Maybe I should start this column by saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Many of us are celebrating a special birthday this year, so here’s a shout-out to all of you. * On that note, Lila Hopson Monahan had a great time celebrating a milestone birthday (of Joyce Sutton Anderson and her husband, Kevin) at a bash this fall. While there, Lila reconnected with Janet Dean ’87 and husband Ed Raff ’86, who was in our freshman class at Colby. Joyce reports that Janet hasn’t changed a bit in 25 years. (None of us have, have we?) Lila has had a busy year. Two weeks before daughter Cassie graduated from high school, husband Jim returned to the workforce after 17 years of being a stay-at-home dad. Cassie is now at the University of Maryland, College Park. Lila also relocated her pediatric practice and hired a new partner after 10 years in the same location. * Robin Clisby Pelczar helped a friend mark a Certain Birthday on a seven-day Mediterranean cruise with five other women, enjoying great weather and much fun, including two days in Rome beforehand and port calls in Geneva, Marseilles, Barcelona, Majorca, and Valencia. In November Robin met up with Jessica Flood Leitz, Lisa Foley, Terry Appleton, and Amy Barnes Hurley for their annual mini-reunion. They enjoyed a weekend touring mansions and catching up in Newport, R.I. When That Birthday rolled around for Robin herself during the winter, she and her husband and three other couples escaped snowy New Hampshire for a relaxing trip to Anna Maria Island, near Bradenton, Fla. * Need another idea of where to escape? Andrea Sarris suggests Greece. She launched her long-awaited website, ypsitv.com, from her home on the Greek island of Lesvos. Handcrafted, original, and independent, ypsitv is by parts documentary, Web streaming, radio blogging, education, and travel. * Laura Lane wrote from her home in Jacksonville, Fla., where she works as vice president of a small nonprofit called the Jacksonville Community Council. I’m thrilled to share that she and fiancée Mickie Edwards will come to Maine this year to get married at the home of Leslie Cummings and her partner, Sue Lugli. * Kelly McPhail Mendez sent news from Dallas, where she’s been living for the last 25 years. She says it’s beginning to feel like home! Her ties to New England still run deep as her daughter attended Phillips Academy and is now a freshman at Yale. Kelly notes that when she was first in Texas and mentioned Colby, she invariably received blank stares, but now she enjoys seeing the occasional Colby window sticker. * In 2012 Michael Dobbs, wife Amy, and daughter Julia moved to Nashville, where Julia is now in sixth grade at a great school called Harpeth Hall. Michael notes that Nashville is a town full of entrepreneurs and that, after 20 years in the corporate world, he caught the bug and started Bizudo, a marketing agency with the goal of helping small businesses grow. * Peter Coley ran his first NYC Marathon (eighth marathon overall) with a time of 4:13:31. He ran on behalf of the Cancer Research Institute. * In more NYC news, Evan Dangel enjoyed attending a President’s Leadership Society send-off party for Bro Adams. He and wife Sue (Roberts) hope a nephew of theirs chooses Colby this year. * Karen Jo Giammusso Shapiro is facilitating workshops for leaders and professionals on interpersonal skills and professional growth through her business, Your Next Steps Coaching PLLC. While she works mostly with nonprofits and educational institutions, she enjoys coaching in the corporate environment too. * Bob Loynd wrote from Brussels, where he was transferred by the Marine Corps last November. He is very busy with his assignment at NATO, where he serves as a U.S. Marine Corps colonel on the NATO International Military Staff. He and the family still find time to explore from this central location in the heart of Europe. He hopes by this time next year his French will be vastly improved. * So many interesting things! How are you celebrating the half-century mark? I’d love to hear, and so would our classmates. Stay well, everyone.