As The Ball Drops

 

Victor Borge did a marvelous routine years ago featuring a mock Mozart opera.  After a perfunctory piano piece, he announced, “That was the overture, — and when the ture is over, that’s all there is to it.”  Later, after much hilarity, he described the opera’s conclusion by saying, “The curtain falls, but not hard enough,” which, come to think of it, sums up my sentiments upon seeing 2013 enter the history books.

I began 2013 by refusing to make any New Year’s resolutions.  Instead, I rung in the year by running in to a deer near the New York / Pennsylvania state line, after which I spent the better part of a week and a half in Carlisle, PA while craftsmen at a local body shop restored the Ride of Pride to her full glory.  Perhaps I should have resolved something.

This was the year in which I saw my step parent succumb to a monstrous and monstrously aggressive brain tumor.  It was a time when most of the family rallied to her side to comfort her, comfort and cry with each other, and pray ardently, first for healing, and then for a merciful end to the suffering.  One of my favorite little sayings is that crisis doesn’t build character, but rather, reveals it.  Such was the case with Mom’s illness as she spent more time worrying about us than about herself.  It was a time of clarification as, in the case of most catastrophes, one is often surprised by the quarters from which help emanates and those from which it doesn’t. 

The year that began with my Dad in full humor, thankfully, concludes with a hopeful restoration of his spirit.  Mom’s death, coming as it did in the middle of his own battle with Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart problems, and seemingly every other malady known to man, sent him into a dangerous spiral.  With grief unending, he had lost over 30 pounds since late September as Sis and I both lost weeks of work to stay by his side and encourage him.  I’m happy to report that some prayers were answered over the Christmas holiday, and he seems on the rebound.

Aside from personal challenges and tragedies, 2013 was a year in which many friendships were formed, while others were renewed.  For me, this was largely a tribute to the Ricochet community and my own good fortune in attending several gatherings across the country.  You folks will never know how much light and warmth you bring to what is otherwise a fairly solitary lifestyle, and I thank you.

Mindful of the lessons of the past year, some of which were learned happily while others brought pain, and while beginning 2014 back in Carlisle, PA, I’ve resolved the following: 

Dave-and-Dad-2013.jpg*  Watch for deer.

*  Time is fleeting and tomorrow is not guaranteed, so don’t miss a chance to tell a loved one that you love them.

*  Going from a child who is cared for, to a child who cares for a parent is an awkward transition. Be as generous with your affection to a parent as you hope your children will be with you.

*  I herewith renew my request to my own children to keep me out of hospitals with the word “Memorial” in them, since the ostensible purpose of a hospital is to prevent my memorialization.

*  Be productive.  In my case, this means picking up the pace of my writing and finishing the book I started last year. 

*  Look after your health, be it with exercise, diet, or, for me, resolving to finally get a physical for the first time in over a decade.  

*  Try to add more smiles than you take.

*  Life is a gift, but one you must yourself build.  Embrace the opportunity and employ your talents.

From yet another parking lot, safely and warmly ensconced in the ultimate man-cave on 18 wheels, please accept my thanks for your friendship and good wishes, as well as my wish to each of you for a happy and prosperous New Year.

There are 37 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Snirtler

    I’m stealing all your resolutions mutatis mutandis. Thank you for sharing the wise thoughts. Happy New Year!

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @RonSelander

    Happy New Year, Dave!

    Thanks once more for your truly exceptional writing.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DavidHoltkamp

    Dave, you are a good man.  I know of no higher praise…

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @WhiskeySam

    Glad to hear your dad is doing better!  Safe travels, Dave.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MikeLaRoche

    Happy New Year, Dave! Hope your travels bring you through Lubbock one of these days.

    • #5
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    @RushBabe49

    We love you, Dave.  Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Neolibertarian

    Later, after much hilarity, he described the opera’s conclusion by saying, “The curtain falls, but not hard enough,” which, come to think of it, sums up my sentiments upon seeing 2013 enter the history books.

    The above is why I never fail to read you. 

    Amen, brother. 2013: good riddance. 2014: bring it on.

    Happy New Years, Dave–blessings on you and yours, and I’m ready to pre-order your book on Amazon as soon as you finish it!

    • #7
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    @RhodaattheDoor

    The Lord Jesus bless your new year with His peace, your ride with His nearness!  Thanks for many and many a delectable post!

    • #8
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    @RobertHam

    Dave,

    As with others on this thread, I am pleased to have met you (Seattle) this past year, and ALWAYS enjoy your writing.

    I have just forwarded your latest to my extended family with the tag line that they need to read your wisdom and “start the New Year right” –

    God Bless –

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @MattBartle

    Cheers, Dave. Well said.

