Day in...day out, we see the beauty in front of our eyes and still we do not always stop to enjoy it, much less even realize it. The beauty of life and all that is living is captivating. A reflection of how the world turns in, out and around our lives, how it can and does affect us is nothing short of amazing. Sometimes alarming and utterly disturbing and sometimes without prejudice and provocation... yet at others, it is quite the opposite. As I reflect back on myself and my own life, I am enamored and amazed at the way things have presented itself to me. From emerging from and rising above drugs and alcoholism, to coping with the death of most my family, to struggling though divorce to the ongoing pressures of life...still, to me, life is a good thing. I am truly blessed with those close in my life. I have seen good and I have seen bad. The good and happy far outweigh the sad on any given day in the life. Food has been my passion for years. Family has been my foundation. Seeking a positive future and moving forward with happiness is now my focus. I feel fortunate to have made it this far and I look forward to the next half of my life ahead with those who are important and special to me. With the news of the passing of one of our country's best chefs; Charlie Trotter, who has inspired me throughout the years as a perfectionist, has been an integral part of the development and movement forward in American regional cooking and was a visionary and leader within our industry paving the way in excellence, style, leadership, and service, I step back to ponder what is really important. I step back and think about how thankful I am for all that I have done, all that I have learned, for all whom I've met, and all that I am yet to be. I feel fortunate that I can dream...dream of what I can experience as I wander on in life, which in reality, is such a short road. With each day that passes, I look ahead with happiness and positivity from sunrise to sunset and with much anticipation for all that is good to come. I thank the powers that be looking over me from above for being that light that guides me forward.