Reflections on the Past and Adios to 2016!

Reflections on the Past and Adios to 2016!, Don Hurzeler,, @donhurzeler

Photography by Don Hurzeler. Copyright Don Hurzeler 2017.

The topic of this blog is…living our lives in the present and future.

This Past Year Kicked My Ass 

2016 kicked my ass. One of the best friends any guy could have, Danny Fairbanks, passed away…my buddy forever. I hated losing him. I still have his last voice mail to me on my phone…just so I can hear him say, one more time, “Oh Donny Boy…this is Dan.” And fair to admit, that is one thing that comes along with the gift of a long life…the voices that bring you comfort and joy are sometimes lost. Those voices may be relatives, friends, celebrities you always admired or maybe even the bark or purr of a pet. No covering up the fact that we all suffer loss along the way.

I had an uncle who use to always tell me: we need to live our lives in the present and be thinking about the future.  And…Uncle Pat was right. We really can’t change the past, so we have to find a way to get along with that outcome and spend our energies and thoughts living the life we have.

Love The Life You Have Right Now 

I love the life I have.  I am so thankful for my wife, Linda, our two kids and four grandkids, my mom (God bless her…she will be 96 soon and still doing well), in-laws, relatives, two great business partners, and loads of friends and neighbors.  I’m thankful for waves, warm water, the lava flow, our adventures and our photography…and the opportunity to write.

So, a moment at the dawn of the New Year to think about and honor the past…and then off we go into 2017.

I start each January 1 with a ten-mile run.  Too bad you are not here with me, watching this 69-year-old former athlete stumble through ten miles would put a smile (or cringe) on your face. But, I will get through it and it will give me confidence that I have a few laps left in me…and I am going to use those well.

Goodbye, 2016! 

Have a great 2017. If this coming year happens to be the year you retire…well, then I KNOW you are going to have a great year. The future is bright indeed.

Aloha, Hurzeler

Connect with Don on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, and purchase his latest book Smells Like Retirement: How to Create a Rock-Solid Plan for the Best Years of Your Life on Amazon.
Learn more about the book here.




  1. Louanne on December 31, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Enjoyed the Blog.
    Danny was a special guy…. you were lucky to stay close for so many years’
    Enjoy every day!
    PS… in Kona next week with old friends… might try to get in touch👏

    • Don Hurzeler on January 1, 2017 at 4:34 am

      Thank you. I will be here…and John Schmitt may be as well. Breakfast, lunch or dinner…or any time in between…just let me know. Aloha.

  2. Tom Pyne on December 31, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Happy New Year Don, love your photos and humor. Here’s to an even better 2017

    • Don Hurzeler on January 1, 2017 at 4:33 am

      And to you, my friend. See you at the beach where we can both continue our hard work at being retired. Aloha.

  3. Sue Wallace on December 31, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Don, I’m a long time friend of Teresa Tharp in Oxnard. I love following you on fb and your photos ( and gallery in Waikoloa) are beyond amazing. Although my husband and I retired a couple of years ago, I bought and really enjoyed your latest book, and passed it on to my sister and brother in law at Christmas ( they’re a couple of years behind us in age). I’m happy to report we did most of your suggestions and are living our retirement in our own piece of paradise. I find you, and your photos and especially this statement today to be inspirational. I lost my 92 year old mom this year, and a younger cousin just today, and your words ring so true. Hope to meet you on our next Big Island trip! Thanks and Happy New Year!

    • Don Hurzeler on January 1, 2017 at 4:32 am

      I am so sorry for your losses this year…very tough to lose the ones we love. Any friend of Teresa is a friend of mine. Please do plan to see us on your next trip to the Big Island and give Teresa a hug for me. Aloha.

  4. Jeanette Shelly on January 1, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Thank you Don. Happy New Year! 2016 was tough. But our dear friends are at peace. My best to you and Linda.

    • Don Hurzeler on January 1, 2017 at 4:29 am

      Big thanks Jeanette for all your support…all the time for a very long time. Happy New Year!