2017 was a year of sorrow and joy, of a little travel and a lot of politics. This line from Robert Browning pretty much sums it up: “how sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet”.
2016 ended sweetly when I won a VIP package to a New England Patriots game from Carmax. My dad joined me for this once in a lifetime event. Turns out it may not have been once in a lifetime for me since Zac ended 2017 by landing a job with the (Bob) Kraft Group at Gillette Stadium, which owns the Patriots. I expect frequent and spectacular perks.
2017 began on a low note when a giant orange man-boy was sworn in as the President of the United States. In response, women across the country, including me, participated in the largest protest march in United States history.
In March, I took a break from my political obsessions to come to terms with another life-long obsession.
In April, we said goodbye to our sweet Stella. This was the low point of 2017. That’s all I’ll say about that.
In South Dakota, we saw enough sites to keep the travel bug at bay for months. We traversed Badlands National Park, spelunked, (OK, toured) Jewel Cave, and visited Mt Rushmore National Monument twice.
While writing about Mt Rushmore, I couldn’t help but get political again. Sorry, not sorry.
In June, we adopted Emmett the Dog, who was plucked from the back roads of Western Tennesee twenty pounds underweight and suffering from heartworm. He is now a svelt 70 pound powerhound who thinks he died and went to heaven.
In August, we made the questionable decision to visit Acadia National Park at the height of the tourist season with our newly-adopted pup. Like our year so far, the trip had its ups and downs.
In September, Zac convinced me to try writing a restaurant review. What I didn’t mention in the review is that near the end of our meal, a fistfight broke out next to our booth. At the end of the evening, the valet waved and said, “Hope you enjoyed the free pay-per-view!”
October ushered in a tide of sexual harassment revelations, beginning with the news that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had for decades been a sexual predator of epic proportions. It reminded me of what I learned about Blanche Ames during a visit to Borderland State Park, which got me thinking about what I can do to help change our culture.
As 2017 ends, our orange fascist leader, Cheeto-ini, faces an administration in crisis – 72% of Americans believe Trump did something illegal or unethical with the Russians and 70% want Congress to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against him.
In this year of ups and downs, it’s only fitting that I worry for the sanctity of our Constitution while relishing the comeuppance of a man, who, as USA Today wrote, is not fit to “clean the toilets in the planned Barack Obama Presidential Library.”
As 2018 begins, I’m planning trips to Canada and Spain, getting lots of exercise with Emmett the Dog, and gearing up for more never-ending home renovations.
Whatever 2018 brings you and yours, remember that we each have one life to live, so follow Emmett the Dog’s lead and dive into each day like it’s your last. Cheers!