Top 5 Memories of 2011

The year 2011 is almost over, and so it is a good time to think back on the good things that have happened this year in our lives, as well as to make some New Year’s resolutions. As we bring to a close (end) the second year of this century’s “teens,” here are some of my favorite things that have happened in my life, or that I have enjoyed about this year:

5. The Sunday Paper – Americans love reading an extra-large newspaper on Sundays.  This isn’t really something special for 2011, but it is something I look forward to (wait for happily) each week. I am fortunate (lucky) enough to subscribe to two papers – the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.  I always put aside (reserve; save) an hour on Sunday morning’s for reading the newspaper at our large dinner table.

4. Visiting Minnesota – I go back to my home state of Minnesota about twice a year to visit my family, especially my mother in St. Paul.  (My father passed away (died) three years ago.)  Coming from such a large family, there are always parties and celebrations to go to.  This fall I went to my niece’s wedding. I always go in the spring, summer, or fall, never in the wintertime, when it’s just too cold!

3. My House – I am very thankful to live in a house I enjoy being in. That hasn’t always been the case (been true) in the past, but this past year I got to move to a house with a nice room for my home office and a comfortable living area.  Most importantly, I got to use my new lawn mower to cut the grass.

2. Good Books – I have always liked reading, but this year I have had the pleasure of reading books both in the traditional paper format and on my iPad.  Some of the books I have enjoyed include Moonwalking with Einstein, The Upside of Irrationality, and, of course, The Dummies Guide to Lawn Care. I’ve also done a lot more reading on the web (blogs, articles), including lots of things I find via (through) Twitter.

1. My Job – I love my work and the people I get to work with – you! I can’t think of a better place to work than (virtually, via the Internet) in the 220+ countries where you all live, and with the thousands of listeners who download our episodes each week.

What are 5 things that you are thankful for this year, or you think have made 2011 a good year?


 Photo credit: Ocean View at Santa Monica, 1927, Los Angeles Public Library
(NB: This photo used to be our “logo” on our MP3 files a few years ago.)

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29 Responses to Top 5 Memories of 2011

  1. Betty says:

    Thank you so much, Jeff, for helping me to think seriously. I used to live every day as it comes. I never want to think back. Perhaps it is time I learn something from this article and do a stock count for the past year.

    14 February 2011
    Valentine’s day, I decided to become a member of I enjoyed listening to Jeff and Lucy, and I found my English improved much faster than I expected. I should not delay contributing to the website anymore, so I subscribed to be a Premium Member.

    July 2011
    I found a good domestic help for my father who had become frail and could do with a helper. My father was getting old and had to accept the fact that he was unable to do everything himself. He is happier now that he does not need to rely on his children to do all the cooking and washing for him.

    August 2011
    I went back to my house in England alone for a month. I enjoyed every minute of it.
    Fresh air and beautiful gardens; what more could I ask for?

    September 2011
    I went to New York City – acting as guardian for my young nephew for holiday. It was the first time I went to New York. It was like a dream for me to visit this world famous city. I promised myself to work hard and save money so that I can visit it again sometime in future – before my legs fail me.

    18 December 2011
    Me and my family attended my husband’s nephew’s wedding. We went to the marriage registration in the afternoon and then a banquet in a hotel in the evening. I was very happy to spend a day like that.

    Phew, I managed to find 5 memorable events during this year. Not bad.

    Thanks again, Jeff, I would never have tried to think about what happened that have made 2011 a good year had you not asked us. 😉

    Now it is time for me to wish you and everyone on earth a Happy. Healthy and Prosperous New Year of 2012. 🙂

  2. emiliano says:

    – Good news about my daughters, Laura got a job in Denmark, Copenhagen, making her doctorate and Fátima has been
    employed again a few years ago.
    – I have opened a new blog, the first one, where I can write which ever think a like to or my thoughts and opinions about
    life, politic, etc.
    For all of you who like to read in Spanish it´s name is …… ? well I don´t know if is it right to put the name
    here, may I? and you could see it in google.
    – A new friend has come from this site (ESL Blog) and we are in touch through mail, he and his family is coming to Madrid next
    April and I am going to meet all of them.
    – My health is better than it was supposed to be.
    Making some analysis I could be happy after all about the results.
    . This Blog is going up day after day, it makes me very happy.

