Empty nest

All our holiday guests are now either home or on the way there. Some of them are traveling to areas with massive snowstorms, so I wish them luck and safety. But we had a good Dionne-family holiday with some good memories.

This afternoon I’m reading a book and watching the latest Expanse season 6 episode. It feels like a Saturday, but it’s weirdly Tuesday. I know a few folks who are back at work, and I don’t envy them.

I miss the grandsons and hope to see them soon, but my MD cousin in Louisville tells me that COVID cases there are sharply rising. In his hospital there were no hospitalized cases two weeks ago – now there are 70! So I’ll have to keep an eye on that.

Four days left in 2021, including today. I plan to make them four quiet, peaceful days.


I woke up early this morning thinking about mortality. Unsurprising, as the holidays have been full of news from friends and acquaintances about their serious illnesses. (And oh yeah, the pandemic).

One old friend from Ohio was just diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and of course COVID is complicating his treatment plan. Another close Socal friend just had cancer surgery, still waiting to hear her prognosis. An entire local family of five has come down with COVID, at least two severe cases – I worked with the father in that family for 11 years and consider him a friend. Another of my eastern KY high school football coaches just passed away. And Robert over at Blue Heron Blast continues his fight with bladder cancer, also anxiously waiting a prognosis after yet another procedure and treatment.

I ache for each and every one of them, and my unconscious mind keeps sending an urgent message – “you’re not unique, this is going to happen to you sooner or later, so get your shit together…”. Or something like that. And I’m getting the message.

So this year’s New Year Resolutions are a bit more than that, a bit more than something to accomplish in the coming year. They’re more like “Final Coming In For a Landing Checklist”, or things that must be done to avoid an awful crash at the end of a journey.

I won’t talk about my resolutions, but they’re crystal clear to me. And that’s encouraging – I like having a plan.