As I enter the second half of my 66th circuit of the sun, we all turn the page to a new calendar year. It’s a big deal if we make it one, and it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Deb and I don’t. I refuse to go out on December 31st, and anyway, generally speaking, I hate parties — when it comes to getting dressed up and going somewhere I really don’t want to be, New Year’s Eve runs a close second to Halloween.
Fortunately, I married a woman who sees it the same way.
So we stayed in the bus last night, watched TV and toasted the new year unconventionally — to be specific, with 2019 Jackson-Triggs Reserve Vidal Icewine, a delightful Canadian grape. It’s a pricey indulgence, 375ml for $35, but we figure we deserve it once a year.
This morning we slept late and didn’t get started for The Mountain ’til after 10am. It was a foggy drive, clearing up some as we neared Yellville. Our primary purpose was to drop off the cart we bought the other day.
Before leaning it against the side of our shed, I shot its moving parts with white lithium grease — an ounce of prevention and all that. Deb and I adjourned to the cabin for conversation with her cousin and his girlfriend, accepted a couple of thoughtful Christmas gifts, then drove down to the homesite.
On a whim, I backed the Silverado off the driveway and onto the pad where our shed eventually will go. At the other end of the site we saw where the well guy had placed a cairn yesterday, to mark the spot where he’ll start drilling.
This evening we enjoyed our New Year’s meal. Tradition calls for eating pork (health), cabbage (prosperity) and beans (luck), which for us takes the form of hot dogs, cole slaw and Deb’s famous three-bean salad.
It’s how we do things ’round here.
I guess it’s common to bid farewell to a receding year with bitterness — “Good riddance!” — but I can’t do that. Every year of my American Life has been more good than bad. Our 2021 and 2022 were a couple of the best yet, and I have no reason to believe that 2023 won’t be even better. That’s not optimism talking, either — it’s a choice.
We get what we choose.
Happy New Year.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.