Yes, I realize I’m very late getting my Christmas letter out, but there’s a good reason for that: I’m late writing it.
I hope you had a wonderful 2019. I started mine on the couch with my feet up. You may wonder how that’s different from any other year. Well, this time I had a good excuse. I had foot surgery and had to quit walking for a few weeks. Then in September, I had to quit walking again because I lost my fitness tracker.
In March, we painted and put in new carpet in our office and bedrooms, and by we, I mean my husband who painted and the carpet guy who laid the carpet. My job was to help pick colors. I voted for blue everything, and my husband agreed. He’d read that blue is calming, and I guess he thought I needed that.
The timing was good because shortly after I moved back into my office, our internet went down. I needed to call my provider to get help, but I didn’t know their number and I couldn’t search for it online because, well, my internet was down. I tracked down a phone book and discovered that the number wasn’t listed. If I hadn’t been standing in my new blue office, I might have been really upset. Oh wait.
I’d barely regained my composure in May, when we had a recall notice for my car’s brake light switch. Shortly after having the work done, a dashboard warning light came on. According to the manual, the light meant something called hill assist was no longer working. I’d been unaware I had such a thing so I certainly didn’t know what it did—until it didn’t do it anymore. Apparently hill assist helps keep my car from rolling back when I take off on a hill, a challenge when you drive a vehicle with manual transmission as I do. All this time, I thought I was just that good.
If that weren’t bad enough, all the other warning lights came on shortly thereafter. My dash looked like a Christmas tree. Fortunately the lights went off when I turned the car off. Unfortunately the taillights didn’t. They stayed on all night, and the battery died. My car had to be towed to the dealership to recover from its recall repair and I went and sat in my blue bedroom for a really long time.
On a happier note, I was excited when I heard the National Society of Newspaper Columnists was holding their 2019 convention in Buffalo because that’s where I grew up. I couldn’t wait to get back to my home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play and regularly host large conventions.
I’m kidding. Did you know twenty-four states, including Kansas, have towns named Buffalo? I grew up in Buffalo, South Dakota. But my entire life every time I told someone I was from Buffalo, they’d ask, “New York?” I bet when people from Buffalo, New York say where they’re from, no one ever asks, “South Dakota?”
At any rate, in June my husband and I did shuffle off to Buffalo—the one in New York—so I could attend the conference and he could eat Buffalo wings at the Anchor Bar, which is where they originated. They’re pretty proud of that and who can blame them. They’ll even have 300 Anchor Bar wings delivered to your door for $510. I don’t know if that includes celery and ranch dressing.
We made a trip to Niagara Falls while we were in the area. If you’ve never been there, I recommend it. It truly is remarkable. To put it in perspective, Niagara Falls is to water falls what the Grand Canyon is to holes in the ground.
That’s all for now. Wishing you a perfect 2020, and not just your hindsight. There it is: your first bad pun of the New Year. You’re welcome.
Reflections on blue, Buffalo, 2020 vision