Letter From Shepherdstown 01 01 16 Bounding into the New Year…

Happy New Year!  It is another grey day in Shepherdstown, WV, which has had nothing but a string of grey days since I arrived here almost two weeks ago.  The day, while grey exteriorly is sunny inside, surrounded by old friends.  My nephew, Kevin, is prepping to make bacon to go with waffles.  His wife, Michelle, is reading the news on her phone and I am beginning my letter while waiting for a call.

My friends, Medora Heilbron and Meryl Marshall-Daniels, and I have convened most Thursdays or Fridays for almost fifteen years to share our week’s experiences, our highs and lows and to love and support each other.  It is a gift the universe has given us and we have helped each other through a whole variety of things and have celebrated our successes and supported each other in our bumps in the road.

When one of us is traveling and the call doesn’t happen, it doesn’t feel like the week is quite right.  It’s good to be starting 2016 with a call.

I can’t quite believe it is 2016.  I never thought I would live this long but here I am, slowing moving into old age and having a better time of it than I thought I would.

My stomach bug has lifted and I woke this morning in fine fettle, eager to burst into the new year.  I texted friends to wish them Happy New Years and then came down and made coffee and read another 25 pages of my textbook.

The world, of course, is not coursing as quietly or as joyfully as my life in Shepherdstown.

A suicide bomber struck a restaurant in Kabul last night.  Five were wounded in the French restaurant, one of the few still catering to foreigners.

During New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dubai, a luxury hotel and apartment building caught fire and competed for attention with the fireworks at midnight.  Officials are investigating the cause of the fire. 12 were injured but there appear to have been no fatalities.

Wayne Rogers, “Trapper John” from the TV series “MASH” passed away last night, surrounded by family.  A much beloved star, he was also a shrewd investor and successfully managed money for a variety of clients while also acting.

Less than an hour ago, it was announced that Natalie Cole, one of the great voices of the 20th century and the daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole, passed away.  She was 65.

In a Tel Aviv pub, two were killed and four seriously injured by a gunman.  Investigators are working to determine if it was a crime or terrorism.  Isn’t terrorism a crime? Yes, I think so.

In Turkey, President Erdogan, who was Prime Minister for ten years, is seeking to change Turkey’s constitution to make the President, not the Prime Minister, the senior position.  An example he quoted:  Hitler’s Germany.  He did not elaborate.  No wonder the world thinks he may not be committed to democracy.

What I am committed to today is to enjoy feeling well, my spirits boosted by the sun breaking through the clouds and the camaraderie of friends and family.

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