Highlights from 2013 in pictures

We started 2013 by tearing things up.  When we moved to the farmhouse we learned quickly that one bathroom just wasn't going to be enough.  Two years into living here I realized that if we just switched the staircase back to its original 1865 location, we'd have room for a bath off our bedroom.  To our surprise, when they changed the staircase in the 1930s, the owners left the original sealed up in the wall....so in January we began a remodel project that lasted nearly the whole year.  Just before Thanksgiving our daughter made the inaugural flush in the new bathroom.

I was asked to serve on the board of our community foundation in 2010.  It's hard to say no to a group that does so much good for the community.  While it was difficult to say goodbye, 2013 marked the last year of my 3 year term.  I chaired the grants committee which meant I had the most rewarding job of all.....giving away $$$ to awesome endeavors in our community.

2013 marked our 15th anniversary, and since it was such a short dating and engagement period, it also marked the 15th anniversary of when we were engaged.  We met at a coffee shop in town called the "Olde World Cup".  A buddy of mine had the sign stored in his barn....which was brought to my barn and used to convert the space into a surprise coffee shop for my wife and several of our friends and family.

2013 was a year of saying goodbye.  My cousin passed away early in the spring and for the first time in what seemed like many, many years the rest of us cousins were together for the photo-op above.

Both my grandfather and grandmother remarried after their spouses passed away.  2013 also marked the year that both of these "step" grandparents passed away.  My grandmother married Doc Bowen in 1981 and by far he became one of the greatest influences on my life growing up.  Doc passed away this spring and again I found myself saying goodbye.
I had the great fortune to hang out with this guy when I landed a job in Covington, Indiana which required an overnight stay at Turkey Run for some unlucky soul who had to follow me around for two days and take notes while I documented a few hundred buildings in this west-central Indiana town.  I've learned that hanging out with college kids raises my IQ on many subjects, but also makes me realize that those days are long in my past.  My work in Covington was probably the highlight of my professional life this year.  And I learned that it is incredibly difficult to take a selfie with a bulky 35mm camera, as is demonstrated by the look on my face above.

That overnight stay at Turkey Run was followed up by two more over the course of the summer.  One of those included a daddy-daughter camping-canoe trip with a fellow dad and his daughter.  Here we are on Sugar Creek.

The family headed east for a long vacation in the Adirondacks and the Boston-Plymouth, Mass. area this summer.  It's not hard to imagine that a history geek like me would eat this up.  My family roots go pretty deep in New England, so when we plotted our trip I had to make a stop at the oldest windmill in the United States, that just so happened to have been built by my 10x great grandfather Thomas Paine.

A different kind of goodbye was said when my cousin, who is more like a little brother to me, headed off to Hawaii for a job over an aquarium.  I'm proud as heck of him, but c'mon did you have to go so far away?  By early fall I would learn that my real little brother was planning to go even further from home....to Fiji!
After five years of dreaming, and a lot of work, the first signs for the Michigan Road Byway began to pop up along the route in Indiana.  I've had such a great experience working in this effort to bring heritage tourism and economic development to our state, I can't wait for what will develop from this.  I became the president of the byway association this fall and the whole route should be signed within a few months into the new year.

And what would fall be like without our family's annual Harvest Party?  Here are my folks with their grandkids and great granddaughter.  My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year, and as I type this I'm struck by the realization that my brother is going to be in Fiji!
And speaking of anniversaries, my wife and I celebrated our 15th in one of our favorite spots-Galena, IL.  I think I have improved my selfie skills.
This shot of South Bend's skyline came from on top of the old Studebaker assembly building.  Professionally my year culminated with the prospect of working with the owner of the building and the City of South Bend in rebirthing the landmark for future generations while preserving the heritage that helped build the city.

And speaking of rebirth....what would be more fitting than my daughter reading the story of Christ's birth for our family Christmas?  Each year one of the grandkids reads the story and it was her turn, for the first time, this year.  I pray for peace and prosperity to abound in, and most importantly through you in 2014.  May we all find the grace and hope provided to us by the birth of a most unlikely king.


Anonymous said…
I enjoyed reading this. :) Keep up the good writing.
Aunt Pat
hoosier reborn said…
More posts are scheduled for the next two weeks!
Anonymous said…
Great reading about the family, friends and work of HR. Please keep the posts coming as I look forward to seeing you later this year.

Best wishes to you & yours for a very happy & healthy 2014!

hoosier reborn said…
Thanks, and same to you. See you later this year!
hoosier reborn said…
Thanks, and same to you. See you later this year!

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