Sunday, January 1, 2017

The great escape

Whew. That was close.

In a year seemingly filled to critical mass with celebrity deaths — first Beatles manager Allen Williams and actor William "Father Mulcahy" Christopher of MASH didn't quite clear the Dec. 31 deadline (so to speak — or maybe they did) — so I feel kinda lucky.

New Year's came and went and I tentatively set foot in 2017 — big toe first, as if testing the water —with a measure of caution. After passing through 66 of these annual demarcations, I've finally learned that the coming year isn't necessarily going to be better than the last. Or worse.

Mostly, it just is. Mostly, I guess it's up to us to make the best of what we're given, even if some things are beyond our control.

An out-of-state friend of mine wrote that she doesn't judge the worth of a year by the number of celebrities who happened to die in it. I can see her point. Still, celebrities are celebrities for a reason, leaving something of an impact on our lives for good or bad. When one passes, it can touch us, move us, shock us. When a whole bunch of them pass within a 365-day time frame, it leaves us shaking our uncomprehending heads in a kind of bewilderment. Wassup with that, bro? Let me outta here.

I spent the New Year's evening with my friends, and that's always a good idea. There was some interesting conversation, some food, some drink, then some glass clinking and some hugging when 12:00.01 got here. There's a sense of security and continuity in that and I was grateful for it.

Good friends are good to have. The crowd Kim and I run with ("run" is a relative term here. Kim and I usually find ourselves as the oldest ones showing up. In fact, I'm the old guy that starts yawning before anyone else does and it's only 9:30) never needs an excuse to party. They are fully equipped with fire pits, front porches, back porches, spacious living and dining rooms. It's perfect, actually. What sometimes begins as a casual conversation on the sidewalk has the potential to end up as a party.

 Why not? If nothing else, 2016 showed us that life is short. So party on.

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