The Fords--Karen, Bob, Colby and Bryan with his family including our lovely daughter-in-law Anya and our adorable granddaughter Celeste--wish all of you our friends and family a great and prosperous New Year from our current home in southern Utah where we are "house-sitting" for a few weeks in St. George while doing preparatory work to building a small place in Rockville. It has been wonderful over the last six months since my return from Rwanda and DRC/Congo in Africa to get back in touch with family and to rediscover the beauty of our great country (see other posts from my "grand road trip" last summer and into the fall).
Even though I love the tropics and have spent much of my life living and working there, I have particularly reveled in seeing the "change of seasons"--see some of my favorite shots below illustrating those changes as seen around my little "ranch-to-be" in Rockville Utah which overlooks gems such as Zion National Park and the Smithsonian Butte and Virgin River.
Our entire family was also blessed over the last two weeks, to have a wonderful 10-day Christmas vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur while much of the country was either coping with major floods or shoveling out of one of the worst snow storms in years (much of this is linked, by the way, to "climate change"--something I will discuss more in later posts.
Below are a few pictures from our "reveling in the sun"--what we call our VERY CABO CHRISTMAS (see more on our Facebook album page). In Cabo San Lucas we thrilled at whale watching, enjoyed colorful sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, swam and snorkeled on beautiful beaches and around beautiful rocky shores with family, and even met Santa Claus at our hotel (can't blame him for stopping there...???)! On our flights back on December 26 Karen, Colby and I were brought back to reality with airplane delays getting to our nearest big airport--Las Vegas, while Bryan, Anya and Celeste got stranded an extra day in Dallas/Ft Worth before they could fly back to Hartford Connecticut then by land through the snow to Yale University in New Haven. Luckily they were able to spend a nice "extra vacation day" at the Science Museum of Dallas (instead of sleeping in some airport) which Celeste thoroughly enjoyed! All our now home for the New Year.
Over the next month or two Karen and I continue "streamlining and downsizing our lives" (sorting / selling / giving away the extra goods from 41 years of marriage and preparing for semi-retirement) so we can settle into a smaller place--hopefully on our property in Rockville and also be ready for continued small project work possibly back in Washington DC and/or overseas in Africa or Latin America. Colby went back to UC Riverside where he is in his last two years studying geology.
I'm also continuing work on developing my "second career" as a geoscience and travel photographer (see my website) - http://geobobford.com/. One of my tasks is cataloging (adding metadata) to the over 4-6,000 photos I've taken during the past three years from my "grand road trip" but also some from stints of work and travel in Abu Dhabi, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Mexico and Canada. Then I need to go through thousands of earlier photos taken around the world in my research work in Africa, Asia, and Mesoamerica--it is hard but also satisfying work to reminisce and rediscover what one has done in life so far...and to think through how to use the rest of life!
So, my best to all of you in the New Year and I wish for better times for all of you as we work ourselves as a country out of the deep hole which has been The Great Recession of 2008-2010. I am glad that all sides politically seem to be moving on to a more positive collaborative posture since the elections; I hope the recent productiveness of Congress and our politicians holds out until we get into the next "political season". The immediate past election period was more nasty and discouraging than I would hope for; as a newly returned expatriate it was hard to take, but I have resolved to move ahead and try to do my best to "make good things happen" for the benefit of the whole country and our Planet which is still in peril--and those less fortunate around the world! We have much to be thankful for and SO much to do!
Robert (Geobob) Ford
December 30, 2010