Last Year, This Year

Another year begins. I can hardly believe that three hundred sixty-five days have passed. In some ways nothing has changed; in other ways everything has changed. 

Last year I had a sixteen year-old car that I was hoping and praying would make it through one more winter, which it did, and then some. This year, I drive a new car. Oh my, how things have changed. What were expensive upgrades back then are standard features today. It didn’t take long for my sentimental nostalgia over 220,000 miles shared with the old blue lady to pass.

Last year we had already suffered several major snow storms by this time. This year, only the first major storm is pending arrival, and I have been able to get out for walks because the sidewalks have been clear and dry. 

A year ago today, with every good intention, I re-joined the YMCA and started attending Aqua Zumba clsses and even swam laps and beat myself up on the cross-trainer a few times. This year, no renewal. I know better. School takes too much time for making the dues for the Y worth their pennies. Next year there will be no school because I will have graduated. Maybe I’ll join the Y again, but maybe I’ll just walk more.

Last year I was worried about money. This year I’m still worried even though the thin cushion is a little less thin. Last year and this year I know I’m not alone in this. Some things never change. We are never alone in our worry even though worry is one of the most isolating feelings a person can experience. 

Last year JT and KC were half-way through graduate school. This year they are almost done. And soon to be married. Maybe they will be living elsewhere next year at this time, and I don’t just mean out of the house; I mean another state. Or maybe just down the road for a while. I guess we’ll have to see. Next year at this time they will have entered the work force. 

Last year I hadn’t gone for a mammogram. This year I await a six-month’s follow-up to a diagnostic mammogram I had in September, “just to be sure”. Last year I was still denying and dodging my first encounter with a colonoscopy. This year, I’m ever grateful that a pre-cancerous polyp was efficiently and deftly removed by the doctor during the procedure.

Last year the garden was a mess. This year I am perusing the seed catalogs again, hope renewed by fresh cold air and knowing that spring is around the corner. 

This year I’m napping less but wish I could be napping more. Last year I napped more and felt guilty for napping so much. 

I still eat meat, but less of it, and more of it is chicken and fish rather than beef and pork. I still like butter. That won’t change. Last year I had twenty quarts of home-canned tomatoes on the pantry shelf. This year? None. The garden was a mess. I repeat that statement because it’s the first time in thirty-three years that I have felt like a failure as a caretaker of the good rich earth that fills our raised beds. Do we at all understand how important it is to acknowledge where our food comes from and respect the beautiful green and blue earth that feeds us? We don’t manufacture our food. It is grown and raised. 

Last year I was a happy servant to a beautiful female cat who had been my benevolent furry royal highness for nearly fifteen years. This year I realize just how allergic we had all been to our feline friend and realize that my life as a pet owner is probably over. 

Last year on this day the sun rose and set at about the same time, so that didn’t change, but it seems that just about everything in between did. 

Some other things haven’t changed. Light dispels darkness. Kindness trumps selfishness. Love wins every round, every game, every time. 









  1. John said,

    January 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you, Andrea, for a very thoughtful (and well-written) reflection on the year past.

  2. Catherine Ribblett said,

    January 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Hi ANdreA, This is so beautiful. I am so glad that you can put things in perspective for me. I miss our bombastic discussions, but most of all, our raucous laughter. Don’t stop writing. You have a lovely take on the world. Love to all, Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: