It’s that time of year again; the lights are up on the Denver City and County building, there is a chill in the air, there are holiday specials on TV, and of course, there has been Christmas merchandise in the stores for weeks now. The holiday season must truly be upon us. And you know what that means…
That means that it is time again to reflect on the year that is coming to a close, to draft the annual holiday letter, and to tell family and friends how wonderful it has been to have them as a part of my year. And what a year it has been!
2018 was a year of little travel. I made a few business trips to New York and Charleston, and a few personal trips to Minnesota and Florida, and a trip or two into the mountains. But, other than that, I have spent the year mostly at home.
The trips to Minnesota were to visit with Flo right before, and right after she went into Hospice care. Unfortunately, one of those trips to Minnesota was only a few weeks later to attend her funeral.
This summer, Flo passed away and the family are relieved to report that, when it came, the end was quick, peaceful, relatively painless, and at home, where she wanted to be. My brother, Denis was visiting her when Flo succumbed to the cancer that she had been battling for the past couple years. The memorial and burial was held on a stormy morning that suddenly cleared just in time for the service at the grave. It was a lovely service.
You may remember that as 2017 ended, I had been transferred to a new project at work. The project has kept me busy for much of 2018 and continues to go well. As of the writing of this message, we have released the new system and have our first client live and sending data through the system. This does not mean that the team I am on have time to rest, we’re already looking forward to our second client and have several people working on selling clients three and four.
In February, the company I work for rebranded itself “Operative.” It is a new name, but I am still with the same company. It continues to be a job I love doing. Honestly, I cannot see myself ever doing anything else!
Earlier this fall, the company decided to close the Denver office. As many of us have odd work and/or travel schedules which have more-or-less required that we work most of our days from home, it did not really Impact us all that much, but it was still noteworthy. Nobody was let-go; it simply reclassified all the Denver employees as being remote workers.
One of the down-sides of the project I am working on is the time and hours that I am putting-in at the (home) office. My workday starts each morning at 04:00 AM with my first call to my team in India starting shortly thereafter. The schedule reminds me a bit like having to get up early to move the irrigator on the farm. (Maybe this is why Dad wanted to make sure I got the opportunity to work for Uncle Dick on the farm when I was growing up.)
The bad part about this schedule is that, working daily from 04:00 – 14:00 means that I have little free time that aligns with people who have normal schedules. Having to be up that early meant giving-up the book club this year. But as I have little time for reading other than work these days…
Medically, it has been another interesting year. After a few years of dealing with Arthritis in my hips, I could finally take the pain no longer. I had my left hip replaced in August and after what my Doctor and Therapist called a remarkable recovery, I now am relatively pain-free. “Relatively” because, I need to make sure that I walk around (or at least stand-up) on a regular basis or I get a bit stiff and sore. It is not to hard to do, now that I have one of those stand-up/sit-down desks in my home office.
On both of my trips to the home office in New York, I was able to reconnect with my old roommate and good friend, Kelly. As we often do discuss, we talked about whether, after losing Saga a few years back, I was (finally) ready to have another dog. The day after my surgery, Kelly sent me pictures of the latest litter of puppies her dog had had. They are just the cutest things! On my last trip up to New York, I made a side trip to visit Kelly and her family in Connecticut and to visit the brood.
This week, Lev arrived in Colorado.
Lev is a male Canaan Dog (a breed of dog native to what is now Israel) puppy with a huge valentine heart marking on his left shoulder. It is from this mark that he gets his name. “Lev” is the Hebrew word for “heart.”
His travel was (for a puppy) a bit stressful, and his first days were a bit clingy. But, Lev is recovering from the stress of the travel. He is getting acclimated to living with me and already is taking a proprietary view of our home.
2019 looks to be a busy year for us, but I hope to get some time to work with Lev; I hope to get some time to travel to visit friends and family, and of course, I hope to get Lev in front of my camera as often as possible.
The year to come is certain to be a busy one, hopefully not too busy to spend time with the people who give meaning to life: you, my family and friends!
Warmest greetings to you and your family, now and throughout the holiday season and the year to come!
Don Bergquist – December 25, 2018 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA