As this year crawls toward its end, I’m left struggling to feel just a little bit of holidayness, and to hope that nobody else whom I like and care for – musician, astronaut, journalist, friend’s family member, dog or pet – dies this year. Please everyone, just hold out for awhile, if only to prevent this miserable 2016 from becoming any more miserable.
Meantime, Beth and I have adopted the bromide of planning things to look forward to to ward off low moods. Actually, I think it’s more a thing where Beth is making sure we have things to look forward to keep me afloat.
And so I look forward to celebrating Beth’s birthday come December 23, which—given her childhood diagnosis with type 1 diabetes —is not a trivial occasion. It’ll mark her 50th year with her unwelcome companion. Last year we had a blowout party with gourmet food made by our friend Chef Jim. This year I expect we’ll keep it more quiet. No one likes birthdays more than Beth does, so whatever we do, it’ll be good.
And we’re looking forward to seeing the great jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove when he comes to Jazz Showcase for his annual end-of-year residency. He’s somehow always even better than the last time we saw him.
Beth’s family’s homemade gift exchange comes a little later this year—we’ll be celebrating on December 31. Every year, the gifts range from actually useful things (I still use a toolbox from a handy brother-in-law, and we still use a microwaveable rice bag for aches and pains that Beth’s nephew made) – to the bizarre (I’ll spare you the story about the foot stool).
And best of all, in January, Beth and I will be headed to Edinburgh, Scotland via London. Going to Cleveland when the Cubs were playing the Indians here in Chicago in the World Series was a smashing success, and great fun. So, come inauguration day, we’ll be out of the country, and what better place to mark the event than Scotland? Besides that, Beth and I spent part of our honeymoon in Edinburgh back in 1984, so there’s a little nostalgia involved.
I expect it’ll refresh and renew, and I may have a single-malt or two. And I’ll return braced for whatever comes next.