We rang in the New Year with a scrumptious Japanese-style hotpot communal dinner, served up by our friends Jim and Janet and shared with a host of old and two brand new friends. This followed Beth’s family Christmas—each year we draw names and then make gifts for our family member. This year, Beth’s sister Cheryl drew my name and she made me a set of beard baubles, little ornaments of a kind that a hirsute guy like myself can clip onto my bearded face. Cheryl was thorough—there are elaborate baubles for holidays throughout the year. So look out world!
I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions—but I do kind of take stock at this time of year. This year, taking stock included looking back at 2016’s blog posts. Our blogging platform—Wordpress—keeps track of how many people read which posts. And I thought you might want to know that the most popular Mondays with Mike of 2016 was Last Call, my ode to our local tavern Hackney’s—and its patrons—after it closed its doors this past September.
Number two: 50-50? Gus will take those odds, my reflections on the occasion of our son Gus’ 30th birthday, which was a minor miracle.
The bronze medal went to Mystery of Pittsburgh, which accounted for my trip to Pennsylvania, which included visiting my father’s grave, lunching with my cousins, and taking in a Pirates-Dodgers game at PNC Park.
I’m happy to say, those were my favorites, too.
Which brings me to some advice that E.B. White offered to other writers:
Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy yourself, and the true writer always plays to an
audience of one.
Fundamentally, I agree with White—and I have to tell you that writing Mondays with Mike is, first and foremost, a therapeutic pleasure. But I can also tell you that there is nothing more gratifying than knowing that other people actually read this stuff and that they like some of it.
I can’t thank you all enough. And Happy New Year!