End of the year note 2023

 I emailed this to a select few people and figured it would make a good blog post. I want to make it public. I hope everyone has a safe, healthy and successful new year!!!

Well we did  it another year! I have been waiting for it to end since the end of last January. I wasn't even sure I would write this note, then I remembered something I heard from  a high school friend a long time ago, "No matter what happens in your life good or bad, and you'll have more than your share of both, just keep writing".  Seems I have been doing a lot of that lately, especially poetry. For those who don't know we lost my mom, Mary at the end of January after a brief battle with cancer.. Devastation doesn't even begin to describe it. That set the tone for the rest of the year.  Mom was such a big part of a lot of lives, not only family, but friends she has known most of her life. She was loved and will be missed by so many. It's hard on all of us but we're helping each other cope.

It's been really hard especially on dad, having me around makes him feel better, most of the time but he keeps telling every he'll never be the same. They were married fifty one years ago this passed July. He has been doing the best he can, still golfing, he went out Thursday. He also enjoys long walks around Cape May. He and I have been playing backgammon a lot, the board is a fixture on the table and we have racked up well over 300 games. It  does get rowdy at times and I think I will be a decent craps player  if I ever got to a casino. Dad's friends still live in Cape May and his other friends come down a lot. We're gathering for New  Year's Eve, I think. He still cooks every night although we have  been going out to dinner more.  We're going to visit my uncle in Florida the end of February into early March. Dad's telling everyone how he can't wait to get out of the cold weather.

Chris, Natalie and their kids, Zander and Quinn still live in Lumberton, which is right by Mount Holly. Both Zander and Quinn are active in soccer. Zander played on the Junior Varsity team as a freshman in high school and Quinn belongs to a travelling team across the country. She's been to Ohio, Florida and a few dozen other places. They both are excellent at the game. Both of them have grown so much and all I keep telling Chris and Natalie is good luck.. Over the summer they each invited friends down to stay in Cape May, thankfully on  different weeks. Four teenage boys were fine I took them next door to the VFW for dinner on a Friday night, they loved it. I beamed with pride seeing them play pool. Chris and I also took them up to Wildwood. The following week it was Quinn's turn with her girlfriends. I will say growing up with two brothers having all 11 and 12 year old girls for a few days was ahem, "different".

Pete, Sue and their dog Buster are as active as ever. They come down to Cape May as often as they can. Sue's parents actually live in West Cape May,l about five minutes from here. So they split their time between our house and Sue's parents house. Her dad is a beach tagger in Cape May so I visit him a lot during the summer months Sue and Pete also enjoy camping they've been all over sand this past spring they went to Spain to visit one of Sue's college roommates and her family. Pete also turned the big 40 so we went to an Allman Brothers cover band! They came down for Thanksgiving with Chris Natalie and the kids. It was very different but we got through it. Unfortunately we didn't get  to see them on Christmas because Pete had a bad flu. I'm looking forward to seeing them soon.

Well with the rest of the family, I guess I'm up. Things have been busy around Cape May. The city has a new firehouse and I covered the grand opening for 1st Responder Newspaper which was very exciting to witness after almost three years under construction. In June I went to the annual ALPCA License plate convention out in Denver where  I watched my good friends Scott Mitchell and Clark Wothe get inducted into the ALPCA Hall of Fame. I am proud to have written the biographies for their plaques, knowing both gentlemen for over 20 years. Sue accompanied me on my journey out west, she enjoyed seeing the Mile High City! We took in a Rockies game where it hailed so much the needed snowblowers to clear the field! I also managed to go camping, ok it was a cabin, with my friends from Cape May.  In August I participated in Life Rolls ON in Wildwood, a program  that helps people with disabilities surf. Pete and Sue gave me a mousepad for Christmas with pictures of my adventures throughout the year.

Well that just about does it from Cape May. I hope all of you are doing well and cheers to 2024!!

Justin Mattes





Bob Scranton said…
Awesome letter my Friend. Wishing you all of the Best for 2024!!

Popular posts from this blog

One Contact - Five Lighthouses--W9C

Mom Poem

Florida Lighthouse Road Trip