December 31, 2016
New Years Eve
It’s almost 10:30 pm here on the east coast. I’ve only been home for twenty minutes. It’s been a long day. I woke up at 5:30 am this morning and an hour later I was at work. When I finished that job, I went to another with nary a break between the two.
I’m tired, I’m sore and all I really want to do is sleep but it is New Years Eve. We are supposed to stay awake and greet the new year. We are supposed to renew our hope in humanity and life in general.
And yet, here I sit, on my porch in fifty degree weather, smoking a good cigar and listening to the idiots in my adopted home town fire off their weapons like a bunch of drunken rednecks stranded in the woods.
I do have company however; Freddie is standing guard at the top of the porch steps. He’s a black cat so it is almost hard to discern his shape against the shadows that seem to be dancing in the wind. Actually, all I can really see is he outline. He’s crouched down and staring out into the blackness of my front yard and street. As if he’s standing guard against any evil that may even think about crossing the threshold of my or most likely, his domain.
He’s quite peculiar and has remained a source of amusement and confusion to me for the past year. Especially now that he seems to be enjoying the warmth of the interior of my home. For how long he will decide to stay here I’ve no idea and when he’s gone I’m sure I’ll miss him, but I won’t miss my feet being bitten in the middle of the night or how he seems to derive much pleasure from trying to suffocate me in the middle of the night by deciding to sleep on my face. No, I don’t think I’d miss that.
The general consensus, if you go by social media that is, that 2016 has been the worst year ever. I can’t disagree. While I was affected by the passing of the multitude of actors, singers and other pop culture icons, that was not the main source of pain for most of us. Well, that is what I believe and since this is my blog, I can say that.
So, are we all in agreement? That 2016 can suck it? Suck it hard? Good.
But, I want to try and twist this around a bit. I want to look at some of the good things that I saw, that I experience and that made me feel good this past year.
I saw new born babies and I got to hold a few of them. That always makes me feel good. And for some reason, when I hold one, I can’t shut up. I end up talking to them for what seems like hours. Much to the bemusement and confusion of people around me. Babies just fill me with joy and hope. They are literally a tabula rasa, they can do and be anything. It’s amazing just being near them.
I got to hang out with some old friends and make new ones. That is always a good thing. Especially when said friends are genuinely happy to see you and be with you.
My relationship with my mom and my sisters has grown. To tell you the truth, if someone in my life today went back in time and told the twenty year old Skip that he would have a great relationship with the women from his past in just a few decades, well, that Skip would have laughed, flipped them the bird and walked away. But today, it’s not like that. That is truly an amazing thing.
Finally, my daughter… that young lady never ceases to amaze me. Her maturity, her generosity, her dedication and even her work ethic are to be lauded. She is not one of these modern teens who thinks everything should be given to her. She believes in hard work. She believes in being rewarded for doing a good job just by getting her paycheck. She has a genuine respect for others even if they don’t show her respect and she fights for what she believes in. (Don’t believe me? Then you’ve never seen her face down the entire school board and give a speech where all the board members changed their minds on a decision they felt was permanent. Yeah, she did that.)
Lastly, you folks. You, my dear reader, you fill me with a sense of right. That what I’m doing is right. That my seemingly mindless brain droppings have some affect. Also, that occasionally, my published stories are liked as well. You guys make me feel like this year wasn’t as bad as all others seem to say it was.
Honorable mention… My crew in reading. By this, I mean not just Ron, Craig, Jezzy and Gregg, but also Slim and Mark and Clara, you guys amazed me by how much work, effort and shear gall, helped us all put on what I think was a great local experience of horror fiction. Yes, I know I’m the Donnie Downer of the group, the one who is never satisfied and a perfectionist in all the details, yet somehow, you all see past it and keep me on track to help put on a really cool event.
Okay, enough of this last blog of 2016… onward to 2017 where all our hopes, dreams and wishes are still fresh and can come true.