Memories of 2019

 

I’ve gone through a little exercise, the past several New Year’s Eves, to try to sum up the year that’s passing in twelve words, one for each month. Herewith, my roundup for 2019: Softness, Family, Broken, Celebration, Construction, Sickness, Renovation, Compromise, Stabilization, Justice, Insurance, Acceptance.

In no particular order: Item: Two dear friends with life-threatening illnesses, both diagnosed in the same month. Both my age. Scary. Item–A lovely new sunroom on the Southside of the house (some days, when it’s in the 20s outside, it’s in the 80s in the sunroom. There’s a stand of trees in front of it, and when they’re in full leaf, rather than bare as they are now, it’s shaded in the summer. Item: Some beautiful soft and fluffy snows in January, but other than that, not much of a winter. Item: A bit too much involvement with the criminal justice system, across a couple of months, but ultimately the best outcome we could have hoped for in the trial of my stepson’s murderers. Item: Family celebrations, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and love. Another year older, and signed up for Medicare. At least my monthly health insurance premium went down.

Item: A few relationship difficulties, and the eventual resolution and coming to terms with them. Item–A gradual settling and stabilizing of the house, following the undermining, and after a year, the feeling that it might be “safe” to start to remediate some of the problems. So far, so good, and I have an opening front door again! Item–A monumental, weeks-long, blow-up with Mr. She’s Medicare Advantage insurer, who canceled his coverage because they said we hadn’t paid the bill. (Big mistake. Huge.) The week after I got a letter from the office of the Highmark CEO, acknowledging their error, and making all sorts of prayerful amends, I switched Mr. She’s insurance over to UPMC and canceled Highmark. A petty, but sweet, revenge. Item: the completion of bits of drywalling and painting that I’ve been waiting for, for 34 years, upstairs; and the finishing of the stairwell, including the framing in and “prettifying” of the electrical panel. Unfortunately, at the same time, the guy who was putting a new deck on the back of the house (see “remediation of subsidence problems,” above) ruptured a tendon in his finger, so that project is on indefinite hiatus. Still, I am beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, and starting to conceive of the possibility that the house may be finished before I am carried out of it feet first. This is a new feeling, and I like it.

I think that about wraps things up, and on a positive note. (The finishing of the house, I mean, not the “feet first” business.)

If I could add a thirteenth word, for a baker’s dozen this year, I’d make it “fellowship.” In three different months, throughout the year, I met three new IRL Ricochet friends (five if you count two spouses), on their travels through my part of the world. Wonderful times, wonderful friends. And I’m already making plans to see some of them again next year. And perhaps I will meet more in 2020. You know what they say, “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.” Here’s to new friends!

It was a bittersweet year. In many ways, I’m glad it’s over. In others, not so much. Joys and sorrows; welcome reminders of just how precious life is; unwelcome reminders of just how precious life is, and how things can change from “doing great” to “not well” health-wise, in the blink of an eye; no weddings or births, and only one, expected, funeral. Highs and lows. New friends added and old friends lost. A beautiful granddaughter who, only a short few months ago (I’m pretty sure) was about three, and now, somehow, she’s almost twelve. (How on earth does that work?) Good health for me; some challenges for Mr. She. A fairly quiet year, in most ways, and not even a particularly memorable one.

And so, heading into 2020, here we still are. As they say, “we persevere.” (Mainly, I think it’s inertia, and just the fact that we haven’t come up with a better plan yet.)

Since May 2, 2002 the phrase “things couldn’t possibly get any worse” has never passed my lips, because, clearly, things always can (and they usually do); but I have high hopes for 2020. (“Shame on me,” to cut to the chase on a familiar saying.) We’ll see. Nevertheless, I extend those same high hopes and my prayers for a safe, healthy, and happy 2020 to my Ricochet friends. And I’m grateful for you all.

Please share your own dozen (or fewer, or more) words that describe your memories of this past year. I realize that mine are very personal: Yours may be cultural, political, polemical, or any combination of all, or none, of the above. All contributions are welcome. Happy New Year, Ricochet!

Raise your glass and we’ll have a cheer
For us all who are gathered here
And a happy new year to all that is living
To all that is gentle, kind, and forgiving
Raise your glass and we’ll have a cheer
My dear acquaintance, a Happy New Year

There are 21 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Survived another one.

    • #1
  2. Richard Finlay Member
    Richard Finlay
    @RichardFinlay

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Survived another one.

    not quite yet, but getting hopeful

    • #2
  3. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Survived another one.

    not quite yet, but getting hopeful

    Any. Minute. Now!

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    She (View Comment):

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Survived another one.

    not quite yet, but getting hopeful

    Any. Minute. Now!

    Less than ten hours anyway, at least where I am.

    • #4
  5. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Another musical interlude.  This one from my misspent youth:  Abba, singing “Happy New Year.”

    Remember that old saw about “if you can remember the 60’s, you really weren’t there?”  (I’m just about old enough to.) Blessed oblivion can be, I sometimes think, a really good thing.

    Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have such vivid memories of the 70s and early 80s.  Anyone else?

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    She (View Comment):
    Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have such vivid memories of the 70s. Anyone else?

    Only when I remember that pair of striped bellbottoms…

    • #6
  7. PHCheese Member
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Happy New Year.

    • #7
  8. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Arahant (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have such vivid memories of the 70s. Anyone else?

    Only when I remember that pair of striped bellbottoms…

    It really was the decade of Abba.  As a follower of the Eurovision Song Contest since the 50’s, I’ll always remember the winner in 1974, and how utterly unwelcome, nay, even impossible such a win, or even such a song, would be today:

    I still pay some attention to the ESC, because it’s become so camp, and really, just a parody of itself.  But my early experiences with it (late 50s and early 60s) were with Granny and Grandpa, who viewed it as a very wholesome form of entertainment.

