Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Merry New Year's, neighbors.

Here's hoping you enjoyed the joys of the holidays and are looking forward to 2005, which is nearly upon us. I find this time perfect for reviewing the memories of this swiftly passing year.

I categorize the events into times I will never forget, times I would like to change, regrets for things I said, did or didn't say or do, high points, low points and general happy times. Then I try to figure out what I learned from the bad stuff and remember all the good things that made up my year.

If the good overshadows the not-so-good, I've been blessed. Whatever the year, they are all good if we have learned something, done something and loved the best we can.

Hope yours has been wonderful. If it hasn't, take heart, we're just four days away from a new one.

If your children and visitors run out of ways with which to be entertained, stop by the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center to view the wood sculpture exhibit. Entitled "From the woodpile," workers at the center say it's the best exhibit to fill their halls ever.

It features the versatility, beauty and functionality of wood as an artistic medium, designed by Deb Lowney and Dave Brann from Homer. The exhibit runs through Jan. 7.

Also, be advised the Kenai Peninsula Photographers Guild show will be held at the center beginning Jan. 17. Up to three photos may be entered and are due at the center during business hours Jan. 10 through 12. Criteria for the event can be obtained by calling 283-1991. This is open to the public and the $10 entry fee will get you in the show and make you a current member of the guild.

Seen around town is Jojo Nujoy, home from attending college at University of Alaska Fairbanks. This tall son of Vong and Suree Nujoy is majoring in musical performance. Classmates and old friends are invited to stop by the Thai Lotus and say hello.

Also, home for the holidays are Steven and Scott Carlson, back from school Outside. It's great seeing these students back for even a short time. We miss our young people when they go away to pursue other endeavors.

"Echo Lake," the feature film show and produced by Alaska locals, will be shown all week at 7 p.m. at the Rennee C. Henderson Auditorium. There will be a matinee showing at 4 p.m. Sunday.

After a busy holiday season, the Kenai Senior Citizens Center will have it's New Year's luncheon Thursday. The Midnight Sun Trio will entertain at this gala R.S.V.P. event. The menu will include cornish game hens and cheesecake. Call 283-4156 to sign up, as seating is limited.

The senior center will be closed Friday, but open for the New Year's Day potluck Saturday at noon. Seniors who would like to join in with the potluck should sign up.

The ham and potatoes will be provided, bring the extras. The staff will be off for this day, so volunteers can help make this happen.

A 55 Alive class, presented by AARP, will run Jan. 5 and 6 at the senior center from 6 to 10 p.m. Registration may be done by calling 283-4156.

The Kenai Chamber of Commerce awards gala will be held Jan. 15, and the chamber is looking for outstanding businesses and people from the community who have made a difference. Call Janie Odgers at 283-7989 to make a nomination.

The annual Filipino Amer-Asian potluck is planned at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Moose Lodge Family Center in Kenai. There will be games and prizes for the kids. Bring a dish to share and sample lechon (roast whole pig) as a special treat.

For more information, call Angie Poage at 776-8260.

End of the year birthdays this week include today's: Margie Kivi, Jim Considder and Charles Quimby; Wednesday: Gladys Wright, Buck Steiner, Dr. Pete Hansen, Ricky Gease and Bryson Winegarden; Thursday: Tim Navarre, Bill Siler, Richard Musgrove and Evan Tumbaga; New Year's Eve (Friday): Maxine Holifield, Jeri Kidd and Pat Trader; and Sunday: Paul Brenner. Best wishes to you all.

Special anniversary wishes to Phil and Peggy Nash on Wednesday and Stan and Becky Pitlo on Thursday.

I'll leave you with a quote to ponder: "We cannot call back time that is past, we cannot stop time that now is, and we cannot experience the future in our present state. Time is a gift, a treasure, not to be put aside for the future, but to be used wisely in the present." - Thomas A. Monson

Happy New Year, and thanks for the privilege of being neighbors with you for another year.

Joan Hansen can be reached by phone at 283-5872 or by email at

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