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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve!

Today a friend of mine stopped by partway through his seven-hour drive back home from visiting with his family for the holidays. He got the nickel tour of my new house, which includes the bright blue porch, the Christmas tree, the lamps from Target, the original paintings (by me) fun-tacked here and there throughout the house, the basement (forgot to show him the coal bin or present him with a souvenir lump of coal), the attic, and everything in-between.

Before he went on his way we stopped at a local Italian restaurant for lunch - my treat, since today is his birthday. While we were there we were waited on by a cute enthusiastic waitress* whose fingers were completely unencumbered by rings. She was extra-friendly and super-chatty, and really, really liked the color of my shirt ("I love that color!" she cooed, "It's like - oatmeal!") and stroked my arm several times while enthusing over it. So I reacted to her the way I always do in situations like this.

"So, any big plans for New Year's Eve?" I utterly failed to ask.

"No, no. Another one at home all by myself!" she did not have the opportunity to respond.

"How tragic!" I did not retort. "Me, too! Say, maybe...ummm...if you'd like..." I might have stammered, if the conversation had taken place at all.

Bah. Humbug.

It's been a rough year. Ashes died in April after a long, lingering illness. I lost another uncle in May, also after a long illness. Minnie died in October after a brief but devastating illness. Some of my friends are having even rougher times. And I myself have suffered some losses that I haven't told you about.

But it hasn't been all bad. I got to see Ireland one more time, and London as well. I finally bought my grandmother's house at the end of May. I got to meet Adam Felber and a bunch of my fellow Felbernauts back in September. A new cat came into my life at the same time Minnie was leaving. I passed out candy and toys for my first Halloween at my new house, and I decorated my own Christmas tree and my own front porch for the first time. An old friend of mine had a baby, almost unexpectedly, while another friend and his wife had a baby after many years of trying. I talked to someone I've wanted to talk to for years. And I've met some people who I hope to get to know better as time goes by.

Life goes on, with or without our consent.

Another year is ending. Another year is beginning.

Good luck to us all.

*Note to me: Shannon. Remember that. Her name is Shannon. Like the airport.

1 comment:

Betz said...

Harold, we should all sum up our year like that. Sort of a taking stock?
I am glad I was part of your joys and your sorrows too, I guess thats what friends are for?