June of 2014 was a dark time for me. Two years earlier, in May of 2012, I gave up my full-time job so I could begin a new venture, owning and operating two small businesses. I had a plan for feeding myself and paying my bills without interruption while I worked to get each business going and grow them to the point where they supported themselves, and me.
Our family recently navigated the challenging waters of watching a loved one die. My father passed away at the age of 77 after a short battle with lung cancer. His last days in home hospice care were relatively peaceful and pain-free, for which we are grateful.
It’s a regular habit for Janet and me to take time after work on Thursdays in the summer months to walk Thursdays on First and Third. If you are not familiar with TOF, it is a weekly outdoor market and street fair, occupying a portion of downtown Rochester’s First Ave SE and historic Third Street, and put on by Downtown Rochester MN. Weather permitting, it runs every Thursday from the beginning of June through the end of August.
Our third stop on our recent cruise was Cozumel, Mexico. We arrived there on Cinco de Mayo, so we thought we might see a little bit of extra fanfare, but we didn’t. The port known as Puerto Maya was the nicest of the three on this cruise. It’s a long walk along the pier to get to the shops, and then the first shop you enter seems to extend forever. I found the port clean and colorful.
The second port on our recent cruise adventure was the island of Grand Cayman. Again, Janet had been to this island twice before, but it was my first time. By this time in the cruise, we were well out of the range of bad weather, and I was happily chasing the sun at sunrise and sunset. The banner photo above was the sunrise of the day we entered port at Grand Cayman.
Janet and I both enjoy family history research and discovering antique photos. I’m also fascinated by the cameras that may have taken these photos. Recently, a good friend allowed me to adopt a few of her antique cameras. The one featured here is a Zeiss Ikon Maximar bellows camera.
Under our current presidential administration we are facing the likelihood of loss of federal funding for the arts through entities like the National Endowment for the Arts. In Rochester, MN, where there is a strong arts presence, these cuts will have a profound impact. Recently, we participated in a community awareness event where citizens and musicians from the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale gather to sing an impromptu Hallelujah Chorus to show that we are opposed to cuts in funding for the arts. See a short video here.
I took in yet another wonderful program from the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale (RSOC) last night. I don’t consider myself much of an opera buff, but I’ve attended an opera once (in Europe in the early 1980s), and I do like operatic singing. The March program was all focused on opera. Here’s a quick review.