We should start with the most exciting news first. On Wednesday, 4 January 2012, my sister Sarah gave birth to her first child. Wendell David Fruit came into the world at 3:13pm, 19" long, weighing in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Wendell, Sarah, and Sean are doing well; Sarah and Wendell should come home from the hospital today. Thanks be to God!!!
2011 certainly had its high and low points. I was blessed to complete the Big Sur Marathon in May. I was offered and accepted my new job at Blossom Hill, removing a couple of hours off my commute each day. Alie and I witnessed the Solemn Vows of Br. Dominic David in April. I hit my goal for the Salinas Valley Half Marathon in August. The family sold more grapes than it did in 2010. Gabe came home from Afghanistan, and is in Monterey for the next year. I ran over 430 miles. All three of my kids are in good health, growing every day. We just had possibly the best Christmas season in recent memory. We had a great time with the family around, the kids had fun, and we had a good experience at Christmas Mass.
2011 had its crosses, too. We lost Jack, Alison's grandfather in March. I thought very highly of him; he was a good man, and one of the sharpest I have encountered. I had hoped that he would survive and enjoy a couple of good years after his wife, Vyn, passed in February of 2010. That was not to be. I lost a mentor in September, when Carol Thorup passed away. When I got my new position at Blossom Hill, I inherited her old office. I think about her everyday when I walk in to the office, some of her books on my shelf, and the picture of Thomas Jefferson on the wall.
I am looking forward to 2012. The twins will be five in May; Oliver will turn two in March. I am in training for the Napa Valley Marathon in March. I have my goals, and I think I will hit them. Bottom line is to break four hours. I plan on attending the ASEV (American Society for Enology and Viticulture) meeting in Portland in June. I may run the Salinas Valley Half again. My summer running will be dictated by how well I do at Napa.
I wrote the reading list for 2012 the other day; it includes over 10 books, and finally getting through Fr Reggie Foster's "First Experience". I am looking to be a bigger part of the team at Blossom Hill.
Pray for me, and as always, I pray for you. Happy Epiphany!