10. Our Wilmington, North Carolina neighborhood has sanitary sewer covers made in India. They have a certain beauty to them evocative of mandala designs, a repeating pattern I think of as a sort of graphic mantra. Imagine the journey those heavy cast iron covers made from the point of manufacture in South Asia to this North American coastal bedroom community.
9. I wear ugly shoes and I don’t care, shoes with chunky soles made of squishy material, or with a wide, wide toe box to accommodate my wide, aging ballerina feet. They’re not feminine, and certainly not sexy. This is liberating in so many ways. I’ve tried wearing sexy shoes in my life and they only cause misery and occasionally injury. Why on earth would I want to do that to myself.
8. Smart technology ain’t always that. Exhibit A: Why does my Apple watch prompt me to stand when I’m…standing? And applaud me for standing when I’ve been sitting on my arse for two hours? I don’t need no dang participation trophies, thanks.
7. I had quite forgotten about the singular satisfaction of hours spent alternately standing and sitting at the dining table clutching a tiny jigsaw puzzle piece between two fingers, scrutinizing a broken landscape, looking at the box cover, scrutinizing the landscape again, and then at last snapping the piece into its correct slot. There must be more of this in the coming year.
6. The planet is a better place for Betty White having walked it, and how lucky are we to have lived the same time she did.
5. Witnessing a child, a difficult one, step into adult shoes and finally feel comfortable wearing them is exceptionally rewarding.
4. I have this thing called high cholesterol, my new North Carolina doctor recently informed me, and then gave me marching orders to stop eating fat and salt. Fair enough, been there, done that before. I observed to The Chef, possibly to make myself feel better about this new world order, If you died tomorrow, you’d still be able to say in your lifetime you tasted All The Tastes, that you weren’t deprived of anything. That’s how I see this. He nodded and said without hesitation, Another way of looking at it is, All The Tastes are what got you into this predicament in the first place.
3. Here is the best descriptive sentence I’ve read in a long time, from a work of fiction called Covenant Spring: “They were sacks of gelatin, grotesque farting lumps of meat stuffing bread and grease into their salivating maws, masticating like gurgling slugs.” If you have ever stopped at one of the service areas on the New York State Thruway, or visited any American mall, you know precisely whereof author Christopher Watson speaks. A bit too much reality? Maybe, but sometimes we Americans need to look in the mirror. See number 4 above. Disclaimer: I am not a grotesque farting lump of meat.
2. People are not the same wherever you go, but thus far the people in Wilmington strike us as genuinely worthwhile in the main. Exhibit A: One particular octogenarian in this neighborhood who keeps us all honest but hands out affection without reserve. The planet is better for her having walked it, too.
1. Life is emphatically better with a nine-year-old dog to put things in perspective.
There are no guarantees in life, gentle reader, but let us try at least to point our ships in the right direction, be civil to one another, and make 2022 a good year.