22 December 2008
somewhere over Ohio

Aaaaaak! It’s Christmas....and it’s been a lousy year for blogging. At least for me. We called it the “journal” on this website, since I knew I’d never get around to regular entries, but 7 months’ lag is pathetic! Perhaps the way I have to schedule workout time, I should schedule writing time 3 or 4 times a week? Sadly, it always seems to escape me. Even the pensive, practical oasis of the plane has been shattered by the angle of incline of the seat in front of me, the elbow of the frequently filled middle seat, or the slowly simpering battery in the Macbook? (did I forget to charge it completely again ?!!?!)

I’ve now joined the dreaded face-book in order to keep some sense of communication open with my friends in various far-flung places, and I’m constantly inspired and fascinated with my new toy (iPhone) and how it keeps track of all that contact information. Now that photos are super-easy, perhaps I will have more snapshots to share? If it works, then I will be truly grateful. Hearing the NPR story about how the Italians are being taken-over by face-book was a bit alarming!

Every month had highlights:

My house trauma-drama was mitigated by friends in Baltimore, Hazael’s cancer and ultimate conclusion to her life brought comfort from my friends in reminiscing with those who knew her and introducing the memory of her to those who hadn’t experienced her sparkle, her direct wit, and her stubbornness first hand. She was able to die at home – as she wanted – only through the help of friends in St. Augustine, a gift, a debt we will never be able to repay. And how wonderful is it to be working in a strange city and have a note or e-mail from a friend pop up to remind me of a great laugh, a great meal, a great visit in the midst of my new adventures.

So, as all of us are grinning and bearing the tighter economy, there will come those opportunities to (in the words of John Kraus) "help those less fortunate than ourselves". I’m grateful for the good fortune I’ve had this year: a new job in Omaha, a new niece (Evelyn, welcome aboard !), and a new opportunity to explore these operas from a focused (if austere) point of view. We’re also all required to take a stand on our new national government. How lucky are we to not only witness but participate as our country outgrows it’s “spoiled teen-ager” phase (thank you, Monique for that observation) and once again takes responsibility for life, liberty, pursuits of happiness, the environment, and the constitution of our adventurous American spirit.

I’m sad not to have the chance to see friends at my house for a party and the local caroling festivities. I’m just today opening the box of Christmas Lights for the first time this year! Perhaps I can find an opportunity in January to have folks over, so let me know if you’re in or near Baltimore during the month.

And, to my friends: THANK YOU for keeping after me, a note of comfort, a moment of listening, a great laugh or two, excellent wines and spirits, a place to crash when passing through, and an epidemic of hugs. I look forward to returning the favor!

Wishing all of you joyous holidays and a Happy New Year!

18 October 2008, Culpeper, Virginia

My folks (with snowman) Grand Canyon National Park

Me with Carla Janzen after a rehearsal of CALIFORNIA FICTIONS in Aspen

My House/My Kitchen

Matt and Mary with Evelyn, Born 28 October 2008

In Loving Memory
Hazael Scoggins Bruce 1914 High Point, NC - 2008 St. Augustine, FL
William Mercer Bruce 1912 Culpeper, VA - 1999 St. Augustine, FL