Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012 (and Good Riddance)

First, of course, a caveat.  Overall 2012 was a fine year for our family.  We are all healthy.  The older boys are useful members of society doing good work and paying their own rent all year.  The pumpkin is a smart, funny, challenging person who makes every day brighter than it could ever have been without him.  (C'mon when your child was originally known as "Oops" you have to look at the big picture all the time.) 

Having acknowledged the overall, big picture, okayness of 2012, I can now express my own thoughts re the end of this miserable year.  (Tell us what you really think Lauren.)  I have never been so delighted to wake up to a new number on the calendar.  I have been under some kind of crazy dark cloud since July and I am so glad this miserable year is over.  A short recap:

Early July, writing a grocery list to make some fabulous lobster rolls made by Bobby Flay, minding my own business, thinking about cooking something great for my family... eating something delicious and leftover that I can no longer recall specifically... out of the blue a molar broke in half.  Agony.  4th of July and the dentist was closed... Not a tragedy really but two weeks of incessant tooth pain.  Just a crown not a root canal.  I am a big baby about the dentist and it was two weeks.

At the end of the tooth thing I went to Connecticut to visit Jamie and the family.  Great visit.  Much fun had by all.  Very excellent food including lobster twice.  Decandent and fun.  And when I got home I dropped my 48 pound suitcase onto my sandaled foot.  Screeched a very bad word in public.  Hobbled to my car crying.  Went to the ER the next day and was told I had a "classic corner fracture" and put into some wierd cast with inflatable supports.  Hobbled and sweated around for ten days.  Went for the follow up and discovered that the actual radiologist (not the PA) did not see a fracture at all and instead of masses of narcotic pain releavers I should have been having a nice anti-inflammatory and my tennis shoes.  Very releived to be rid of the cast but that was 10 days of fairly wretched pain when I was supposed to be getting ready for vacation...

End of August, annual trip to the Shenendoah River (second time but that still makes it annual).  Our friends the Judys and the Rogers went with us.  Three cabins.  Three families.  Lots of kids and water and dogs.  Super fun.  Except on day two (the first full day) I took the two girl children (my neice Kennedy and my neighbor Kate - both nine) tubing.  One of my favorite outdoor activities.  After all, you sit back in the sun sipping beer and being lazily transported down the river by the current.  That's a sport I can get behind. 

Due to some major miscalculations on the part of me and Prince Charming (caused in large part by a map that didn't actually include our location) what was meant to be a three hour float turned into a ten hour trip long after dark with very frightened childrend who were way too cold.  The sheriff tried to find us and at one point we could see them behind us on the bluff.  Eventually we floated into our camp at 10:45 p.m.  Cold, tired, hungry, but completely safe.  We actually pulled in about two hours earlier than the sherrif expected because I spent the last six hours of the trip "paddling."  Paddling in an oversized tube without paddles involved hanging over the tube with my head underwater and backstroking.  It moved us a lot quicker.  I don't normally exercise.  At all.  To say I was sore would be a vast understatement.  Beyond that there was an emotional toll associated with this.  We were fine.  But we could so easily not have been.  My neice asked me constantly if we were really going to get back to the camp.  I kept telling her that me and God and Uncle Mike were not going to let her die on that river but I don't think she believed me.  It was scary and I was totally responsible for two little girls.  I'm still carrying some emotional baggage from this one.

September, October, November all good.  Great Thanksgiving with Mike's Dad and Stepmom here.  Kennedy stayed the week after Thanksgiving because she was off-track (year round school) and she wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge with us the following Sunday.  She went to work with me every day and is known in the office as the "miracle child" because she was so well behaved while she was there.

Great Wolf was the usual good time.  Kennedy had never been before and we all had fun.  On the drive home we got in a horrible car accident.  We were not hurt.  The motorcyclist who rear-ended us was badly injured and is facing a very long recovery.  My car was totaled.  I had an Expedition.  A guy on a motorcycle ruined it with his body and his bike.  He lost one leg below the knee, broke both his hips, and one of his arms.  He is my age.  I could hardly manage the pain of some dental work and backstroking.  I cannot imagine the physical and mental resources needed for this man to recover.  We were in our car while the passerby (including an off-duty police officer who actually had and knew how to use a tourniquet - the like reason the man survived) and eventually the paramedics worked on him.  When he was taken away there was a large puddle of blood left behind.  The kids saw all of this.  We're all still dealing with this.  What we have to deal with is so much less than the man who hit us but it is still, for me, nearly overwhelming.  Still, I have a plan for some professional help (I'm very lucky to have a neighbor who can direct me to good resources) and I am somewhat excited about some upcoming sewing projects.  I got a much-longed for quilting frame for Christmas.  I have a super fabulous new Expedition (I had planned to downsize my car when I got a new one but in the end I just wasn't comfortable in anything else I drove).

On to 2013.  Hopefully the black cloud has blown away.

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