Buddhist Monks, marching off to morning prayers
in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma)
As I compose this, our annual kick-off to another year of mushrooming and whole-hearted enjoyment (during a very determined January rain storm), I find myself pondering what I might write that would be worth your time to read.
I could discuss our mushrooming efforts this year, which weren't particularly successful, but as always, were rewarding in other ways and were simply a lot of fun. But somehow, that doesn't seem quite the right direction.
Samurai welcomed us to the Tokyo Airport
Or, I could write about some interesting travel we had, because in this respect we were fortunate indeed; a trip to the astonishingly beautiful Ireland (where mushrooms are, at best, ignored despite the fact that they are very plentiful); a long-overdue journey to the New England states, which we extended into the lovely Maritime Provinces of Canada (bring with you a healthy appetite for lobster if you are lucky enough to go!); or the autumn trip we made to Japan, visiting two beautiful ladies who were once exchange students we hosted in the early '80's and who now have fine husbands and remarkable children and made us feel so welcome and appreciated that we can never repay them; or the continuation of that trip with a visit to the spectacular country of Myanmar, which you may know as "Burma," an ancient country where tourism is a brand-new phenomenon. Any of those would be worthwhile, and perhaps interesting, topics for our "Welcome to 2015."
A hot air balloon drifts above
the ancient temples of Bagan, Myanmar
But as I think about these and many other things that made 2014 a special year for us, I find that what I really want to say is "thank you."
Thank you for being able to live for another year in a place I truly love with a wife and life partner that I love even more.
Thank you for friends and loved ones who enrich our lives every day, people who genuinely care about me and about whom I care deeply. We share with each other both our troubles and our triumphs, and we - all of us - know that we are there for them, and vice versa.
Inedible, but incredible!
Thank you for the opportunities we've had to build a comfortable lifestyle, affording us the resources to indulge our love of travel and to enjoy new activities as well as old ones, of which mushrooming - and all its aspects - is one that we particularly enjoy, and is the central subject of this website.
And, last but certainly not least, thank you for the opportunity to share this enjoyment with you, our readers. We never imagined when we began this modest effort that we would acquire a loyal readership that comes back to us, time after time, year after year. But we are sincerely grateful for it.
"Sally, the Dog" greeted us at the free campground,
Shire Camping, New Brunswick,
which is "open to the friendly and respectful public"!