Last Year Was Last Year

Been thinking about our last year, calendar-wise. 2018.

It had its ups and downs, as most years do. I’d have to say, adding them all up, the downs won out. If anything, this last year taught me to really appreciate the normalcy of life – those days where life is just happily lived without worry.

It wasn’t a great year. But it wasn’t that bad, and brighter days are ahead.

There were a lot of upsides, though. My love for Karyn keeps growing deeper and wider. We spent more time together last year than ever before, and I’m happy to report that being together so much, even after 30+ years, it’s only made us a stronger couple. That’s nice! I continue to become prouder and prouder of my son, Cameron, as he dives headfirst into his passion of Island history. Added bonus, I get to perform with him in Popalopalots. I’m so thankful that he’s so great at improv, and that it isn’t just a position of nepotism and patronage that got him the gig. Of course, I could be blinded by that nepotism and only *believe* he’s good. Naw, he’s pretty great.

Late in the year, I got to produce four one-act plays I had written. I managed to gather together a baker’s dozen of talented people and we put on four shows over one weekend! I was/am totally thrilled with the results. Everyone was so great and all a joy to work with. The scheduling of rehearsals turned out to be a bit of a headache, but the rehearsals themselves were lots of fun for me, and I hope for everyone else. The audiences that came seemed to genuinely like it, and that’s always pleasant.

Early in December, we got a dog. A puppy. A Sheltie puppy. He was the fifth of five males in the litter. We named him Dughall, after the fifth son of Somerled, who was the first of the MacDonald clan in Scotland. I was taken totally by surprise at how much work an 8 week old puppy requires, and the first couple of weeks were a real challenge. It was love at first sight, for me, though, and things are going much better now. He loves the snow, but I can’t wait until he experiences spring and summer for the first time. It’s going to blow his mind away!!

I spent a little time wondering what was the best thing that happened to me this past year. And it didn’t take long to realize that the best thing for me didn’t actually happen to me. It happened to my father. Surprise of surprises, my father, 93 years old, got remarried. To a wonderful woman named Mary Alice. Now Mary Alice MacDonald. It’s been a joy to me to see them both so happy together, and a total comfort knowing that my elderly father has someone who cares so deeply about him, and for him.

My father has always been young at heart, but I swear, having Mary Alice in his life has given him so much joy and a renewal of spirit. Living alone in his own apartment, at his age, was a worry for me, and to have Mary Alice there with him now, and to see how well she looks after him, it is a huge and wondrous relief. I am eternally grateful that they found each other.

It staggers me how sharp my father is, especially in making genealogical connections between seemingly random people. He is a walking family tree. A Wikitreedia, if you will. This year, as in years past, I am truly humbled to have him as a father, as a role model, and as a friend.

Not only is Mary Alice a wonderful addition to our family, for my father’s sake. But she’s been instrumental in helping and assisting and encouraging me and my brothers. She’s been amazing in her devotion to helping my brother Kenny, who is battling cancer. Beyond the care she provides to family members, it’s been a true pleasure to get to know Mary Alice, and I’m sure we will remain lifelong friends.

So, let’s see what 2019 brings us.

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