Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 from Athena to Zambia and beyond...



New
        Additions (meet Zambia, our Patagonia Cavy)
        Experiences (Markham joined and thoroughly enjoyed the football team)
        Endeavors (Macallan giving wildlife talks with her band of pets)
        and New Producer groups after the South African government sent me to work with SA artisans.

Promising changes include Macallan’s quest for just the right school. Wildlife Biology isn’t available in every college, so we’ve been in the throws of visitations, applications and stressful examinations (SAT and ACT’s?!? We didn’t have ACT’s when I was applying for colleges!) Sadnesss also came to us in 2012. While we did not experience any hardship during the storm called Sandy, our family lost one house and had another damaged. Peter was called in as an engineering consultant to be one of the first to inspect
homes on Staten Island. He returned each day saddened by the total loss some residents encountered and visibly moved by the stories he heard as he went from house to house.

In December, we said good bye to Peter’s mom, Grace. After years of living in an assisted living community, she is finally at peace.

Workwise, I was honored with several awards, one from the UN for Best Practice using the principles of the Millenium Goals, and another one from AAUW for my involvement in a women’s empowerment movement. I was named an Athena honoree by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and then chosen to represent the Chamber at next year’s Athena Conference in Chicago.

Hudson Valley magazine also named me one of this year’s business women of the year, complete with a wonderful magazine spread! While the business community and our customers have been supportive of my work, my staffing situation has been very trying. I am down to one sales associate, with me working 12 hour days before Christmas!

I’m tired but happy. With two articles appearing in regional publications, I’ve been blessed with new customers and ultra-loyal shoppers who made my holiday season the best since opening the store in the Poughkeepsie Plaza three years ago. Thank you, Thank you, one and all!

While many parts of our lives are in flux – my store, Macallan’s schooling, Peter’s concerted effort to get a job in Africa (again!) – we are open to the possibilities that may arise. Looking forward to 2013, we can’t help but wonder what the new year has in store…Whatever it may be, we’re grateful and hopeful… and we wish you all a year of wonder and joy!

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