New Year’s 2009...

We sent off the old year with a party for the kids.  Entirely my wife’s idea of course.  Without alcohol or loud music, the adults I’m sure were less impressed than the children.  The kids did seem to have a good time playing games and receiving gifts, however.  I had the pleasure of conversation with an Australian neighbor and a British friend.  Their children seemed to hit it off and made followup plans for today.

We retired well before the midnight hour, but as is our custom, we took Cookie out one last time before bed.  The air was cool and crisp and the stars brilliant and beautiful.  From every direction could be heard revelers from neighboring villages.  All duty bound to bring in the New Year in a drunken stupor.  Though 2008 was good to me on the whole, I was content to say goodbye early and have a good nights sleep.

Much of last year I had been waiting for “Mr. Motivation” to join me in establishing a more consistent exercise regimen.  Motivation’s failure to show up to the party, left me with no choice but to rely on grit, determination and unrelenting action.  Though I hate morning exercise with a passion, it is the only time of day that I can consistently exert control over my schedule.  After a week I seem to be over the initial hurdle.  I no longer search for excuses not to go.  The first kilometer or two can be quite painful but the body warms up and the pain subsides.  A run up to the reservoir and a walk back, will in time, be replaced by a nonstop run.  A mere seven kilometers, it is not a major accomplishment but it is a step forward toward regaining some of my previous physical prowess. 

So this morning, the first of the New Year, was a continuation of what began in the waning days of the last.  In appreciation for all who visit these pages and especially those who take the time to correspond through comments or email, here are a few shots of the first morning of 2009, in my remote little piece of heaven.  My wife and I wish you all, health and happiness in the coming days and may you find whatever it is you are looking for.