    Happy 2014.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @Casey

    Enjoy your stay in sweet PA and may the roads be safe along your way.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @JoeBoyle

    Dave, You’re the best. I’ve learned much from you and others on Ricochet in 2013. I hope you do write more. Kind regards, Joe

    • #12
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    @BrentB67

    Thanks Dave. Write when you can.

    I just finished 2013’s resolution this morning and I am very uninspired about 2014’s. I am thinking I will read the Bible start to finish again. Don’t know for sure.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @KayofMT

    Dave, some times you just can’t miss those deer. This little town I live in has exactly one stoplight, and as I was slowing to stop, doing about 15-20 mpr, a deer jumped from the side of the road and landed on the hood of my car. She slid to the road, jumped up and headed to the other side. I’ve been told I am now a true Montanan. I no longer think of deer as Bambi, I’ll be you don’t as well.

    It’s 8 o’clock here and the fireworks have started will have to listen to them for the next 4 or 5 hours. Don’t forget Montana if you get this way. Hope you have a peaceful evening. Glad to hear your dad is doing better. Hugs.

    • #14
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    @DaveCarter

    Somehow, I managed to miss one very important event in our family’s life in 2013. Namely, the addition of a bright ray of sunshine at just the right time, as my son married his beautiful and radiant bride in July. And if that’s not a good note to rest on, then I shall give up resting. G’nite all.

    • #15
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    @RichardFulmer

    Tell us about the book you’re writing and where we go to place advance orders.

    • #16
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    @DaveCarter

    Richard, it’s a compilation of travel pieces from my time on the road and my time in uniform as well, with perhaps a sprinkling of political essays too. More details as things progress.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BarbaraKidder
    Dave Carter: Richard, it’s a compilation of travel pieces from my time on the road and my time in uniform as well, with perhaps a sprinkling of political essays too. More details as things progress. · 0 minutes ago

    You follow in the footsteps of two fascinating writers who’s stories have entertained and inspired thousands;  Charles Kuralt and Alistair Cooke!

    Yours, Mr. Carter, will inspire and entertain millions!

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Contributor
    @GeorgeSavage

    Dave , I think we are tracking. I just had my first physical exam in about a decade, my wife’s standing critique finally penetrating the irrelevant defense that I see a doctor every morning, albeit in the mirror. She signed me up with her internist and selected a date for my appointment. I just had to show up, which I did. I am so very lucky that she married me 25 years ago. My father sounds a lot like your mom. Dad’s glioblastoma presented by robbing him of his ability to speak. Nevertheless, over the next six months he managed to convey his unceasing concern for the rest of us, oblivious to his own problem. I am very happy that your father is rebounding and pray it is a omen for the year ahead. Happy New Year!

    • #19
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    @GeorgeSavage

    Apologies for the lack of formatting above. My paragraphs did not survive the trip through iOS to the Ricochet server.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Member
    @Eeyore
    Dave Carter

    *  Try to add more smiles than you take.

    Dave, man, you really make it hard for some of us out here…

    • #21
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    @AlFrench

    You folks will never know how much light and warmth you bring to what is otherwise a fairly solitary lifestyle.

    Dave, if you got your GPS hooked up to Ricochet, I’ll bet you could have a home cooked meal with a Ricochetti nearly every night.  You certainly would be welcome here.

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Member
    @DeanMurphy

    Thanks for the message Dave, God bless you.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Member
    @cdor

    Happy New Year and best wishes for all at Ricochet. As always, thanks for your post, Dave.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    Dave, have a great 2014. You are a special man and I’m glad to know you. George Savage, think of me during your next annual :-). Please listen to your wife, she is right. Always.

    • #25
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    @RyanM

    I have always loved that Victor Borge bit.  I think all the highlier of you for knowing it.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @AlbertArthur

    Happy New Year, Dave! Even though it wasn’t you the other day in Connecticut, I felt like I was on the road with you. I think we all sense you out there, traveling our great country.

    George Savage: Apologies for the lack of formatting above. My paragraphs did not survive the trip through iOS to the Ricochet server. · 1 hour ago

    George, when you’re on a mobile device, you can wrap your paragraphs in html:

    <p>First paragraph.</p>

    <p>Second paragraph.</p>

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Member
    @Sandy

    Even though of course I know that you must spend most of your hours on the road, I’ve not thought of your life as being “fairly solitary,” because you share so much of it with your readers, for which very much thanks.

    • #28
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    @AaronMiller

    Whiz! Bang! Pop!  Fzzz!

    It’s like New York City out there.

    • #29
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    @

    Happy New Year!

    • #30

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