It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

A cliche, I know.  But I’ve never had a year that so lived up the Dickens quote as 2007.  In this post, I’ll just list the most memorable events.  Later, I’ll come back and post general impressions.

2007 started for me in Cozumel in Mexico.  It was the first time we visited the tropics in six years.  I was reminded of how much I love swimming in warm waters over a coral reef.  A lovely trip, full of great memories and fine experiences.

In late January, Julie and I spent two weeks in India.  I saw some of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever seen, and some of the ugliest, often within a five minute walk of each other.  The Indian people are marvelous, the color of the country is breathtaking, and the Taj Mahal exceeds the hype – it’s the most beautiful man-made object that I’ve ever seen.  I saw many things that I will remember fondly forever.

In May, my son Andy graduated from college.  I am proud of how well he has done, what a fine independent young man he has become.  He is now living in Charlottesville, where he works programming computers for a psych professor.  If you’ve ever tried one of the implicit association tests, chances are you’ve used some of Andy’s code.

At the tail end of May, I left AOL after ten years.  I’m now working for Mixx, an Internet startup, as the CTO.  I should have done this years ago – start-up life is marvelous, things are always exciting, and I have a huge impact on what we’re doing.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this satisfied at work.

Over the summer, at our beach-house, I had two of the best sails I’ve ever had.  I crossed the bay on my Hobie Cat, something I’ve only done once before.  It’s around 14 miles each way, and pretty much the limit of what I’ll sail on that little boat.  And one day, while sailing with Kate and Diana, wild dolphins surrounded us off the shore at our beach house.  There were at least a dozen dolphins, including mothers and their babies, and we spent an hour sailing among them while they played with us.  What a beautiful time.

So much for the best of times.  In early September, my father was diagnosed with cancer.  Most of the fall was spent watching him, a vital man of 80, lose strength.  He died on December 9.  It’s still a little hard to believe how quickly it all went – this summer, at his 80th birthday, he was full of life.  I never would have guessed then that he would be gone by the end of the year.

But there were still a couple more trips.  We went up to New York to spend Thanksgiving with my sister Sara.  I got to see the Macy’s Parade in person – mobbed, but pretty neat.  No Broadway musicals, alas – the stage-hand strike saw to that.  But we did get to a fine off-Broadway production of Richard III.

A rather gloomy Christmas was brightened considerably with the news that my sister is expecting her first child, due in June.  It was about the only news that could bring joy to a difficult Christmas.  The wheel of life keeps turning.

And finally, we spent New Years Eve back in the tropics again, this time in Grand Caymans.

Quite the year.  Full of incredible highs and lows: it’s hard to believe that it all fit into 365 short days.  I doubt that 2008 will top it, and, frankly, I’m hoping that it won’t.

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