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Happy New Year . . .

2014 was a busy year indeed.

I don't believe I have ever had a year when I accomplished as much as I did this year, with the quality I was able to achieve on pretty much every project I started and finished.  I'm 57, and I truly feel as creative as I have ever been in my entire life.  I believe I'm doing my best work right now.

I wish I could say the same about taking care of myself!  That will be a major life goal for 2015.

I've never been as busy at the church. I've never been as busy singing and playing either.  Our 1st Church String Band (an all volunteer band) had 8 gigs this month singing to over 500 people.

Except for November (bad back), I sang for the residents and staff at 5 area retirement/assisted living centers each month.  I also sang 3 times for our "Be Our Guest" meal at the church, and I sang several times for our "Operation Fun" after school program on Monday afternoons during the school year.  This was the first year in some time where I did not sing in any of the children's hospitals in the area.  The focus of the year was singing for older adults.

Serving on the Board of a UMC camp and retreat center kept me busy as well, including taking 3 business related trips to Arkansas.

2014, unfortunately, was so busy that I was unable to make it to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico to serve as a chaplain or to sing in the Philmont "Wannabe Band" during the summer camping season or in September for the Fall Leadership Conference at the Philmont Training Center.  Hopefully I can return to New Mexico sometime in 2015.  

2014 was the year I/we lost Joe Laughlin, my adopted big brother and best friend.  I've written about Joe several times this year, about his life and death, and this blog is dedicated to his memory through the next year.  I still miss him, as does his wife and family.

All-in-all, a year with most of the to-do list checked off.  Those not checked off can easily be carried over to 2015.  Now, to focus on work and singing, and in getting into better shape physically, so I can do even more toward making a joyful noise wherever I am.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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Would you life to share share about your favorite musical instrument?

What is your favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Please let me know.  I'd like to interview you about your relationship with your favorite instrument.

I am interested in talking with, and getting to know, everyday people who make music.  That's the kind of person I am.  I'm an everyday kind of guy, and I love to sing and play guitar for everyday people. 

Although I have too many guitars, several ukes, a couple of old banjo's, a bunch of harmonicas and several Native American flutes, I am interested in stories about other instruments as well.  I have it in my mind that this blog will probably feature more stories about guitars and singer-songwriters.  However, I am open to stories about people and their love for other instruments.  So, if you play the accordion, piano, pennywhistle, drums . . . or can crack your knuckles in time to music . . . I want to hear your story.

All inquiries from interested, or from the curious as well, can be sent to revrickmang@gm…