So What’s New…and What’s Old
By Beverly Hicks Burch
It came and went…the very last day of the year. For some reason, I have always found New Year’s Eve to be the gloomiest holiday there is. Don’t ask me why. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the passing of something you will never have back…time…a year of your life…chances…opportunities…who knows. But, when I see those last few seconds count down and the big ball drop in Time Square I get a little feeling of melancholy as I watch the confetti fall and the party-goers go wild…it’s like “Who won the lottery?” I wonder what big secret I’m missing.
I’ve never been one to go out and party-hardy on New Year’s Eve. I tend to reflect more and spend that time in quiet intimate gatherings. Yes, of course, fun is allowed.
One big thing I NEVER do…make resolutions. Why set yourself up for failure on the very first day of the year. The only quasi-resolution I have is this: “I make no New Year’s resolutions.” Without fail, I keep that one…I’ve never let myself down once…
So, what is new and what is old? I think we find that no matter what day the calendar says, some things are the same year round. The state and condition of the world, mankind and those around you…those you hold near and dear. Basically December 31st is just like January 1st.
Each passing day can bring something…whether it is the death of a “great one”, or a family member or an event as large and overwhelming a 9/11. Those days can come in March or August…it doesn’t have to be December 31st or January 1st. It tends to be those quiet days that pass unnoticed that make up the bulk of our lives and for the most part add the sweetness to our lives. The kind words, the hugs, the tenderness, the thoughtfulness and just the pure humanity of daily living that are the mark and sum of a life.
I have seen days and things in the past seven or eight years I thought I’d never see in my life…betrayals…some I call the “deepest cut” from people I love the most. That kind of betrayal takes you beating heart and plunges a dagger right into the middle and slowly watches you heart beat slower and slower, beat by beat as you feel like it will surely bleed to death. But, I have also seen unspeakable joy and kindness and bravery. That, my friends makes me want to soar high above the bounds of the problems and pain of this ol’ human flesh.
The year 2007 brought both…things I wish I could lobotomize out of my brain and things I cherish and will till the day I take my last breath. The year saw me enter the blogosphere and as a result I’ve met some fantastic people, brushed up on long underused skills and found a new world. It added a new autoimmune disorder, which I needed like I needed a third eye in the center of my forehead.
Tall and Handsome and I were finally able to leave behind what I “lovingly” called the “swill hole” in Knoxville…the toxic, rental that was full of black mold and mildew. Boy was that ever a “learning” experience. Yes, Virginia, you can teach old dogs new tricks and we have learned not to trust landlady/slumlords who say, “Oh, no, I don’t have a water problem. I had that fixed a long time ago.” Just remember the song “Smiling Faces Tell Lies”…
I spent a good part of the year saying, “Watson, what do you have in your mouth?” He is so much like a baby or a small child…he will put anything and I do mean anything in his mouth. Just the other day T & H looked over at me to see me frantically pushing Watson’s head up and down. Alarmed he asked, “What are you doing?!” It really did look like I had either gone mad or was practicing some kind of evil medieval torture on Watson.
After I rammed my fingers down Watson’s throat and pulled out a piece of plastic he was chewing on, T & H fully understood what I had been doing…an impromptu, quasi-Heimlich maneuver for dogs. T & H doesn’t understand how I can tell when Watson has something in his mouth. Easy…training as a mom… Did I mention the dog will put anything in his mouth?
We closed 2007 by finally closing on the house…yes, it is done! We can now unpack as if we will be here a while. We began 2008 by doing just that and made great progress in the quilt room…but we still have a long way to go. We are discovering things we haven’t seen in almost three years and we are still discovering that “professional packers and movers” could possibly be an oxymoron. Why? Well, consider this one example of many like it: While unpacking a box marked “Quilt Room – Fabric” we discovered there was very little of my fabric stash in the box. Seriously, just a few folded pieces. Over half of the box was filled with dishes…my Christmas dishes and a very large and heavy punch bowl. Those are the maddening things that make the unpacking slow-go, hectic, unorganized and just plain aggravating.
The year 2008 opens with its own set of issues. We still have to decide how to deal with the psycho realtor and the torture she perpetuated. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “To report or not report…that is the question.” Then of course there is still the house in Alabama. Hang on to it as investment property or sell?
I am amazed that it has been eight years since the big Y2K scare and the beginning of the new millennium. Remember the doomsayers? Our whole world would crash because computers wouldn’t know how to read the year 2000. It seems so silly now in the post-9/11 world. It is even more unbelievable that almost a whole decade has passed…we are only two short years away from the changing of a new decade now.
But, there is an old saying that goes something like this, “As much as things change, they stay the same.” In other words, change is an expected and inevitable part of life. We will see that in 2008. We have a national election this year and who knows what other issues and events we’ll see. I can guarantee ups and downs but, it surely has to be better than 2007!
So, as I unpack and settle in and wonder how I will evacuate the growing mountain of empty boxes in the house I have a wish for all of us…for a healthy, prosperous, sane, mold-free, happy New Year!
© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.