    I have no idea what they’d have made of Conchita Wurst and following.

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Survived another one.

    Too early to tell over on this end of the state. But that reminds me, every year I forget to listen to Putin’s New Year’s address until it’s well past midnight in Moscow.  It’s now an hour until midnight over there.

    Timothy Snyder says Trump is a Putin client, so for those of us who plan on voting for him, the least we can do is listen to it.  

    • #9
  10. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Happy New Year.

    And to you. Have some Albert’s kielbasa in the crockpot.  Will have a mouthful in your honor.

    • #10
  11. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Survived another one.

    Too early to tell over on this end of the state. But that reminds me, every year I forget to listen to Putin’s New Year’s address until it’s well past midnight in Moscow.

    Sigh.  This post is making me feel so old.  From 1962:

    It was, in perhaps the earliest example of glastnost known to man, the time signal for Radio Moscow from 1964 until . . . well, I’m not sure.

    Anyone?

    • #11
  12. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Some years, this is the best that can be said.

    In fairness, this year wasn’t all terrible. My best friends got married and are now expecting a baby. My sister is expecting. We should be able to buy a house this year. I started a job that actually has benefits again.  The good just feels like so little compared to all the disappointments and frustrations.

    • #12
  13. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    Some years, this is the best that can be said.

    In fairness, this year wasn’t all terrible. My best friends got married and are now expecting a baby. My sister is expecting. We should be able to buy a house this year. I started a job that actually has benefits again. The good just feels like so little compared to all the disappointments and frustrations.

    Yes, that’s sort of why I do my little retrospective with myself.  Because the disappointments and frustrations tend to muscle their way to the fore (where, unfortunately, many times, they belong), and they obliterate the good.  If I don’t make a conscious effort to recapitulate it, it’s easy for the good to get lost.  But there’s almost always a bit more of it than I first think.

    Love the cartoon.  We have a saying around here (I don’t know if it’s original or not), “the bomb went off and nobody died.”  It’s metaphorical, of course, and not necessarily confined to disastrous events, just something that’s involved a lot of planning and care in its execution, and through which we manage to shepherd everybody to a successful conclusion.  This entire year was sort of like that for us in many ways.

    • #13
  14. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    The two of us here have our fingers crossed that we make it to January 10th, of 2020, at which time we will be celebrating 15 years of wedded bliss. (And some said it couldn’t be done!)

    Neither of us know what item signifies the Fifteenth Anniversary. Rutabagas? Newspaper? A set of new car tires?

    Only Time will tell.

    And Happy New Year, everyone.

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    What a great way to ring out the old and welcome in the New Year!

    This post was offered within December’s theme: “Memories.” Thanks to everyone who posted. If you have not been following these posts closely, do stop by the handy guide to monthly themes and browse a bit during the 12 days of Christmas!

    January’s theme is up, so stop by and sign up for “Winter of Our Discontent.” Especially if you have not posted in some months or are newish to Ricochet! Resolve to post!

    • #15
  16. SkipSul Member
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Words to sum up the year?  Tricky (appropriate in and of itself).

    Farewells

    Responsibilities

    Faith

    Pilgrimage

    disillusion

    Much that was good about the year, much that was perhaps best detailed through the pen of Dave Barry.  No idea what the new year will bring.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2019/12/29/dave-barrys-year-review/

    • #16
  17. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Words to sum up the year? Tricky (appropriate in and of itself).

    Farewells

    Responsibilities

    Faith

    Pilgrimage

    disillusion

    Much that was good about the year, much that was perhaps best detailed through the pen of Dave Barry. No idea what the new year will bring.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2019/12/29/dave-barrys-year-review/

    OMG, I am going to enjoy this!  I love Dave Barry. 

    No idea, myself, what the New Year will bring, but I will observe, and report back, perhaps in 12 months . . .

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    She (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Words to sum up the year? Tricky (appropriate in and of itself).

    Farewells

    Responsibilities

    Faith

    Pilgrimage

    disillusion

    Much that was good about the year, much that was perhaps best detailed through the pen of Dave Barry. No idea what the new year will bring.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2019/12/29/dave-barrys-year-review/

    OMG, I am going to enjoy this! I love Dave Barry.

    No idea, myself, what the New Year will bring, but I will observe, and report back, perhaps in 12 months . . .

    Dave Barry is not the guy who does the Dilbert cartoon, right?  

    • #18
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Dave Barry is not the guy who does the Dilbert cartoon, right?

    No, that’s Scott Adams. Dave is a humor columnist.

    • #19
  20. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Dave Barry is not the guy who does the Dilbert cartoon, right?

    No, that’s Scott Adams. Dave is a humor columnist.

    Here’s a reprint of one of his best.  There’s a PDF image of the original on the web, but it’s hard to read.  I think this is a faithful reproduction: http://www.cogsci.rpi.edu/public_html/heuveb/teaching/CriticalThinking/Web/Handouts/DaveBarryArgueEffectively.pdf

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    She (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Dave Barry is not the guy who does the Dilbert cartoon, right?

    No, that’s Scott Adams. Dave is a humor columnist.

    Here’s a reprint of one of his best. There’s a PDF image of the original on the web, but it’s hard to read. I think this is a faithful reproduction: http://www.cogsci.rpi.edu/public_html/heuveb/teaching/CriticalThinking/Web/Handouts/DaveBarryArgueEffectively.pdf

    It was a lame attempt at a joke. Sorry. I prefer not to explain what the point was. 

    • #21

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