It’s a New Year, dear friends and family, and I hesitate to wish you a happy one, as it feels deceitful. I enter this new year with very mixed emotions, ranging anywhere from fear to hope. 2016 was a very good year for me personally, but a controversial year, disappointing at a very deep level from the political angle. Regardless of candidates and who won or didn’t, the reactions by the general public, the media, the entertainment world, other politicians, and even my own friends and family have left me dumbfounded and truly struggling to understand how cruelty, dishonesty, outright unacceptance, and disrespect can be acceptable responses to a system that produced a president just as it has for many many elections before. The cries of “He is not my President,” are beyond ridiculous. What I fail to understand is why the harping continues and continues after a decision has been made and results have been certified repeatedly. My candidate did not always win, but I respected the position and gave the benefit of the doubt to the man who won within our working electoral system and who was chosen by my fellow citizens. Isn’t that how it should be? What has happened to tolerance and loyalty? Protest is a right. Harming others is not. If you must protest, at least make it constructive. Be part of the solution.

The atmosphere in the United States right now from the very top down is damaging – it is further dividing the country at what I see is a very critical time. We have been known to come together as a country at the worst of times. I pray those times do not encroach on us once again. The world situation is precarious at best. If we are seen as broken, divided, and weak, what better time to strike? When all one does is blame others, the power to make change is forfeited. Gandhi said, ” You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I am definitely not the same person I was when my RV journey began two years ago. I may not have everything I want in life, but I am mightily blessed to have all that I need. My dream for 2017 is simple. I want to see the USA grow in strength again ….. physical strength, moral strength, and spiritual strength …… trusting God to show us the only way to truth and happiness. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy, and let God. Please kneel and pray willingly for President-elect Trump and his cabinet nominees that they be enlightened and humbled. We need to ccome together as a country now proactively and not reactively when dire events force us to our knees.

In spite of many painful memories of this past year, there were so many miraculous moments sprinkled in as well. I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you to each of you who have supported me in my journey through letters, emails, comments, phone calls, and bear hugs. This journey would not be the great adventure it is if it were not for you. Your support bolsters me, urges me to continue to explore, and, yes, to build with Habitat for Humanity. Your love and friendship make me smile; it brings me joy knowing you care in some small way about where I am and what I’m doing. Meeting new friends and seeing beautiful new places are wonderful, but at the end of the day, it is you who is on my mind and in my heart. Warm memories are like comfort food – very satisfying! Thank you for being in my life. You make a difference. Let’s fill the 365 blank pages of the book of life titled “2017” with good news! God bless you in 2017.