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Entry date: 1-3-2023 - Winter Wonderland - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

We had a wonderful time with our dear friends up in Blue Ridge over the weekend. The weather, as they say, was frightful, but the company was delightful and I do believe a good time was had by all.

Except maybe one rabbit.

At some point on Friday night, the second to last day of 2022, a rabbit lost its life. The popular theory was that one of the dogs, maybe Bella (AKA Danger Tail) or Bailey, got the rabbit and killed it. We found it on Saturday morning. Of course, it could have been some other predator that got scared by a noise or one of us moving around and dropped the rabbit, but it is a mystery.

Popes and rabbits, and apparently Barbara Walters, all die. I didn't realize Barbara Walters had died, but I did spend a good deal of time on Saturday morning playing a combination of E, G, A, and C while singing about how Popes and rabbits, they die. It was fortunate that Mike has a guitar up there. I thought about bringing one but then figured it would take up a lot of room.

The riffs were flowing over the weekend. It was a lot of fun for me to play a lot of guitar in front of my friends. Maybe it wasn't fun for them, I don't know. I hope Rhondi would have pulled me aside and said, "You're driving everyone crazy." I need to listen to the recordings and see if there is any merit to the fresh mountain air being good for the creative brain.

I just paused and listened to them. I must have been a little high from all the mountain air. They aren't bad, mind you, and I could work on them, but I don't really have a project to work on them in right now. Maybe one could be a new Hillbilly song. One is actually a re-worked Father Figures riff from a song that we recorded but won't ever come out.

Anyhow, we celebrated the New Year and even stayed up past midnight. Not a ton past midnight since we all get up pretty early these days, but we made it. It was a lot of fun and a great way to ring in 2023. It started snowing the next afternoon and it was a cold, fluffy New Year's Day.

We battened down the hatches as much we could and enjoyed looking at the falling snow. It seemed like we might get stuck there, but it cleared enough on Monday morning for us to dig out and come home. Rhondi and I slept like the dead last night after three nights of sleeping Rob and Laura Petrie style in a couple of twin beds at the cabin. Bailey slept with me, so I woke up feeling like I was going to fall off the bed every night, but I would gladly do it again.

I wish Liam and Teresa would have come up, but spending NYE with your parents and their friends is not a teenage idea of fun. I remember spending NYE by myself in 1984/85 because I was grounded. I think the girl I was dating at the time might have come by for a bit, but I can't remember very clearly. I watched Suburbia for the 20th time and probably Valley Girl.

The following year, Ben and I through an epic party and got in trouble for that one, too. I think that got us grounded again. It was worth it, though. Ben and Aunt Julie had moved into Casa Bravo a bit before my mom and I moved over there and we threw down, but a few things got broken and I think the moms might have gotten back to town a bit earlier than we expected.

So yeah, looking back, I can understand why our kids didn't want to be trapped in the snow with us. I had some fun high school NYE's. There have been a number of good ones over the years. I hope yours, dear reader, was fabulous, too. Not to brag, but I once saw the Butthole Surfers open for Nirvana in Oakland on NYE. That was pretty damn rad.

I wouldn't, however, trade any of them for the one we just had. Rhondi and I were enjoying ourselves a lot and it was the best to give her a kiss (in spite of my stupid beard) at midnight and hug our friends. Maybe it will become a tradition to congregate at the cabin for NYE. We shall see.

During the ride home yesterday, I was thinking about the concept of letting go of the past. The whole experience of writing about so much of it during the last year has given me a unique perspective on holding on to things you don't need to hold onto when they are gone. Yesterday, just like today in a few hours, will be gone. I hold onto so many things that I really don't need to hold onto that letting go of a bunch of it recently has lightened my load, considerably. If you need to let go of some things, I highly recommend finding a healthy way to do so.

Speaking of healthy stuff, I decided to do a dry January. To be honest, January 1 was not dry, but each of the rest of January days will be sans alcohol. After a long, stressful drive out of the snow yesterday, a delicious beer sounded so good, but I abstained. We have Hillbilly practice for the first time in years tonight and that would be a time where I might be tempted to partake in a frosty beverage, but I will not do it.

I should probably weigh myself and see if I drop any lbs over the next four weeks. If I know myself, I will probably not want to start drinking again when the month is over. That's kind of been a pattern for me with things I give up for this long. Again...we shall see.

Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend. One is a shot from Saturday and the other is from Sunday. What a difference a day makes.


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