|What's around the bend in Pennsyltucky?|
In some ways, 2011 was a hard year, but even through the pain, we were blessed. We lost a lot of people we love, particularly our beloved brother Doug who fought cancer with such courage and faithfulness. Near the end of his battle, he spoke the words that just may go on my tombstone. He was lying in the hospital when he was told of a friend who had given his heart to Jesus in church that morning, Doug wept and whispered, "It's all going to be worth it." And so it is.
We lost our house, after a long game of chicken with Wells Fargo. The experience was sometimes painful, more often, it was just a pain, but we were blessed to have the support of our friend Donna, a realtor and a saint, (yes, it is possible.) I also have to thank Judge Scorsone who stood between us and the bank's lawyers long enough for us to complete the short sale of the property. And most important of all, our brothers and sisters, Bob, Bobbie, and Paul, who helped us to find a new "place for our stuff." We lost a house, but thanks to them, we were able to keep our home intact.
|Me and my little licensed head-shrinker.|
|Taz is as close to a lap dog as we're likely to get.|
|With Erin. 30 years and still a beauty.|
2011 was the year the doc told me I didn't have cancer any more. I resolved to live the life we had all fought so hard to save. I croaked and strangled pretty girls in No Way to Treat a Lady, my first musical in years. Played a melancholy old queen in the world premier of Stephen Metcalf's The Happy Hour. Returned to my beloved Actors' Guild in Glengarry Glen Ross, and End Days. And I got to play in the park again, with a turn as William, Lord Hastings in Richard III. I got my first gig as an acting teacher at our community college, which I loved. I'll act again in the spring, right after the marathon.
|Jake and the Fat Man.|
I never went to the YMCA when I was growing up. I was a Boy Scout. When I heard about a program at the Y to help cancer survivors improve their fitness, I jumped at it. I was expecting a free gym membership for three months. I got much more. The Y gave me what it has given so many people over the years: a place to exercise; a chance to meet friends; a way to discover a sense of purpose and value. I can say without shame or sentiment that I love the people I have met at the Y. Love them so much that when my program was over, I went to the boss and asked for a job. For the first time in my life, I'm actually a little disappointed when I wake up and realize I have the day off.
What's next? I'm going to start studying to become a trainer at the Y. I'm going to run another half, and my first full marathon. I'll be playing in a production of Camus' Calligula this June. Mrs P and I are finally going to get rid of all the extra stuff we've been storing in boxes since we moved from Brooklyn. And of course, I'll be fighting any and all impulses to adopt any more animals. (On a related note, we'll be replacing the carpet in the den, as soon as Clare gives us the go-ahead.)
|With some of the LS@theY team for the Reindeer Ramble.|
2011? It was a very good year. 2012? Gonna be even better. Let's love it together, huh?