Trying to summarize a year in just a few sentences or photographs is not possible, but let me begin by wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. As someone who has lived in the Northeast USA for my entire life (including during the recent Hurricane/Storm Sandy), it was difficult to see so many people suffer during and after the storm. My immediate family was very fortunate; apart from a week or so without power, our homes were spared from serious damage. However, relatives who live in New York City were not so lucky. They had many feet of water enter the basement of their home, but thank goodness, no one was injured, and they will be able to stay in their home.
About a year ago, in March of 2011, many of Japan’s citizens were severely affected by a terrible tsunami (over 15,000 lost their lives and about a million buildings were damaged or destroyed*). Having lived in Japan with a family for a few months after high school, then for a year during college, and having traveled across Japan about 10 years later, it was very difficult to see the reports that would come in via TV and the internet.
For me and my family, 2012 was a good year and we have much to be thankful for. One of the highlights was a trip with about 20 family members to Orlando, Florida. It was pretty exhausting, but my son and his cousins had a great time, and my wife and I were able to return to one of our favorite places in the world: the World Showcase at Epcot (she even helped my son fill his “passport” with stamps from each country, which is no easy task!). We were also able to make quite a few day trips throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2012 to the amusement and water parks along the Jersey shore, including Point Pleasant and Keansburg, NJ (heavily damaged during the storm, as you can see by this video).
In 2012, I was also fortunate to meet many new people and connect with longtime friends at workshops, during private consultations, via e-mail, and in various forums/newsgroups. Consulting, teaching and writing are not just what I do for a living; all of those things give me great satisfaction, and the comments I receive from people about how I may have helped them in some way to reach their goals in the areas of photography, printing, etc. make it all worthwhile.
From me and my family to you and yours, thank you for your interest in my comments, tips and thoughts over the years, and I wish you all the best for a very Happy New Year!