    Congratulations Jeff, it has been a good year for you so it has been a good year for all your listeners too.


  3. emiliano says:

    Sorry, a few years ago….NO…it has to be read:
    a few days ago.
    Why we see our faults after putting the note in the blog?
    It is so frustrating when we do such big mistakes.

    I do not learn anything and put the note immediately after
    writing it…..

    Sorry once again.

  4. sergio says:

    5) To have started to study English on the ESL Pod website and visited London last summer;
    4) to have found good students in September in my classes;
    3) to have lost an important friend in Rimini and found out another big one in Madrid, where I`m coming next Easter to know him and his family;
    2) to have enjoyed to be husband and father another year again – that is Mara e Silvia didn`t run away yet;
    1) to have fought against myself another long year and to feel at the and of the day happy to be here in the world among the 99%…

  5. sergio says:

    Don`t you know the Murphy`s law, Emiliano?
    If something bad can happen than… it happens!
    Anybody calls that mechanism… the thermodynamics fourth law:
    when you choose a queue, you`re sure this queue will be the slowest…
    With the English mistakes it`s the same – in any case you`re lucky…
    to see them!

  6. Dan says:

    I got to know a flock of crows. I feed them with the kitchen waste, they eat everything and seem to be really smart animals.

    During the summer evenings I had the pleasure to meet a hedgehog and feed it with the cats’ waste. He’s sooo sweet.

    I saw a gray heron. He is beautiful. I see it always alone. It makes a ugly sounds though

    I got to know Spongebob Squarepants, I love him an Gary.

    And finally I had got the pleasure of reading all of you.

  7. Michel says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Of course, there were good things in the last year: As you said, Family is the most important, a good job also (teaching physics with my students is never boring; it’s always a real pleasure), parties with friends, readind and listening English too. However, in France there are three kinds of people:
    1. homeless, very poor people (no food, no job…..)
    2. middle class people
    3. Very Very Very rich people.

    I think the last one will be richer in the future and the first one in a very bad condition. The failure will improve. This situation makes me sad because I know the life will be very very nice for some people ( always the same ) and the other will always be without work, home, food, money.
    As they say: It’s the economic crisis. But some of us don’t know the crisis.

    Sorry for my bad english

    Thank you for your podcasts I am always listening. It’s one of the good think in the year.
    See you later on the web

  8. Myo ko ko says:

    Nice memories, Jeff.
    I was glad because I’ve got to know about you a little bit more.
    How about Warren and Lucy? Please, show up! I do look forward to, really! 😉
    According to your posts, it seems you love taking care of your lawn, maybe it bothers you a lot. 😉
    Listening to you and enhancing my English acquisition is one of 5 things that I’ve enjoyed the most in this year 2011 and that I loved that much.

    Thanks for your nice words.
    Recently, you use that word “prosperous” a lot.
    This is the right time to use it of course! Isn’t it? 😉
    Thanks again.

  9. Myo ko ko says:

    Jeff, who was that guy sitting on a bench in your black and white photo above?
    I think I’ve seen that photo on one of your very first or older podcast.
    Wow, you still have that photo!
    Did you have something connected to it?
    ?Don’t keep it under wraps! Tell us, will you? :)))))

  10. Ryadh Ahmed says:

    1.Improved my English: Thanks to your and to the amazing staff, by now I am more comfortable when I speak and when read articles really have a lot of fun.
    2.Attending TEDx Baghdad: truly bring me a lot of experience and motivation.
    3.Getting a new job: I don’t start it yet but looking forward to start next January .
    4. Healthy life style: (including workout routine) which I never had before, I wish to stuck with it for the rest of my life .
    5.Apple products: Got my first Ipod shuffle and the second one was IPad2 pleasured me and made me see life in different eyes.

  11. parviz says:

    Nice memory, let me say.
    uh, for me the most memory is that I have got to know The lord Jeff and LOVELY Lucy, the unbelievable of ESL podcast host and hostess.

  12. Dominique (Paris) says:

    Hi everybody,
    I hope this end of year 2011 is nice to you.
    Well my top five memories are realy various,
    1 – I do like taking pictures with my camera, but this year I have specialy appreciated to retouch some very old pictures of my family with Photoshop. These photos are coming from my grand-grand-father, my grand-father, and my father. Imagine the oldest
    have been taken in 1880… (No, I’m not so old). Working on those pics give me the time to observe very closely the persones who are on the screen (of course thes pics have been scanned). This give me a lot of family emotion,…
    2 – I’m living in Paris, but I go often in Briteny, which is in west of France, by the sea. (Bretagne we call it here). I love the ocean, the smell of the seaside, driving bicycle, eating oester,…
    3, 4, and 5 – My younger son Florian,has left France (forever) last year to go for living in Los Angeles, marrying a californian girl NiNa; even if this was a wonderful thin for him, it has been a little hard to live that period (2010). But in 2011, by that side of my life
    I had the three best pleasures of the year. He get married in April with NiNa in Las Vegas, he received his green card in september, which make him a legal resident in LA. And the best moment, the pleasure we had to visit him in october in Hollywood.
    Discovering the USA (it was the first time), appriciating really strongly Los Angeles (Sorry Jeff to not have had the time enough to meet you, but ok for the next time). The very great pleasure is to think that know, LA is a part of my life, beause my son is there.
    Thank you Lucy and Jeff; even if you are not in my top five, you are in my heart as new friends of this year, and this will stay as shure for all the next years.

  13. emiliano says:

    Yes Sergio, I do know murphy´s law very well, but fortunately not always murphy´s law is right either.
    This year it failed fortunately for me and I am very pleased.
    Like you said I am happy to be here in the world among the 99 %…….and hope to continue as long
    as possible or till God´s will.
    It depends of everyone point of view.

    You know what I am talking about.
    Great to be conscious that a lot of friends have done several of good things like the new friend
    Dominique, it is a beautiful name, I love french sound and language.

    Hi Dominique, I have been in Bretagne and I love the land so much.
    Saint Malo, Dinan and many old cities absolutely beautiful and over there I could
    recognize every place Celtic roots like mine.
    “Gwendal” do you know the group?, I like it very much.
    Celtic and Irish music made on the 70, I think they are from Bretagne or not?
    I could have five or six vinyls of Gwendal….the big boot on the front carpet of
    the vinyl..

    The same year that I have been in Bretagne (15 days) I was in Paris and it was amazing.
    Despite so many photos and movies of the city nothing is better than to be in “le de la Cité” alive.
    The sight of Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero was spectacular.

    Dominique now you have good reasons to increase you English level, congratulations and be here
    with us as much as you like, you are really very welcome.

    Myo ko ko, nice to see you frequently it is a privilege to have you here telling us so good
    Your English is going up very fast.
    I can´t mention every one of you friends, but my heart is with all of you, I hope the new
    year will be good for us after all.


  14. Suzanne says:

    Hi everybody!

    It is a pleasure for me to read all of your memories. Here are mine:

    1) In early January 2011 I started having a penpal from North of Ireland; she is a lovely lady and she came to visit me for ten days in Montreal (Canada) in last July.

    2) I had a very great trip in June; my husband and I visited Washington, Philadelphia and Boston, I liked a lot all three major U.S cities.

    3) I organized a big party for my daughter who turned 40 years in August.

    4) Unfortunatly, one of my best friend passed away, she was the same age of me , her death made me sad.

    5) My husband made a hole in one in golf, it was very impressing for me, I was with him….

    I wish you an Happy New Year 2012 !


  15. tania says:

    Don’t you know? Only in the lake with mud to its ground the white water lilies raise!

  16. emiliano says:

    Hi Suzanne, also my daughter Eva was 40 years last March.

    What it means a “hole in one”?
    The little ball goes to the hole with only one strike?
    That is absolutely incredible.
    Your husband had to be happy, the same like you with him.

    Happy new year for you and your family also.

  17. Tania says:

    Hi! I heartly hope to spend another new year together with ESLPOD team and ESLPOD blog friends, such creative people who make us smile,
    help us think differently about life, talk to us more then friendly sharing with us their knowledges. Thank you.

    I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!



  18. Peter says:

    I always follow you to the letter.
    You are my role modle.
    This year around I m planning on doing the same.
    I have started to develop the habit of reading tick newspaper. What is more,I m subscribed to cyber NewYork times and Golbal Mail via my iPhone.
    The beauty of my cyber paper is : everytime the news pops up as they are updated.
    So,I can screen the news , and read the one that interst me.
    Every day I have3 or 4 new articles ranging from politics section to entertainment section.
    I m subscribed to some sort of yello journalism as well. The tabloid you kids call ” People” these days.
    I know ,it is all about celebrities and all the gossip around them. Still ,valid for learning English. Sometimes good common expression there.
    I read movie reviews as well.
    See, I m following you footstep by footstep.
    Jeff ,
    I m right one step behind you.
    Not left ,silly
    I m
    On your right hand side.

  19. Peter says:

    Enough about you Jeff,
    I can tell you are hogging the blog theses days.
    Where is my favorit script writer Lucy,
    I love it If she opens up to us as well.
    I always love to know about the life of my celebrities.

    Your groupi
    And a huge fan of Lucy
    The bonehead you kids call “Peter ” these days:))))

    Happy new year guys and remeber:

    ” whatever your past has been,you have an spotless future.”
    fate is throwing a new start your way. Grasp it!!!!
    You know what,
    Everytime I reach out for sth , fate comes snatch it away. Not this year along ,though,for that I have taken precaution.

    Happy festivity

    Catch you next year

    We are wrapping up another year with Eslpod.
    Let’s cross our fingers and pray for another year with Eslpod.

  20. Øyvor says:

    Dear Jeff, Lucy and and members
    Thanks Jeff, for sharing, actually, I am very curious about the man who is the best podcaster ever..and still waiting for some more from your childhood with your big family..I would love some intervjues with your mother again!
    Thanks to all of you members from whom I learn so much, it was so interesting to read your posts! for me, only 5..??? Well, here they are;
    1. I`m happy to wake up every morning..and if my husband is alive too (!!) I grab my iPod and check if there are new podcasts..(still waiting for stuff about nature.,), actually, your podcasts are one of the reasons that this year have been so interesting.
    2. We use to stay at our mountain cottage(farm) a lot during the summer, it`s situaded just two miles from my homeplace with amazing view and surroundings..the older I get, the more I enjoy the silence up there! I`m already longing for the mountain road to open in May..
    3. A good friend of mine from Finland visited me in May, we practiced our English and had such a nice time together..
    4. My husband and I celebrated our 30 years wedding anniversary(!!!) with our family
    5. Can`t help it..have to mention our grandson who was 1 year old in October..that little “gangster” (like your neighbor children Jeff)made us even happier !
    Thanks..and Happy New Year everyone!

  21. Betty says:

    Hi, Suzanne and Øyvor

    I am very happy to read your messages in which you mentioned your husband and your family (children and grandchildren).

    Might be because I feel we are similar – have a husband and children.

    I am happy to know that women like us who are very busy looking after our families have not forgotten the importance of continuous education like learning English as a second language here.

