Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

With each year that passes comes memories to cherish and some to forget. I imagine many Coast Guard families are eagerly looking toward what the new year will bring. Many await orders, advancements and boards while others are thrilled with an increase of BAH and possibly COLA. Some delight about and others frown upon the new uniforms coming down the pike and others are giddy with excitement about possible new rates on the horizon.

Personally, this year has been a joyous one for me. Sure there have been low points, but like any part-time optimist, I like to focus on the highs. Late last year, a friend/colleague and I began discussing a project that could benefit the Coast Guard family community. With some effort, the project developed into something very promising in January 2008 and with the help of some talented spouses the project will become so much more in the months and years to come. We are finding ways to support Coast Guard spouses and their families and are inspired by one another to keep growing. Of course, that project would have been nothing but a blip on the radar screen if it wasn’t for the Waiting for Ships blog.

One Big Coastie Family (aka Waiting for Ships) came to fruition this past February. I cannot express my thanks enough to the amazing contributors to this blog. I appreciate each and every one of you! I have been far too absent in posting since I returned to the daily grind and these ladies have kept this little ship afloat with their anecdotes and messages. Many folks have contacted us over the past months to extend their thanks for our blog and connect with their own experiences and that warms my heart.

As this year comes to a close, I wish you and yours a wonderful and prosperous 2009. I am grateful to have my husband by my side this year as there have been many years that he’s been away at sea on this momentous night. If you are as fortunate, hug your loved one close and if you are not, thank you for keeping the home fires burning. I raise my glass to you!
With solemn hearts, we have said fair winds and following seas to many members of this Coast Guard family in 2008. Unexpected tragedies as well as deaths as a result of illness touched many of our lives. The list is long from active and reserve Coasties, to retired Coast Guard personnel to spouses and children. Our sympathies continue to be with the families and friends of all those who have passed on this year.

In closing and in the nautical spirit, I’d like to borrow from the English translation of Scotsman Robert Burn’s poem “Auld Lang Syne”:

We two have paddled in the stream,from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roaredsince auld lang syne.
Salut!