2007

What a year 2007 was. For us, it had some tough decisions, some crises, some major changes and some really positive accomplishments. In January we backed out of contract to buy a house because of serious structural problems with that house, and because of our lack of faith in the engineer and the contractor dealing with the repairs. In the spring we started our search again, scouring the area for a place that would meet our needs with the help of our agent Charles Woody. Laura checked the listings every night, and we looked at quite a few houses. We found several we liked, and we made offers on three (3!), but for one reason or another it never worked out. The formidable illusions some folks are under as to the value of their house can be completely mind-boggling!

So in May, we finally found our new, awesome house, made an offer less than a week after it came on the market, did the inspection, and bought it! In June, we moved to the new house and on July 6 we listed our old house, after we had it painted and a new roof put on, to get it ready to sell. After the third showing we got an offer and we signed the contract on July 22nd. We got a great price for it – in line with the tax value and the appraisal. We never had a moment of second-guessing the decision to buy our house – it’s absolutely great!

The trip to Ghana and Togo we had planned last year fell through because the in-country coordinator in Ghana became sick and was unable to do her part. And since the trip involved taking a group to Ghana, there was no other option but to cancel the trip altogether. This year we’re planning just a family trip to Togo. There are still a few issues, but hopefully it’ll work out this time.

Health concerns dominated a good part of this year. Laura had some stuff going on, and had to have a procedure done at the hospital this fall. She is fine now. Both my folks, as well as Laura’s mom had, and have, health concerns. A colleague of mine was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, went through a grueling summer of chemo therapy, then an operation and now radiation therapy. A friend of Laura’s died of cancer. A couple of people we know had to undergo treatment and operations for cancer-ish problems. All that made me appreciate being healthy, and prompted me to start working out more again. I also had a physical done. My doctor just said “your healthy – see you next year.” Finally, Laura’s grandma started having some problems in the fall, but seemed to be doing OK. On December 17 we got a call from Laura’s mom telling us that her mom had died that morning. So on Christmas day we drove up to Michigan for the funeral. All this made us not take our health for granted, and make an extra effort to stay physically fit, eat good, healthy food and drive carefully!

I don’t even want to get into politics – I am so disgusted with the situation here in the US. The Democratic “leader”ship of the congress has been a bitter disappointment. And those so-called “presidential” candidates are hardly much of an improvement over the current “commander and thief.”

On the positive side: the Women’s Football Worldcup was fun. And, of course, I was totally thrilled with the extraordinary performance of the German team, defending the championship successfully without conceding a single goal! What a feat!

Another positive: 2007 was my first year running the Jetta almost exclusively on homebrew biodiesel (except for some cold-weather blending in Jan/Feb and a couple of fill-ups at the coop after the move). Also, the official NC tax-exemption for homebrew biodiesel came through this fall. So no worries about having to file road tax for my homebrew. And since we got rid of the Ford, and got an old Mercedes 300D, at least our daily transportation is now no longer OPEC dependent, and relatively carbon-neutral.

So Happy 2008 to all! Peace and Love to the world! Prosperity and health to you, dear reader, and thanks for checking in.

Jürgen

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