging from hit totals, to geographic analyses, to browser and operating system analysis.
I also worked as a Starter at the Devil's Knob Golf Course which gets me out from behind my desk and lets me interact with people. I have worked this position for several years and I enjoy it more and more.
In September I went to visit my oldest daughter (Lauren) and her boyfriend in Philadelphia, PA. I toured Independence Square and Liberty Hall. It was really a transforming experience to be in the same room where our nation's forefathers put this country together. We also went to Love Park, and the Italian section of the city, where I had one of my favorite Italian pastries -- a Sfogliatelle.
In October I traveled to Georgia to visit my best friend whom I have known since my high school days. He lives in a very rural and mountainous area of Georgia similar to where I live here in Virginia. We visited the alpine city of Helen, Georgia and Brasstown Bald which is the highest mountain in the state of Georgia. If you ever make it to Helen, check out The Huddle House restaurant. They have great breakfasts.
In November my youngest daughter (Danielle) and her husband visited us from France. I was blessed with the good the news that I am going to become a grandfather next summer, so I see a trip a trip across the pond in my not to distant future.
That brings me to this December where I have started teaching skiing again for another season (my 16th). So the wheel has come full circle once again.
So that is my year in review. God granted me another year and for that I am truly grateful. I am forever thankful for my good health, my children, my brother and sister, and to all those in my life who have chosen to include me in theirs. So all in all, it was a pretty good year.
Merry Christmas to all, and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Cheers, Paul P.