Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! Reflecting on 2013

Today is the last day of 2013 and I don't know about you but for me here in Colorado it was for the most part a good year, though unlucky 13 did read its ugly head a few times.

In 2012 we had the horrible Waldo Canyon fire that was intentionally set.  This fire burned many acres and hundreds (approx. 350) homes.  I can remember sitting on my back deck and seeing the flames glowing at night.  The result of this fire for 2013 was every time it rained over the burn scar we had flooding.  Bad flooding. 

Manitou Springs flooded several times and the images of water and rocks coming down Highway 24 was astonishing and unbelievable.  It was so bad that every time it rained they closed the highway and evacuated the town of Manitou.  The flooding was also bad downstream as all that water rushed into downtown Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs then onto the plains and the Arkansas River system. 

We had horrible rains all over the state this past summer.  It would rain so hard and so fast the rain didn't have anywhere to go so we had floods.  There was the flood in Boulder where the small quiet stream overflow its banks and flooded the college and most of the town.  I even had water in my basement and my front yard from all the rain.

On a good note, all this rain brought us out of the drought we were having.  Water rationing for lawns and gardens went away.  The silver lining! 

2013 also saw another bad fire.  The Black Forest Fire started on a windy day, well I know, every day here in Colorado is windy but this was an exceptionally windy day.  The fire, fueled by the dry conditions and wind burned hundreds of homes and businesses.  But again, the silver lining was the rain that came and helped the firefighters. 

To me it all comes down to finding the good in everything.  The Manitou shops are having a resurgence in business as the town has come together to shop local and support the town of Manitou Springs.  Even the local businesses in Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City are booming from the community support of shopping local.  The people of Black Forest are rebuilding and doing fire mitigation to help prevent another fire.  Their businesses are also finding a silver lining from the fire as our community is working to help them and support their efforts. 

I accomplished a lot of things in 2013, our family camped several times, we made new friends, said a sad good-bye to a dear friend who lost his battle with cancer but overall we had a terrific 2013 as a family. 
I started this blog in 2013 and I'm grateful to anyone who reads it and I hope it brings a laugh to you at least once in a while.  It is very cathartic for me to write and I appreciate all of you. 

So Christmas! 
For me, Christmas is a time for me to reflect on the small child born so humbly and reflecting on how his ministry changed the world.  Prior everyone was a pagan but this man teaching love and peace changed the world dramatically.  To me it means that my contribution, no matter how small can change the world. 
Christmas though is for children and I am lucky enough to have nieces that I can spoil if I want!  It is my job.  The largest gift under the tree was for my Lily.  Christmas is also a time for family and friends to gather together and laugh.  I am lucky enough to have a family that enjoys each other and we get together often to eat, play games and just laugh and be silly with one another. 
Here is a bit of a look at our Christmas 2013.

As we start 2014 please be careful if you drive, watch out for the crazies!  I wish everyone peace, love and joy for 2014! 
I'll be back on Friday to show everyone how to clean their ovens... did you know that the doors come apart so you can clean inside?  Nope, me either! 
Happy New Year and God Bless us Everyone! 

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