‘Tis the Season, My Friends!

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  This year, I put my tree and decorations up earlier than usual.  I really needed the beauty of the sparkling lights and the sounds of Christmas music to get me through my toughest year since my mother died 27 years ago!

Ap tree

After eight years together, Ray and I decided to go our separate ways earlier in the year.

It wasn’t just one thing that brought us to this conclusion.  The outcome of the 2016 election was very difficult for me and it took its toll on us. (I’m still not at peace with it!)  Also, it turns out I was a better dad to a golden retriever than his teenage daughter.  And, Ray realized he wasn’t happy some time ago, but he didn’t address it.

So, I took a morning meteorologist position in Panama City, Florida.  I still love what I do, but with the changes in my personal life and the move, it hasn’t been easy.  I’m miserable and it’s not just because of the split. I miss my sister, my friends, my koi/fish pond, and the snow in the Midwest!

With that being said, life is too short to feel this way and if things don’t change soon, I’ll make a change for myself and not just accept a “Band-Aid” to cover something that needs more attention – my happiness.

Enough with the “Hard Candy Christmas”, let’s make it a “Holly Jolly Christmas”!  There were fun things in 2017!

CC

Meeting my childhood idol was the highlight of my move.

In July, I drove hours through the Southern “backwoods” to Plains, Georgia, and enjoyed a church sermon from President Jimmy Carter.

Not only did I get my picture taken with him and his wonderful wife, Rosalynn, but they sent me an autographed picture of us!

Autograph Carters

Since paying bills isn’t the only reason I work, I traveled, too!

You know how much I love Las Vegas.  In March, I saw Britney Spears for the second time.

Brit

And, I caught the Australian Bee Gees, a cover band.

Of course, splurging on buffets is a huge draw for me. I’ve now made the scrumptious Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan and the incredibly delicious Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood part of my Vegas tradition!

In August, Ray and I traveled to Scandinavia together since we had already booked and paid for the trip.  Copenhagen, Denmark was gorgeous and Norway was beautiful, too (I loved Bergen and Oslo and seeing snow on Sognefjord (“King of the Fjords”).  We also spent one night in Gothenburg, Sweden.

AP Scand

My sister, Tammy, is still in the Quad Cities. She and her boyfriend, Gerald, came down for a week to visit in October.

ATG

Just after she got home, her family expanded in October with the birth of twin grandsons.  Now, her two granddaughters are big sisters.

I hope life is treating you well and that you have so much to be thankful for — not just at the holidays, but every day.  With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!  Here’s wishing us great health and happiness in 2018 as we travel down this road of life!

“May hope and faith conquer fear and hate this Christmas!”

Love, Anthony

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Darla Beach on December 18, 2017 at 6:20 am

    My heart aches for you, Anthony, but I know your resilient spirit will bring you back on top! Your pics are the best! Hold the sparkly season in your heart.
    Darla

    Reply

    • Darla,

      Thank you very much. While it’s been tough, I know it’s just a bump in the road and a temporary setback.

      Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family.

      Love,
      AP

      Reply

  2. Posted by Mindy Deem on December 18, 2017 at 7:13 am

    I’m very sorry you have such a tough year💔 I hope 2018 will be a much better year and hopefully I see you back here in the cities where you arer happiest..soon. Hugs to you. Merry Christmas🎄🎄 and may you be back before the first big snowfall hits 😉😉😇

    Reply

  3. Hugs from the Quad Cities Anthony. Maybe your journey will lead you back to the Quad Cities. If you come back, you are more than welcome to hang with Ron and I and i am sure we are among just the few who would be here for you. Sorry for your rough year, i have had those in my life and from experience things always seem to turn around when you least expect it. Generally happens for me when i quit trying to control everything and turn it over to God. Warm thoughts and prayers are with you during this holiday season and in 2018!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Mary on December 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Anthony, being a stepparent is the hardest thing a person will ever do. Don’t beat yourself up over it! Often times the “real” parent takes things so personally when there is the slightest thing doesnt go right. Unlike pets, children don’t love unconditionally & they usually bear the brunt of the baggage from the broken relationship between their parents. They tend to have all kinds of guilt & loyalty struggles. Knowing you, I’m sure you did the best you could. I’m sad for all of you – you overcame so much to get what you had together. I wish you all the best💕

    Reply

    • Mary,

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read my letter and share your thoughts.

      You’re correct, I did the best that I could under the circumstances of being a first time “like a dad”. If I’m ever in that situation, I hope that I learned a valuable lesson and I’m more patient.

      With that being said, I hope there’s more of an effort from both sides!

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friend.

      AP

      Reply

  5. Posted by Brittany on December 22, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Hi Neighbor!

    Merry Christmas! We miss you!

    The Bean Family

    Brittany, Bill, the twins, and MYLEE 😃

    Reply

    • Brittany & family,

      I miss you guys, too. I know the twins are really keeping you busy and very fulfilled.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

      MYLEE, I miss you and your happy hopping dance! 🙂

      AP

      Reply

  6. Merry Christmas, Anthony. And may it truly be a happy New Year.

    Reply

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