A busy day preparing for the New Year, it was. Emails to return. Send out well wishing for the future. Call our dear friend Cheryl. Her father passed away yesterday, the day of her birth. I know the gut wrenching of it all. My own papa passed on my 29th birthday. I share my condolences. Errands to run now. A last minute exchange at the new outlet mall. High atop a hill, the snowflakes beat into our faces as we brave the 40 mph winds coming from the west. It’s unnerving and yet beautiful both at the same time. As we walk amongst the outlets in the courtyard, I’m reminded of a Rockwell, how quaint the design for this modern monstrosity conjures up a feeling of a time gone by. On to the grocery. Get some nourishment to take to Cheryl’s home. The wake was quick and private. Also purchase goodies for the evening. Invited to a soiree at our good friends. The package store has all imbibing needs for the night. Get home, read more. Can’t put them down, new books charting the mind to far off places. Make a covered dish. The alcohol is a holl0w gift alone. Shower and prepare. Call out to my wife, time is nigh. Dress and finalize. Get summoned for judgement. Most vile question posed to men. “Honey, does my ass look big in these jeans?” There is no answer to this question. Only a comment. “Damn, you look radiant tonight I respond”. Time to leave. The walk is a short distance. The windchill hovers at a negative number. The Jeep is the only option. Friends are great. Conversation even better. Kids away at their own house parties. Thoughts wander amuck. Eight conversations at once ring arena-like in the kitchen. The hour strikes at 12. Embraces are exchanged. A call, and then another. My day is made. The offspring thought enough to call. If there are no other accomplishments of my own, they bear witness of a legacy. Two quality people in a convoluted world. They make a smile on my face. We have done well. All is well in this world of ours and the New Year is looked upon with arrested anticipation.