Highs and Lows of 2013
2013 was generally a year of negatives for our family though we did have a few bright spots.
Our transition to USO-Andrews from USO-BWI was disappointing since the government shutdown caused a drop in flights at the military base. We helped a few families including a mother and her two young children trying to get a flight to Germany (SPACE A) who wanted to join her husband at Christmas. But mostly we looked at an empty terminal, especially during the last six months of the year.
In addition, one of our friends who volunteered at Andrews had a major stroke in late 2013 and will not return. And sadly, even the USO-Metro has stopped asking us to take photos of events.
Our wonderful neighborhood friend Bruce Woods, who saved our bacon many a time with his snow blower, died suddenly from a heart attack earlier this year. He was our age. Many of our friends too, have moved on with their lives and barely communicate with us anymore. My e-mails are filled mostly with ads and not messages from friends now. A bright spot for Barbara…she is retired from her job at USDA…great for her, less money for us.
We did have some great photo assignments this year with Honor Flight Austin and Chicago despite the shutdown and a wonderful photo op at a church for immigrants at a Christmas dinner in College Park. But we missed out on a wedding (they found a relative to do it ) and our annual holiday dinner at BWI was changed to Glen Burnie legion address. This was poorly attended and not many viewed our photos.
But we did enjoy taking photos at my father’s NASA retiree party, a visit to Glenn Martin Museum (even though my car was hit in the parking lot) a baptism of our friends twins in Silver Spring, and a visit to the Smithsonian Natural History museum to see our friend Audrey explain the origins of man as a docent.
And I did photograph a burial at Arlington National Cemetery of WWII vet’s wife. That was a moving event, and even though seen by only a few, was a honor to do.
Our football team, the Redskins, were a total disaster and we did not even get to see a Nats ball game this year. However they did not make the playoffs either. Washington seemed to be jinxed again this year.
I did get some VITA supplies for the first time from a nonprofit group as we helped over 500 taxpayers last year. But we have lost a couple of preparers and there are new rules this year that cause us some headaches. To make matters worse, our good friends Anne and Evans Roberts who also were fantastic VITA volunteers, moved to Seattle. They will be sorely missed.
Both our cars are getting on in age and needed some costly repairs and maintenance. At least our cameras are still working well. Knock on wood. When you are retired, every dollar counts.
Our father is relatively good health at his assisted living facility and still telling bad jokes. We will end the year with him and a resident party. Whoop-ie…….come on 2014!