Thursday, December 20, 2018

My 2018 Holiday Letter

The year began with a New Year’s Eve concert by our local symphony orchestra. It was a bitter cold night, the roads and parking lot iced over, but we managed to maneuver to the concert venue and home again unscathed. Later in the month hub and I spent a couple of days in Manhattan. January is the cheapest time of the year to take advantage of the Big Apple. It is cold, people are recovering from the holidays, paying bills, and in serious couch potato mode. For those brave enough to face the elements, hotels are very reasonable, theater tickets available, and anything else you want to do is most likely not crowded.

February’s highlight was a road trip to somewhat warmer climes to thaw out a bit, driving as far south as northern Florida. After a couple of weeks of southern cooking implanted on my body, we returned home. I resumed exercise classes in the desperate hope of shedding those southern fried pounds. I huffed and puffed in zumba, rode a stationary bike at the gym, flexed stubbornly inflexible muscles in yoga, and took up a new workout pursuit – tap dancing. Yes, had fun. No, the pounds did not melt away. I think returning north the fat froze in place.

I endured the cold winds and rains of March, but before basking under April’s warm rays, a trip north to Vermont provided a last whiff of winter. 

Unlike normal people (and birds and other animals) who migrate south for the winter, hub and I ventured to south Florida in the month of May for family events, experiencing sizzling sidewalks, a scorching sun and oppressive heat. Indoors, however, remained refreshingly cool as long as activity was kept to a minimum. By activity I mean any kind of movement. Walking upstairs could result in a good sweat. People living the semi-tropical life claim the body adjusts, but my bod urged me onto a Spirit flight north.  

I spent one day a week during the cheery months of May and June performing my civic duty serving on a grand jury. No rain or sleet or minor flooding kept me from the county courthouse. A string of town and county police officers took the stand and answered questions concerning cases involving theft, prostitution, domestic issues, gambling (after all, a dozen casinos are located in Atlantic City). Hopefully I will not have to report to the IRS or the state of New Jersey my ascent into affluence because of the pay earned – $5 per day. 

As my birthday approached in June, illness settled in. Each year I am host to a different health issue, but mysteriously the phenomenon occurs around the same time each year. My annual inner body experience.

As the days lengthened and warmed, friends and family descended on our humble abode. The beach beckons in summer. Meanwhile hub and I spent half of July exploring, with our oldest grandchild, the wilds of Alaska and the Yukon. Returning east, we spent two weeks babysitting our youngest grandchild while the rest of the family vacationed. Overseas. Without us.

And suddenly summer’s over, crowds disperse from our island and hub and I are alone once again. Fall ushers in a new routine. Another trip to Florida (before the hot weather ends; why would we head south any other time?), the garden begs for TLC and the house also pleads for my time and attention. After eight years in the place, it overflows with stuff. New stuff, old stuff, unwanted stuff, treasured stuff. Too much stuff.

As the year winds down, I watch old movies (surrounded by stuff) and think about de-cluttering. TCM is running a series of oldies (mostly 1930s and 40s) with a holiday theme; not all well-known films but many with famous performers. I am hoarding energy for my next trip, which begins before the New Year.  

So here I am as 2019 approaches, older, grayer (cannot be denied), a couple pounds heavier (darn southern food), probably shorter (afraid to find out), doubtless poorer (check out those stock market numbers), but moving ahead!

As for New Year’s resolutions, I gave up years ago.

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