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Being the paranoid type we didn’t advertise that we were going on vacation over Thanksgiving. However, now that we are back, we went on a wee bit of a drive over the last few weeks. In fact we drove 2920 miles in the last 17 days. Monterey to Seattle in two days. Seattle to Butte Montana in a day, and then Butte Montana back to Monterey California in one loooooooong drive of 19 hours. The driving was fairly uneventful. We hit some pretty slippery ice and snow going over Snoqualamie Pass on our way from Seattle to Butte. We also ended up with a screw in the front tire 35 miles outside of Butte. Nothing like making a potty stop, having someone tap on the window of the car to let you know your front tire is hissing. Thanks to a can of Fix-A-Flat we made it into Butte where I had the screw removed and tire patched the next day.

From 2011 Adventures

So, why all the long driving? Well we decided that this year we would take all of the girls to the annual Supercomputing conference. It was in Seattle this year and a friend of a friend working at Altair scored Megan an expo pass. So, since she had a ticket in, we decided to take the whole family on an adventure. In fact we even had Molly and Nora check out the show on Family night for a few hours. Megan had a good time walking the expo floor, collecting swag, and having fun checking out all the Nerdiness. Roberta and I hit a lot of the after hours parties, and Molly and Nora got to explore Seattle and play in the swimming pool. it was a good time had by all.

From 2011 Adventures

We spent almost week in Seattle and then we went up and stayed the weekend with friends and family.  We heard Lane and Jacob of the Taphandles play a gig in Woodinville, WA. Good music, beer, friends and family. It was a good night.

After Seattle we drove over Snoqualamie Pass in snow and ice to Butte Montana for some visiting with Roberta’s half of the family. We did some playing in the snow, riding quads up in the mountains, and general playing around.

Finally we ended up driving the final leg from Butte Montana to Monterey California in one long drive. We left at 8AM Mountain time and arrived in Monterey at 2:30 am Pacific time.

I’ll try to update some pictures soon.

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One of those email chain letters that I actually enjoyed reading.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend…

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .. I will.  I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.  I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.  So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.  As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore…  I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).

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