Back from my Christmas trip to Cozumel, Mexico. Guys, I can’t say enough about this place. It was fantastic. I stayed at a resort called the Fiestamericana…yes, I know it ought to be the “Fiesta Americana”, but it’s the way it is. Anyway, it’s a great resort with fabulous people. I told the manager that I thought the biggest plus about the resort was that the employees had the gift of making guests feel like family…and it was so true. So if you have a vacation coming up or you just need to get to a place that’s sunny, where the sea is beautifully blue and clear and the atmosphere just as sparkling, then the Fiestamericana at Cozumel is your place. Believe it!
I wanted to check in with the arrival of the New Year. But first…I can’t resist talking about Cozumel just a little bit more. You know, I want to thank everyone for the greetings and well-wishes. I was by no means “fishing” for sympathy in my tale of the unkilled cat. I was simply stating in a straightforward manner the trials and tribulations I’ve been facing if not in the past several weeks then in the last few months. But I do appreciate the comments and well-wishes.
Having said that, I’m here to say that I do feel great after my trip. I got along fine on my “wounded” ankle. It got a little stronger every day. As a matter of fact, one day I took a cab from the resort to downtown in search of some Cuban cigars and decided to walk back (after I got a small tattoo on my chest…henna, not permanent, but thinking along those lines). Well, I walked away from midtown through neighborhoods and local shopping areas, and all of it along the oceanfront. It was warm, the sun was high, a soft breeze was blowing, the sky and sea were awesome shades of blue…ahhhhh! I went into a local department store and scoped the place out. I investigated an area of nice houses going up that evidently had been abandoned for lack of money, but it was an interesting excursion anyway. I went into the terminal at the dock where the cruise ships come in. I walked and walked. Until at last I had walked seven miles, and I was standing in a pasture scratching behind the ears of a solitary horse. It showed its pleasure by thumping its hoof on the ground…whichever ear was being scratched, that was the hoof that beat out a little counting rhythm that I found very charming.
I went snorkeling, I went on a sunset cruise, I swam and swam, I had a fabulous seafood feast, I did karaoke for the first time in my life (and did better than I thought I would because I sang with a guy named Joe Bargo from Kansas City who actually is in a jazz band and can carry a good tune), I drank liters of Coke Zero and smoked Cuban cigars by the pool, I partook of a fantastic tequila bar where there were about thirty different bottles of variously-flavored tequila, I drank my favorite Johnny Walker Red, I met all sorts of people from everywhere, I laid out on the beach, I watched the moon set and the sun rise and then the sun set and the moon rise, I went on a submarine a hundred and ten feet down to the edge of The Shelf, I rode on horseback through the jungle, I heard a GREAT band do their Steppenwolf set, I ate cactus and enjoyed it, and I have vowed to return to that place in April after I finish The Providence Rider.
So, yes…I did have a good time.
And the New Year approaches, and may be here before what I’m writing is on my website. I am looking forward with great anticipation to 2011. Aren’t you? I mean, really… 2010 was a tough year. A year of change, not all of it wanted and not all of it good. A year of bracing yourself. A year of taking it on the chin. Or sometimes getting kicked in a lower area, and having to grin and bear it so nobody knows the pain you’re feeling.
Yeah, that kind of year.
But that kind of year, it seems to me, has its value. It teaches you discipline and toughness. It teaches you to depend on yourself. To know you can handle whatever happens… because you have to. And to handle with grace and style the difficult things, the things that a few years ago might have put you down for the count.
Nossir. I ain’t goin’ nowhere now. I’m here to stay, so go ring the bells and tell ’em, the best is yet to be.
And it is, guys. I have some tremendous projects ahead. Much more Matthew to come, and many more surprises. Some things, I think, that will even surprise me. And one project in particular I wish I could tell you about, but it will happen when it happens…and when it does happen…and it will…wow.
So hang in with me. Enjoy this ride into the future we all are on. Trust me to guide you. I will take you to some wonderful places, and introduce you to some amazing characters. There’s a lot ahead for all of us, and I can’t wait to get started on that journey from here to there.
Ring the bells, my friends. Ring the bells and tell ’em.
I’m here to stay, and the best is…
Yeah. It’s comin’.
Happy New Year to all, and thank you for believing in me.