2013…It Was A Very Good Year

The highlight of this past year, and I hope the highlight of each future year is something that did not happen. My wife’s cancer did not return. Twelve months ago Peg underwent her last radiation treatment, finalizing an eighteen month ordeal of assorted medical protocols for Stage III breast cancer. And she now celebrates her first year as a survivor. Nothing can or will top that for a highlight of the year!

2013 was a very good year, and the following are just some of the many personal highlights from each month.


To celebrate the conclusion of radiation, late in the month we took off for a twenty-two day, first-time visit to Italy. Most days were spent in Rome with a break of six days along the Amalfi Coast. It was all we had hoped for and more. Coins being tossed into Trevi Fountain means we would return another day. And it really works. From where we were staying we walked by the fountain on several other days.



The Italy trip continues as a Pope resigns and another awaits to be annointed. This begins my FaceBook attempt to be chosen Pope despite being married and not being Catholic. The campaign lasted until Francis I made his appearence.



Saw the national touring company of “Billy Elliot” and did a personal tap dance for the rest of the day. My wife’s son treated us and our daughter to a Yankee’s spring training game, where visions of a World Series ring danced in my head. It was not to be but the St. Patricks beer was delicious.



Peg decided she wants to try and buy a summer home in or near Lenox, MA. She and her sister Barbara leave Florida for a week to go house shopping. Peg finds a house she loves and so does Barbara. Below they celebrate their shopping excursions at The Red Lion Inn, Stockbrige, MA.



Mother’s Day get-together with Peg’s 88 year old mother was nice because of visiting west coast family. Later in May Peg and I, together with Barbara, celebrate the 27th anniversary of our first meeting each other at a party hosted by the sisters.




Barbara closes on her house in Lee, MA while 1500 miles south Peg and I take our granddaughters to the Everglades National Park.



We closed on our house in Lenox, MA and assorted remodeling jobs began and are still continuing as the year ends.


The summer highlight was a well-attended family and friend’s picnic on the 27th at our shared rental on 88 acres called “August Moon”.



Bocce Ball Fun


Yankee baseball with my good bud Gary and lunch with the winning ladies at Saratoga Raceway, “the August place to be”.




My favorite month of the year, and not just because it’s my birthday month. September is beautiful anywhere in North America. This year we closed out a fabulous season at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony and on my birthday enjoyed the company of good friends Margie and Gail at The Red Lion Inn (my birthday gift was a hard hat to wear in the construction zone of my new summer house), and later sipping my favorite cocktail at a two hundred year old Vermont inn.





With the conclusion of the summer and early fall season, we head back to Florida and join our granddaughters trick or treating on Halloween.



Peg and I go back to Lenox to check on the contractor’s progress and it seems like both floors are total chaos. The second picture is Thanksgiving’s table just before family and friends arrive.


 Granddaughter Simone finishes the tree decorating  with a star upon the highest bough.


My favorite picture of 2013 symbolizes the entire year of so many smiles and so much fun and joy. Each day was a gift and cannot be fully capulized in a simple blog. But I tried. HAPPY NEW YEAR!



About Alan G Billingsley

My career has been varied, including time as a newspaper deliverer, lifeguard, bubble gum maker, door-to-door detergent promoter, telephone book proofreader, short order cook, private employment agency counselor and owner, office and credit manger, infantryman, pots and pans salesman, Chinese restaurant cook, Chinese restaurant owner, public employment counselor, budget analyst, tax analyst, grant administrator, radio announcer, radio and television show host, disk jockey, automobile valet, child advocate, and now retiree. I've seldom been bored.
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