Now that my New Year’s Column has been published, I guess its safe to put it on here. Sorry you don’t get to read it until after the paying customers but that’s the way the world works.
My column for the New Year’s observation.
When a person is 10 years old, 1 complete trip around the sun – 12 months for you non-astronomers -, seems to be a very long time because one year represents 1/10th of their entire life experience. But with each passing year, that ratio grows larger and by the time a person reaches retirement age and beyond , a year is only a small fraction of a lifetime. That’s why, as a Senior citizen, I’m sitting here scratching my head and wondering where 2013 went. It seems like only a few weeks ago that I was sitting here mulling over the question of where 2012 disappeared.
With the months flying by, the year skated right past me, leaving me with no time to make new resolution s to better myself in 2014. This is actually okay because I have built up quite a backlog of unfulfilled pledges over the last 10 years. My plan, the last minute version, is to work on those in the New year and be able to begin with a clean slate in 2015.
For starters, I’m now ten years into a resolution to eat Menudo on a regular basis in an effort to convince my wife, Susie, that it’s good for her. It’s a difficult job because Menudo, a traditional Mexican dish, is a soup that one apparently either loves or hates. We have not found anyone who is neutral about it. I have based that opinion on an encounter we had after blowing a tire on Fiona I during a trip to the west coast. After mounting the spare, we stopped to get a new tire in Blythe, California. A small Mexican restaurant across the street had a whitewashed sign on the window advertising Menudo. We had never heard of it so that fit right into our retirement goal of learning to appreciate haute cuisine as well as experiencing other cultural differences.
“Are you hungry?” I said to Susie.
“Yes I am.”
“You want to try that place?” I said to her. She likes Mexican food so I knew what she would say.
“Sure, If we have time.”
”Plenty of time.” The older of the two men working on mounting our new tire said.
“What is Menudo, anyway?” I asked him.
“A terrible soup made with the stomach lining of a cow. It tastes like the sweat of a horse.”
At the mention of sweat, I saw Susie’s head snap up.
“Ah, maybe so, but it is very good for a hangover.” The younger man in charge of the air hose offered up. “Too much Dos Equis on Saturday can be cured by eating Menudo on Sunday.” He grinned widely and winked at me. Susie was already shaking her head no.
“On second thought, why don’t we wait a while and eat down the road somewhere?” After hearing the ‘sweat’ comment, Susie would not have eaten Menudo if she’d been offered a thousand dollars.
While I was a little reluctant to try the stuff, I have learned that there are some hidden Gems out there when sampling cuisines of different cultures. I resolved to convince Susie that she should at least try Menudo for both our sakes. How would we ever experience adventures in dining if was going to balk at our very first try? That argument fell on deaf ears. We didn’t go across the street to eat that day. Ten years, untold numbers of Mexican restaurants and several wasted bowls of Menudo later, Susie still refuses to take even one spoonful but we’ll keep trying.
2013 was a pretty average year out of the nearly 50 years together that Susie and I have been blessed with. Unfortunately, our own good fortune in this ‘growing older’ journey is accompanied with the realization that some of our friends and family will not be continuing the journey with us. One of Susie’s younger sisters passed away in October after a long illness, leaving a big hole in an otherwise close knit family. In addition, we are also slowly learning to get along without the company of a couple of close friends who left us this year.
On the health front – a necessary topic for senior citizens -, nothing new to report in the aches and pains arena; we still have pretty much the same complaints that we had last year at this time but on the good news side, we still have all our fingers and toes, most of our hair and have managed to retain a large chunk of our mental faculties.
All in all, with the exception of losing Susie’s sister and 3 of our friends, it was not a bad year. If the grim reaper stays away from us and our loved ones, we’ll settle for much of the same in 2014 and hope you and yours will have a good year as well.
Who knows? This might even be the year when Susie finally samples that Menudo.