    Look forward to reading more messages from you, all of you.

    Lots to do before the year ends, got to go.

    A Happy New Year of 2012 to all of you!

    Betty 🙂

  22. Paul De Smet, Belguim. says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone.

    So to sum up five things that give me a good feeling, doing them.

    As I watch quite a lot to the BBC television broadcasts, a good television programme is always something were I’m looking for.. I also love to read that Dutch Humo-magazine because they publish great article every week of so, and their cover is inspired on that American Rock and Roll magazine ‘Rolling stone’.

    I like my job, as cleaner in a local warehouse or if you will factory, doing things for the better. Maybe one day I’ll became quite fluently in expressing myself in English and astonish my colleges.

    So a few sentences that will be alright for to day, I hope.

    Kind regards.

  23. Tania says:

    Hi! We start a new year…
    So you are:
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication…Innovation means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”


  24. Tania says:

    Hi! Dear Emiliano, as we are very old friends I wish you and to your nice family only the best, much health and A HAPPY NEW YEAR!


  25. Tania says:

    Hi! To study more and more, one of my teachers used to encourage us with the same kind of jokes:

    “The more you learn, the more you know.
    The more you know, the more you forget.
    The more you forget, the less you know.” Why we learn?

    Thank you, Myo ko ko. I appreciate very much your posts.

  26. Chinajoe says:

    The year of 2011 is almost over, and it is a good time to think back on the good things that have happened this year in our lives. Here is some of my favourite things that have happened in my life, or that I have enjoyed about this year.

    5. Pastime – The influence of Apple is so prevailing that I bought an ipad this year. I enjoyed playing games at the beganing months.The impressive games I have played include “the defence of dark army”,” ant road” and “angry birds” ,”Rainbow seven”,ets.Then I switched to read books. The fantastic books made me unforgetable consist of “The kite runner”, “???????”. Now, I use ipad only to watch moives and sometimes watch CBA or NBA games online via WIFI. I almost forget we used to play starcraft in wangyunfei’s apartment. That was wonderful memories. I even create a QQ group named “?????”. We now reenjoyed “??” again.

    4. Tennis – I do not really enjoy the tennis or maybe I just have not reach that kind of proficiency to enjoy a tennis game I surpose. I put tennis here just because I believe a man always need to make better of himself and learn new things. I am only a neophite on tennis, and hope I can do it better in 2012.

    3. Anymemo – It is a sofeware I used to memorize English words through Android HTC cellphone. Hitheto, I have already studied 6,700 GRE words, and I can recognize passively 85% of them. It is the best way to learn new words in my 16 years’ English study experience. Had I have a Android cellphone and the Anymemo in my school years, I would exclaim how great I could be. I need to review nearly 500 old words and learn 50 new words every day, which cost me at least 2 hours.

    2. My job – As I worked as a tobacoo chemistry analyst, my job always relate to tobacco. I have made my bebut in the presentation of a tobacco industy standard enactment. I will be in charge of the standard enactment.

    1. Upcoming baby – an unborning baby, the culmination of love. I will be a father next year’ Apirl. How eeeeeexciting it is. The feeling is undiscritable. We name our baby ‘?happy’. I love you, wife. I love all of you, family.

    What are 5 things that you are thankful for this year, or you think have made 2011 a good year?

  27. Tania says:

    Hi! Not anyone can be rich, not anyone can be happy.
    Being healthy, yes, 2011 was a good year for me.
    But unfortunately, I can remember 5 top bad memories of 2011.

  28. Tate says:

    My best memory of 2011 was getting in a plane to South Korea to teach English. So far so good and I hope I can save some money here while enjoying the soju and the great food that Korea offers. It was a great year.

  29. Øyvor says:

    Hi Betty!

    Thanks for your post=) Made me curious about who you are..anyway..all my best wishes to you and your family=)

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