I will use this 153rd and final Grandstander post of the year to look back upon 2017. In doing so,I will tell you that Bob and Marilyn Sproule can quote Charles Dickens and truly say that "it was the best of times; it was the worst of times."
As for the best of times, we went to Walt Disney World for the first time since 2004, we visited the beautiful city of Seattle and took our first cruise together and experienced the sheer wonder and beauty of Alaska, we shared those adventures with good friends and new travel companions Dan and Susan, we visited New York City and saw a Broadway show with friends Bill and Joann, we took our first train ride, we saw "Hamilton" in Chicago, we made it back to the Outer Banks, and we had many more fun experiences with family and friends throughout the year, and it concluded just two nights ago when we saw our niece Katie for the first time in eleven years and met her two children, Will and Caroline, for the first time.
As for the "worst of times", well, I have chosen not to share details of that on this blog, but many of you readers out there know what I am talking about. However, even when terrible news is received, we have been able to take refuge in the knowledge that we have family and friends who support and love us, who have been and continue to be there for us throughout. And, while it has always been a part of our belief systems, we have learned of the power of prayer, and that it works. Our gratitude to all of you out there, and to the wonderful caregivers at the Allegheny Health Network, is something that we will never be able to fully capture in mere words.
We loved 2017 and we hated it, but we are ready and looking forward to 2018. I still plan on pounding away here about the Pirates, the Steelers, movies, television, books, pop culture, and yes, obituaries, as I have since 2010. Marilyn and I have some exciting things already planned for this coming year, and we can't wait to share them with all of you. Thank you all for being here, not only in reading these periodic musings of mine, but for being here for us as you were during these last several months. Not sure that we could have done it without you.
A happy and healthy 2018 to you all!