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Here we are reading the last edition of “The Coosa County News” for 2022. There won’t be an edition next week since it is the annual week off for the CCN and its staff.
Seems like it was just yesterday we were wishing each other happy 2022! It’s been an eventful year, and as always, we close it out with mixed feelings of relief that we survived another year and anticipation of what the next year will bring.
I am personally ending the year on a high note after just returning from a two-week trip to the Hawaiian islands with my best travel buds, Terry and Ran Wilson. While there, I was able to cross off the #2 item from my Bucket List – a visit to Pearl Harbor. Because of high winds, the launch we rode out to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial was not able to dock to allow us onto the Memorial itself, but we did get as close as possible from all sides on the water.
The narrator, a Marine vet volunteering with the National Park Service, provided us with information about each ship that was moored on the morning of December 7, 1944, along with the numbers of servicemen we lost on that tragic day. We also rode past the U.S.S. Missouri that is permanently docked on the Ford Island side of the harbor. We later drove across to go aboard “Big Mo” to see where the Japanese surrendered to end World War II.
We went wide open every day – both on Oahu and on the seven-day cruise to the other islands – seeing as much as we could fit in. Whales, turtles, volcanoes, canyons, rain forests, beaches, food, sightseeing, and more than can be imagined, wore us out every day! We realized we were no longer the “party animals” of our younger days, but we packed in full 10–12-hour days going strong.
Part of my trip was spent leaving a little bit of Larry’s (my husband, for you newcomers) ashes in as many places as possible. He went snorkeling with me, swimming on Waikiki Beach, in rivers, along canyons, under trees, along overlooks, and under some “Birds of Paradise” at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. He loved traveling with Ran and Terry the last several years of his life, so he still goes with me wherever I go.
We did have a couple of disappointments because of weather-related issues. Our visit to the Volcanoes National Park was cut short because of the eruption of Mauna Loa, our stop in Kona was canceled because of the air quality, and our cage dive with sharks on the North Shore of Oahu was canceled because of high winds and waves. But we found other things to fill in the gaps and didn’t let it rain on our parade!
It’s taken me several days to recuperate from that whirlwind trip – including 12-hour plane rides there and back. I finally got around to reading the editions of the CCN that I missed while I was gone and see that some exciting things have been going on here at home.
While on the cruise ship we were without internet except when we were in port, so it was hard to keep track while gone. It looks like Rockford had a great Christmas celebration – even a float in the parade by the Coosa County Commission! The new animal shelter is looking good and getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. I can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring to Coosa County!
I’ll cut this week short and regroup for next year. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and a safe New Year. Be careful in the cold weather we are facing – look in on your neighbors and family. God bless you all, and to all a good night!