HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!

I decided to post the same blog I sent out on the last two years.  Two good reasons: It still seems relevant; in other words, nothing has changed very much.  Also, I’m suffering seasonal let-down, sugar O.D. and general laziness – so here goes-


So, did you or didn’t you?  Are you one of those super optimistic people who trot out the same old resolutions year after year, ever hopeful that this will finally be the year when you’re able to hold on to one long enough to say you kept it?  Do you have your list permanently engraved in your memory so you don’t have to write it down?  Or maybe you come up with a new list every year, thinking that sooner or later you’ll hit on something that works?

Well, let’s review a few of those resolutions.  How do they stack up?  After all, there are only so many ideas we humans can come up with for self-improvement.  We tend to think alike when we start kidding ourselves.

What’s Number 1 on almost all of our lists?  GET BACK IN SHAPE!  Exercise more, eat healthily, lose weight and quit smoking if it applies.  Number 2 would probably be our promise to spend more quality time with family and friends.  This would include cutting way back on the boob tube and social media.  Somewhere in there we’d vow to read at least one thought-provoking, inspirational book every month and, in general, clean up our act.  Sound familiar?

Give it up, guys.  We all know we’re doomed to fail. Our promises to ourselves may give us a lift as we sing “Auld Lang Syne” on the last night of the old year.  We’re excited, eager to unveil the new us, ready to become better people.  So, what happens?

Unfortunately, January 1st is what happens. That is decidedly the single worst day of the year on which to attempt any changes. Why?  Well, that’s easy.  It’s those darned New Year’s Eve parties on December 31st that we can’t turn down.  Take for instance, the most recent occasion.

We all partied that night, we know we did.  We even remember parts of the evening.  We put on goofy hats, blew gaudy noise-makers, tried to prove we could still Jitterbug, ate tons of greasy, gooey little things and glugged down who knows how much eggnog.  Then came a confusing count down when some kind of a ball dropped somewhere, accompanied by a Champagne toast.  And we called it fun!

So now we’ve arrived at January 1st.  New Year’s Day is dawning bright and full of promise.  And where are we?  Cringing under the comfortless comforter, peering out of glazed eyeballs, head throbbing and tummies very, very iffy.  We’re expected to bound out of bed and do push-ups?  Cook oatmeal?  Welcome a thundering herd of raucous offspring who’ve discovered  the discarded noisemakers?  All in the name of a few rash promises we made in the enthusiasm of the night before?  Fat Chance!

Worse yet, we’re faced with reading the first chapter of  “The Rise and Fall Of The Roman Empire” when we can’t even pick the darned thing up!  This is exactly why January 1st is the absolute worst day of the year for new beginnings.  Quality time with the family is a distant dream, something to be postponed indefinitely, along with any vague intentions of self improvement.  There have to be better times to begin.

So once again all those needed New Year’s resolutions have been sabotaged and we’re feeling more than a little guilty.  Surely there’ll be other opportunities to keep them – like maybe next year?  We already have our lists, just in case.


The Night Before Christmas…at The Oaks

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the Oaks every creature was stirring.  Hey, we’re all old folks!

Our stockings were flung across every chair.  If they fell to the floor they’d have to stay there.

We oldsters tried nestling all snug in our beds but too many sugarplums had gone to our heads.

My neighbors in nighties, long johns and caps were hopelessly trying to grab a quick nap

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,  I fell out of my bed trying to see what was the matter.

I crawled to the window, tried to open the sash,  pulled back the curtain and felt a great splash.

The rain as it fell  soaked the landscape below.  It gave a luster of dewdrops that spread a bright glow.

Through the rain I could see I wasn’t alone. There were eight elderly elves in a gyrating drone

With the real St. Nick, not some street corner clone,  perched on the top calling ”turn off your phones.”

Four elves were on walkers, four on their canes. All hard of hearing, yet they each knew their name.

“On Wimpy, On Clumsy, On Tipsy, On  Ted!”  “Up Oreo,  Cheerio,  Frito and  Fred!”

From the lawn to the roof, through the rain they did fly.  The drone landed safely,  toys stacked to the sky.

And then in a twinkling I heard for myself  the grunting and groaning of each tiny elf.

I hit my head on the window as I spun back around.  Saw St. Nick set to work; he made not a sound.

His rain coat was red, dripping wet from the ride, and he left a big puddle as he dropped down inside.

The toys weren’t too wet and the elves had stayed dry. They set out the gifts in the wink of an eye.

My neighbors and I were by now wide awake.  We  watched from afar as they took a short break with  glasses of milk and some solid fruit cake.

St. Nick’s cheeks were  rosy, his nose red and runny.  Allergy season is not very funny/

He had a fat little face and a fat little belly;  too many snacks of P.B. and jelly.

His twinkling eye spied us, no time for a smile. They still had to travel  many a mile.

No voices were heard as they bent to their task. They filled all the stockings,  then finished at last.

St. Nick and the elves sprang back into the drone, took off from the roof  and  turned on their phones.

With a quick smile and a wave and the G.P.S. set,  the wipers were wiping. It was still very wet.

And away they all flew, calling out as they fled,  “Merry Christmas to all, now go back to bed!!!”