New Year

While on my after-supper-backpack-walk tonight, I got thinking about the year that just expired. A lot of neat things and frustrating things happened, but one thing is for sure… the year 2011 flew by.

The event I’ve laughed about over and over this year is the little boy I stopped from running away at Disneyland in Los Angeles. You can read the story HERE. The funniest part of the whole thing was the look on this little guy’s dad’s face. He was so relieved and surprised at the same time that to this day I break out in a big grin when I think about it.

I’m pretty happy with my physical condition at this time of year. It often seems that when winter sets in I stay inside more and eat more, making my waistline expand. This year since I’ve increased the daily situps to 200, maintained my pushups, and kept up with my daily 60# backpack hikes, that the handful of fat I’ve been able to grab other years is more like a pinch. The Grand Canyon hike is planned for March 1 this year, which is one reason why I started conditioning earlier. I often wonder why I let myself get out of shape, because it feels so good to be in shape.

I’ve also felt a lot of satisfaction from the work I’ve been doing at the volunteer fire department. This year besides the fire and first responder calls, I took the lead in doing some remodeling at the firehall. We have six windows in the “barn” section of the hall, where the trucks park. These were not high quality windows when they were put in so many years ago, and they really deteriorated over the years. Several were broken from being hit by basketballs and other projectiles. The windows were so cheap that the panels couldn’t be removed to replace the glass. Besides the obsolete windows, the spray on insulation on the bottom 6′ of the barn was in very bad shape.

So I made a presentation to the township to give us the money to fix it up, and they said yes. I ordered the windows and lumber and went to work. The first 4 windows I put in myself with the help of one other guy on one day. For the last two, I organized a work day during which we got them both installed, as well as some prep work for our annual fundraiser picnic, and some work on one of the trucks. Once the windows were in, I contacted the low bidder for the spray-on insulation job, and they came and got that part done. I have to admit I feel pretty good now every time I walk in there. I hope our heating bills are lower this winter too.

Probably because of all the extra-curricular stuff this summer, my firewood project was delayed until August. I remember feeling pretty frustrated it was taking so long. One other reason for the delay was I had to rebuild the stud walls that hold the firewood under the lean-to attached to the garage. There was some firewood in there already, which meant I had to move it around in order to do the work. This time I built it much sturdier. The previous walls lasted probably 15 years, so these should last as long as we’ll need them.

That’s the year in review. There are lots of projects planned for 2012, and I’ll do my best to keep this blog up to date as things develop. Best to you all in 2012.

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