Goodbye 2016, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. All things being equal, this year was a social, geo-political, and popular culture disaster. From the deaths of David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Leonard Cohen, Ron Glass, and Michelle McNamara, to Mohammed Ali, John Glenn, and Elie Wiesel, the list of those we mourn is really long and really hard. Then again, Hell also got a little more crowded with the additions of Antonin Scalia, Fidel Castro, Rob Ford (the crack smoking Mayor of Toronto), Phyllis Schlafly, and Nancy “Just Say No” Reagan.
Geoff and I spent most of the year in disbelief as to how good our luck was. We were both employed, our apartment hadn’t collapsed in on us (yet), and until we had to let Bucky go at the end of May, all of the animals were happy and healthy. As I write this now, we’re in a home of our own that we’re (barely) paying for, Geoff is on long term medical leave from work, he’s had knee surgery and is in physical therapy rehab, and we’ve added Violet to the family.
And so I present: 2016 – The Year That Was
Please note, this won’t be one of those creepy Christmas letters written by some unnamed third person narrator who’s the Ghost of Christmas present or some such nonsense. This was clearly written by Thumbelina, duh.*
January was fairly boring with little snow. We attended our first time home buyer class, and I was working in 2 departments at the MOS, 1 job at Harvard, 3 days a week at MIT, and making jewelry and singing. Geoff and I held our breaths waiting for someone we knew to die, but inexplicably nobody did while the angry yam with a rug that is now our PEOTUS was becoming more popular.
February was pretty much the same except I went to full time at MIT, we went to a Zombie Opera, it was colder out, and our political system got even weirder.
In March we did the worst craft show ever, Downton Abbey ended forever, and Easter came really early. Our basically snowless winter also was slowly turning into a dry spring and we headed into the primaries with Cheetolini inexplicably in the lead for the Rethuglicans.
In April we had an actual spring on our hands and did get some flowers despite the lack of rain. I also went to Dallas, on purpose, (and even got paid for it!), Game of Thrones season 6 started, and we got the chance to hear Carrie Fisher speak at Harvard. She was hilarious and heartbreaking all at once.
In May we went to Brimfield and a lot of open houses, and on the last day of the month we let Bucky go after his short but rapid decline due to his GI cancer. He was 18 and was loved for every minute of his time with us.
June and July were filled with a whirlwind of open houses, applying for mortgage preapprovals (three of them), missing out on the house we really wanted, putting in a bid on another house we wanted, getting outbid, finding out the first place we really wanted went back on the market, bidding on that, and then finding out we got it. Phew.
August was all of the moving stuff, a super poorly timed family vacation to the Vineyard (which was basically 5 days of dealing with the bank from a remote location with poor cell signals), and then coming back and moving. MOVING, that was August. Oh, and identity theft as well, that was fun.
September and October were Geoff on medical leave, discovering just how destroyed his knee was, and having knee surgery while simultaneously unpacking, working multiple jobs, and realizing that Scratch really needed another cat around. So we adopted Violet. Geoff also started PT, which he’ll continue into 2017.
November was, aside from the obvious election that handed control of the US over to a foreign power via a malignant narcissistic man-boy with the self control of a 4 year old and the intellectual curiosity of something our dogs deposit in the back yard, filled with lovely music making via a few wonderful concerts and Thanksgiving with a large group of family. It also marked the first Black Friday in over a decade that I didn’t have to work. Huzzah.
December has been full of craft shows, dying celebrities that felt like friends (I’m looking at you, Carrie Fisher), and the simultaneous hope and fear that 2017 will somehow be better while also knowing that we’re entering uncharted waters on a national and global scale.
We’ll be staying up tonight to watch 2016 die, and probably burning some sage while doing so. We wish you all the best in 2017. And if you felt this card is too political for a holiday greeting we have just one thing to say – don’t complain, do something. 2017 will be a year that changes the world, be a part of it.
Kelly, Geoff, and the kids – Thumbelina, Scratch, Dash, and Violet
*If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. Thumbelina doesn’t care one little bit about Christmas letters, she only cares about when I post her photos on Instagram.