Year in Review

In the long run, we'll probably look back on 2003 as a very difficult year.  It was a year of profound loss as both mom (Charlene) and our dear friend Douglas Conner died unexpectedly.  Their losses cast an unmistakable cloud over everything else.  Grandmother Elam moved to an assisted living facility.  Racing was mixed:  we won the championship but we struggled through crashes and blown engines in what was clearly our most difficult year to date.  Hurricane Isabel trashed our neighborhood and left us without power for more than a week.  For the first time one of our babies went back to the zoo instead of to a new home.  Bow died.  A stray bullet ended up through our window.  Our little Honda scooter was stolen.  Leslie didn't keep her promises over Liberty.  Roy Horn was attacked by his tiger.  (Well, we didn't really lose much sleep over that.)

It would be unfair to 2003 if we didn't remember some of the good things.  We began the year with Bobbie fulfilling a old dream of playing ring girl during a boxing match while our closest friends all came to watch.  We stayed up all night while we played crew for the 24 Hours of Daytona.  Las Vegas meant Valentine's Day - and Elvis to renew ours vows.  Operation Iraqi Freedom led to a strange anti-war rally in front of our house just weeks before our first Easter with little Michael Kane.  Summer brought the Garskes and lots of laughter.  We did a series of parties beginning with Dan's birthday, his 20 year reunion, and a most excellent London engagement party for Jeremy and Vicky (and her 40th birthday) who shared news of their pregnancy with little 'Fraisy' as we nicknamed 'it'.  Harry was perhaps the most lovable monkey we have ever had and we're fortunate that we still get to see him.  The Conner granddaughters brought hours of healing that only the laughter of 3 and 4 year olds can bring.  Brad got engaged to Jennifer.  Heather agreed to marry Brandon.  Judy and Harry decided to spend the rest of their lives together.

Some of the year was just strange.  Johnny Depp called Daniel to talk Hollywood.  Bobbie's little race car got painted pink and Daniel summoned up the courage to drive it to a few wins while Bobbie got closer to finishing her race car license.  We waited and waited for little Lucy and she only stayed a few days. This little strange web site here in cyberspace approached 100,000 hits per day.

It felt like we didn't travel nearly as much as usual years, but we still managed to criss-cross the country and have a little fun.  From New York to Los Angeles and Seattle to Florida, we did manage to squeeze in a bit of what is best about this country.

Inevitably we'll remember this year for it's heartache, but we'll also remember it for the strength our friends and family brought to us.  We are among the most fortunate people on this earth and while we take nothing for granted, we do look forward to 2004.