I've been pleasantly tied up the past several days with the events surrounding my 60th birthday party. This otherwise dubious milestone was made quite enjoyable by my excellent wife's tireless preparations and the ministrations of my devoted family. It started last Thursday with the surprise arrival of my son from Hawaii and my daughter from New York. For the next three days we had all four children with us for the first time in over two years. With sons-in-law in tow, we all went out for a great seafood dinner Friday night.
Saturday was the party, which included over 30 close friends and family members, and a delicious dinner prepared by my cousin. This party launched his novel idea for a catering business (Food Dudes: they buy the food, cook it at your house, and charge you the cost of the food plus a flat rate per person). I'm lucky that my best friend, whom I have known since we were 7, was there to help me celebrate, and his cousin, a professional photographer, gracefully offered to record the event. Yesterday we enjoyed our three grandchildren during the day and a nice asado with Argentine wine at night.
My fortunes are great and many. My wife is the heart and soul of the family and did the lion's share of raising our children in excellent fashion. We are all healthy—though I would be deaf if not for the wonders of technology to be found in the cochlear implant I received 5 years ago—and as far as I know we all enjoy each other's company. We have a rich and varied circle of friends in Argentina and the U.S. Over 40 members of my extended family (siblings, spouses, mother, father and nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and cousins) live within easy driving distance in So. California. We're fortunate to have our own little beach house (on Calafia Beach), something we had wanted for many years.
Our family is bucking the trend in the economy, but we have suffered blows just like everyone. My youngest daughter recently landed a full-time job with Moody's in New York, after six months of looking and in spite of the awful financial recession there. One son-in-law recently accepted a position with money manager Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles, several months after losing his postion at an equity firm that couldn't withstand the market collapse. My investment portfolio is still way down from its highs, but I've done better than the market. Our recently-minted lawyer son-in-law accepted his first case, but probably won't make any money on it even if he wins.
I couldn't and shouldn't ask for anything more. But I do hope that the country rejects Obama's big government policies, and that the markets and the economy get back on their feet.