My year in review

Now that the year has ended, there’s no going back. But that’s okay. I don’t think I’d want to anyway. Farewell 2022, I hardly knew ye. And what I did know, I could have lived without. I’m fine watching last year fade away in my rear-view mirror. Oh that’s right. I no longer have a rear view mirror. Or a car. Just one of the many casualties of 2022. When you’re a prisoner in your own home you don’t really need a car. Did I say prisoner? I meant to say I work from home. Same thing.

As 2022 began, I was still recovering from Covid. The 2021 Christmas bash at my son’s house in Wilmington turned out to be the super-spreader event of the season even though the head count was cut drastically from the year before. The invitation list was just 10 or 12 close friends and family members. Everyone was healthy until the next day when one of the party-goers found out they tested positive for the virus. Then another. And another. Until everyone who attended the party was celebrating Christmas ’21 with Omicron. (Even the ones who said they didn’t catch it. Ya, right.)

By January 2022, everyone recovered. Things were looking up. Spring was right around the corner – for most people. Not for me. My wife’s sister and her husband had planned to drive to Massachusetts from Florida on a whirlwind trip up the East Coast to reconnect with friends and family they hadn’t seen in years. We were happy they could stay with us for a few days. However, my wife used their arrival time as a deadline for me to give our house a complete makeover. I had until June 1st to scrape, paint, wallpaper, clean, remake and remodel most of the rooms in our home.

Even though our guests weren’t arriving until June, I’m glad I started my handyman projects in March. I wasn’t happy spending the entire spring season scraping wallpaper, painting ceilings and renovating bathrooms. I completed the finishing touches just as my sister-in-law pulled into the driveway on June 1st. The house looked great. Me, not so much.

June marked the month my car began it’s complete demise. My 2008 Dodge Nitro had seen better days. I never knew if I would make it home once I drove out of my driveway. The dashboard lights were lit up like a Christmas Tree. I decided to give it a rest and let it sit in the driveway undisturbed. My days of driving through blinding snowstorms in my favorite 4-wheel drive vehicle had come to an end. With the help of Facebook Marketplace, I quickly found a buyer. The line in the ad description that said “needs work” may have been an understatement.

I spent a relatively quiet summer in my screen-house enjoying the peace and quiet, the silence only disturbed by the occasional birdsong of an Amazon delivery truck. My lazy, hazy summer made up for my super busy spring. 

In September, it was time to prepare for our family vacation to Disney World. Unfortunately Hurricane Ian hit Florida a week before we were scheduled to arrive. The trip was off to a rocky start and we hadn’t even left yet. My sister-in-law and her husband in Florida lived in a town that was hit full-force by the Cat 5 storm. On October 2 we waved goodbye to Stoneham and headed for a week at the Happiest Place On Earth while family members were dealing with total devastation after the storm. Luckily they survived, just barely.

Our days at Disney proved challenging as the park was filled to capacity (over capacity if you ask me). The weather was great. The storm spared the park and moved on.

Unfortunately, while in Florida, my wife came down with a respiratory illness and she missed two days of park hopping. She mostly recovered for the remainder of the trip and we made it home safely.

Two weeks later, after a trip to the MelroseWakefield emergency room by way of Urgent Care, my wife was admitted to the hospital for a four day stay to close out the month of October and brought us right into November. While my wife’s health was being restored, a friend was restoring my front porch with a full replacement. Never a dull moment. This was the first year I missed Halloween on Gorham Avenue in thirty years. I’ll make up for it next year by handing out full-sized candy bars.

Things settled down in November and we had a nice Thanksgiving at my son’s house in Wilmington. Despite the busy season, things fell back into a regular routine and I got to catch my breath. Me figuratively, my wife literally.

In December, when my son’s 2022 Christmas party approached on the calendar, memories of last year’s Covid outbreak were a distant memory. This was going to be the year to leave all that behind and fully enjoy the holidays in good spirits and good health.

A week after this year’s party – on Christmas Day – my son sent a photo of his new positive Covid test. He says he won’t be having any more holiday parties at his house. But they say Covid affects the memory so I won’t be surprised if we are all at his house next year contracting Covid all over again.

Happy New Year? One can only hope.


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