Readers Share Their Favorite Parts of 2024 So Far

Believe it or not, we’re nearly halfway through 2024. As a midweek pick-me-up, today I’m sharing some of the lovely notes readers have sent me about their favorite parts of this year: new hobbies, graduation ceremonies and more. Send your own tales to

Here are some highlights, edited and condensed:

“I am retired and very active with my local fitness club. The best part of my year to date is learning to play pickleball with a fabulous group of ladies who also enjoy staying active and enjoying each other’s company. We play every week and just have a great time exercising and laughing with each other.” — Linda Robertson, Paso Robles

“The best part of my year would have to be late February, the moment I found out I was spontaneously pregnant with triplets. I will meet them in August and I am simultaneously excited and terrified.” — Emily Hannon, San Diego

“The best part of my year so far was watching my son walk across the stage at his graduation ceremony at San Diego State University — something he never had a chance to do four years ago because of Covid. The look on his face and the thousands of other students that day will stay with me for a long time!” — Fred Mandel, Encino

“This year has allowed me to embark on my Peace Corps Response term in Barranquilla, Colombia. I am here to coach and encourage local public school English teachers. Growing up in Claremont and spending the last 40 years in San Diego, you would think my Spanish would be better. But it is here in Colombia that my Spanish has had a chance to grow. I will be back in California before Thanksgiving and my South American exposure will be complete, but there will be many tales to tell. I came at 77 and will return at 78, perhaps a more seasoned traveler.” — Judy Minnich Stout, San Diego

“The best thing this year so far is enjoying four great-grandsons, ranging in age from 15 months to 7 years. Their boundless energy and enthusiasm are contagious. I never thought I would live long enough to see my grandchildren’s children.” — Eleanor Egan, Costa Mesa

“My sister relocated here to Sacramento last fall following the death of her husband a year earlier. This is the first time in our adult lives that we’ve lived in the same town, and I’ve had fun introducing her to various activities and cultural events that Sacramento has to offer. It’s wonderful to be able to call her and say, ‘Hey, you want to go to a movie today?’ Or just get together and hang out. Our older sister recently came for a visit from Tucson, so the three of us were able to spend quality time together. We’re all in our 70s, so this time together is especially precious. I’m blessed that we all get along so well and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.” — Diana Halpenny, Sacramento

About a dozen preschoolers, most of whom were homeless, graduated this week from a program run by Father Joe’s Village in the Therapeutic Childcare Center in downtown San Diego. The program offers not only a standard curriculum for preschoolers, but also an on-site therapist for children who need one, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Around half of the students will move on to elementary school in the fall, while the other half will go to transitional kindergarten. The children are allowed to stay at the center during the summer, giving their parents or guardians the ability to work or search for housing.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Halina Bennet and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at

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