There was a fresh snowfall on New Year’s Day, and this was the first photo I took in 2017. The snow, like the upcoming year, was perfect and unspoiled.
My half-hearted resolve to send Christmas cards with a newsletter ended like most feeble commitments. And now I’m tapping on a keyboard, hoping it will jostle memories I can share through Shallow Reflections.
We had a blizzard in February that was enormous even by Maine standards. My joy about an unexpected day off, turned to horror when Patrick and I spent eight hours shoveling. Thirty inches of the vile substance landed on us that day, but at least we didn’t lose our power.
In late October, we experienced hurricane force winds, and the view of Maine from the space station grew dark. We had to boil water on our gas cooktop to do dishes and drink instant coffee. In other words, we lived like pioneers.
My first drag show
I stayed up after 9 PM and attended my first drag show during Gay Pride week in Bangor. I felt out of place at first but decided to embrace the diversity. Plus I love rainbow colored hair.
What I enjoyed most about seeing Michael AKA Michaela perform was the reaction of his parents. They sat in the front, cheering and clapping for him like I did when I attended my son’s baseball games. What if all parents supported their children’s passions like that?
Witnessing grandsons’ milestones
It was thrilling to watch our older grandson, Cameron, take his first faltering steps when he turned one year old. But that can’t compare with what we saw this summer: his first use of air quotes. I’m not sure where this fits in Piaget’s theory of child cognitive development, but Grandma slated it as, ‘excels at sarcasm.’
Our younger grandson, Maxwell, has been a picky eater, but we saw a breakthrough when we took him out for dinner. He couldn’t get enough bread and after every bite said, “More butter.” He then commenced gobbling a kid-sized steak and half of mine, leaving no doubt he’s Grandma’s boy.
We didn’t go anywhere
We did not check baggage or sleep on the floor in airports last year. I spent a few days visiting opposite ends of the state of Maine – a trip to Aroostook County and a few days in Portland. I got lost in both places, so it’s good I didn’t wander outside state lines.
I met a celebrity
I attended the National Society of Newspaper Columnists annual conference and received an award. So I lied when I said I didn’t leave Maine, because I went to New Hampshire. And I met Maureen Dowd, who is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist.
But something happened to stain that experience. Jean Shepherd said it best in this quote from his book A Christmas Story: “Life is like that. Sometimes at the height of our reveries when our joy is at its zenith. When all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.”
The ads urging me to discover my ancestry are enticing; I almost submitted a DNA sample. Then I reconsidered when I read this warning: “Not responsible for psychotherapy if you discover a genetic link to Donald Trump.”
I had a long overdue colonoscopy, and the results scared the pre-cancerous polyps out of me. No more complacency about the next screening.
A dose of doxycycline prevented Lyme disease after I harbored a tick that I mistook for a skin tag. There is no cure for the emotional suffering I endured acting as an all-you-can-eat buffet for a parasite.
About skin tags, I plan to do some DYI surgery to remove the bothersome growth under my left arm this coming year. I’ve got scissors soaking in disinfectant and I’ve popped the cork on my anesthesia. Cheers!
What are some highlights from your experience with 2017?