Does anyone think that this year's been a good one? Everywhere I look, pundits and prognosticators seem united in their agreement that 2009 was The Year That Sucked. Most people I know concur--and I guess I do, too. After all, I dealt with this and this, along with a couple of additional huge disappointments that for now, at least, I won't elaborate on. And that's just this year. No less an authority than Time Magazine has called this decade "the decade from hell." My husband says that instead of calling it the "Aughts" we should call it the "Uh-Oh's."
But even as I type this, some workmen in the room next door to this one are putting the finishing touches on a new gas fireplace that was the solution Stan (my husband) and I came up with to deal with a leaning chimney that was, we feared, jeopardizing the structural integrity of our entire house. The job's taken longer than expected, and our family room has resembled a nuclear wasteland since Monday. Poor Allie hasn't known quite what to make of it all. But when the job is done, we'll have a fireplace that will heat the family room and my office with a tap to a remote control device. A fire while I work: how nice that will be?
And what, you may ask, does this project have to do with The Year That Sucked and the Uh-Oh Decade? Simple. Just as the Chappell-McCullough household has been dealing with crappy conditions within our home, so have many of the rest of us been dealing with crappy conditions in our lives. But, not to sound too glib or Pollyanna-ish, they'll eventually be fixed. And just like a broken bone that heals to become stronger than it was before it was broken, maybe we will emerge from all this being stronger and better than who we were before. Meanwhile, we're still here to cheer each other on. That's something in and of itself: we are still here. And after the events of this year, I no longer take that for granted.
Happy New Year to all, and may you enjoy bidding 2009 a not-so-fond farewell.
A room of their own—Harry Potter style
16 hours ago