The Union Recorder

January 4, 2014

ROWLAND: Facebook says 2013 was yuck; I say not so fast

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Well, 2013 has come and gone, and if the Facebook chatter is any indication, it was a pretty rotten year for most people. That only goes to prove that the majority of my friends in social media are either really down on their luck or mostly glass half empty people.

Who can figure?

I have less emotional reason for being glad to see 2013 come and go. It was hard to write. Really!  At least several times each day I write the day’s date. Maybe 2012 was easier to write because there was already one 2 in the number and my mind just figured another 2 didn’t complicate matters much.

But there is no easy transition from writing a 1 to a 3. Call me eccentric, but that’s my reason, and I’m sticking to it. I am already basking in the glow of how much easier it is to write 2014. Humor me; try it sometime.

I did try to take an inventory of everything that happened to me in the previous year. Apparently, I don’t dwell much on the past, because I could only come up with really one earth-shattering event.

More about that later.

Let’s see, during the year of 2013, I remained gainfully employed. That’s a good thing when I think about the fact that so many people aren’t.

We did have a big hail storm out my way, and it did cause some damage to the roof of my house, shop, and boat house. My insurance covered most of the repairs except for the deductible. I guess that is a good thing, too.

I had enough money in the bank to cover the deductible, which hasn’t always been true. Another good thing.

Mama is still retired, but we had some repairs that were necessary to some rental property we own. She is pretty good at organizing that kind of thing, making phone calls, and coordinating repairmen. That also gave her something to do. Two other good things.

My father turned 80 this year. I figure at 80 years old, everything that leads to a memory of the next day is a good thing. He is really in pretty good health for his age, although we had a little scare around Thanksgiving.

Two days in the hospital, a couple of pints of blood, and he was good as new. Well, not really good as new, but as good as you can be at 80 years old. I have tried to convince him that just being here is a good thing, but he isn’t buying it. He’s pulling for quality of life, and that by itself puts enough fight in the old mule to make him kick once in a while. A very good thing.

The government shut down. I’m still debating whether that was a good thing or not. In a lot of ways, we all learned of a few government services we could do without since government was open to provide them. That may have been a good thing.

My sister and brother-in-law were furloughed. That wasn’t good, but I reminded them that teachers across this state have been taking up to 10 furlough days each year for the past four or five. Another thing that isn’t good.

Government finally reopened, and as far as I know federal workers were promised the money they would have had had they worked — something that would never happen in state government, by the way — and hopefully life for most people returned to normal. I think all of that was mostly good.

The economy seems to be getting better. There are still teachers that face at least a few furlough days depending on where they live, but most school systems are now paying their teachers a full salary. Good and bad, I guess, but I refer you to my aforementioned analysis of being gainfully employed.

My niece began her first year of college. That was a good thing. My nephew of the same lineage only lasted a semester. Looks like her GPA is almost double what his was after the same amount of time in school, which is a good thing for reasons I will point out momentarily.

Speaking of my nephew, he is a musician. He really wanted to be a musician instead of a college student, but it took a semester for him to discover his passion for dream chasing. I think he is a good musician. Actually, I think he is better than that — See what you think.

I think it is a good thing that he is chasing his dream. I don’t know if he can catch it, but he is young enough to regroup if his dream outdistances his need to make a living. In the meantime, we have all become Travis Denning groupies complete with T-shirts and koozies.

Koozies … that just doesn’t look right. I googled it to see how it is spelled, and the know-it-all world of Google confirmed it is correct. Even had pictures to prove it. I would have spelled it with a C or even a U. Shows you why someone proofs my columns, which is another good thing.

Travis is quite the hit in family circles, and while we are all proud of him and his success, it is good to see his sister make a mark in her on life as well. It is a good thing that she has her own success of which to boast.

She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. That is a very good thing, because I think she will be one of the best … especially with an aunt and uncle to provide constant guidance.

My oldest son announced recently that he thinks he and his wife will finish PhDs about this time next year. That is a very, very, very good thing. They have worked hard for a number of years, getting by with little, in order to reach this goal. I think that will have taught them to appreciate the milk and honey when they finally get to the land of which it is made. That is a good thing, too.

If you are a regular reader, then you know that Mama and I became grandparents in 2013. Now I don’t want to give you the impression that all of the other good things that happened in 2013 paled by comparison, but I gotta tell you that having a grandson is a very, very, good, cool thing. Not really sure how to add to that description, so let’s just leave it at that.

So, for all of the bad stuff that happened in 2013, and regardless of my disdain for having to write it, the old girl wasn’t such a bad year after all.

Here’s to a great 2014! May she be filled with even better things than her younger sister.