Here are a few key dates as I look back on 2016.
January 1: Rang in the New Year with my once-a-year Mountain Dew.
January 2: Began work on New Years goals.
January 5: Forgot all my New Years goals.
January 10: Was shocked to read that David Bowie died, much like his career had thirty years earlier.
January 13: Did not win the $1.6 BILLION Powerball drawing because I did not buy any tickets. You can’t lose if you don’t play.
January 14: Bragged that my daughter Emily won the award for Utah English Teacher of the Year. I claim partial credit.
January 15: Told a Facebook friend that I thought Trump would win the election. Was immediately un-friended because “Trump is intolerant.”
February 5: Celebrated my EC’s 54th birthday. Who knew I could be attracted to an older woman?
February 12: Had one of those perfect days. FOML3, Alex, married a most wonderful girl named Madi. They are perfect for each other, and they did it the best ways possible – in the Gilbert temple.
February 24: Sent FOML4 off on a mission to Xalapa, Mexico. The house suddenly fell silent – but not in a good way.
February 29: An extra day for Leap Year. Also the day that I officially got tired of hearing the word “Caucus.”
March 3: Lost all 90% of respect for MItt Romney when he blasted Donald Trump. (link)
April 2-3: General Conference. Always a high point of the year.
April 7: Went to the Big Apple with my EC. Saw some great theater, stopped by to offer some advice.
April 8: Ate Buffalo Mac ‘n Cheese. Further proof that God loves us.
April 15: Saw the movie “Midnight Special.” Still not on speaking terms with Hollywood.
April 19: Received first shipment of my book, “There’s a Message in There Somewhere.” It is a groovy feeling opening that box.
April 20: Found a beehive with a bazillion bees in our wall. Had them exterminated.
April 21: Received dozens of messages about how to get rid of a beehive without killing the bees. Just a wee bit late.
April 21: Prince died, joining his career.
April 23: Commemorated the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare I tried speaking only in iambic pentameter. Most people thought I was trying to rap.
May 2: Had this conversation with my son in the kitchen:
FOML5: You know what I’m sad about?
Me: The Holocaust?
FOML5: No, we’re out of chocolate milk and donuts.
Me: You are so shallow.
May 6-7: Went to the LDS Storymakers Conference in Provo, UT. Met all sorts of wonderful people, learned a lot, and found that the majority of writers are ferociously insecure people. I felt comfortable.
May 10: Got a belated Mother’s Day Skype call from our missionary. Gotta love the technology.
May 23: I bought a soda with cash. Actual paper money. And I had to think back to where I was supposed to put the change.
May 25: Send FOML5 off on the handcart trek, leaving my EC and I as empty nesters. We suffered those few days. And by “suffered” I mean relished.
June 2: My sweet wife referred to me as “Donkey” in a text message. She is claiming that it was autocorrect’s fault, but I’m not buying it. No matter how I misspell “Honey” it does NOT come out as “Donkey.”
June 14: Found a water leak that destroyed part of our wood floor and disrupted our lives for the next 6 months.
June 20: Weathered Arizona heat wave by staying indoors, pondering why we live in this hell.
July 4: Celebrated Independence Day with the fan at the beach. Doesn’t get much better.
July 7: Watched the shark movie “The Shallows,” then immediately went for a night swim in the ocean just so I could post it on Facebook.
July 12: Went to the doctor for a check up. He told me I could use to lose a few pounds. I told him to stop fat-shaming me.
July 18: Celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by staying at a fancy hotel close to home. Lame, right?
August 5: Opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics from Rio de Janiero. I didn’t watch them, but I did watch at lease three hours of Olympic coverage this year.
August 8: Learned there was some dude named Evan McMullin running for President.
August 19: Read that Donald Henderson died. He was a major force in the eradication of smallpox, but he never had a number one song, so you probably never heard of him. (link)
August 29: Continued my streak of consecutive days passed without playing Pokemon Go!
August 30: Celebrated my company’s 25th birthday.
September 4: Took my EC to Maine for a week for four reasons: Lobster Rolls, scenery, alone time and belated Anniversary trip. Spend the first 2 days with the stomach flu. I’m such a romantic.
September 13: Turned 55 – but I don’t feel a day over 60.
September 16: Attended and presented at the American Night Writer’s Conference. That was good fun.
September 17: Became the first official male member of ANWA. Yeah, that’s me – a trailblazer.
September 29: Checked into the local Residence Inn while our floors were replaced. Learned that I am content to live in a small living space as long as there is good internet and maid service.
September 30: Realized I have blown right past gray hair and am going white.
October 1-2: General Conference. Always a highlight.
October 8: Went to Disneyland with the entire family, and 25% of the entire total US population. Stood in line for an hour to watch animatronic pirates that were built in 1967.
October 18: Had personal emails hacked by Russian spies.
October 19: Had emails returned from Russian spies with a note saying, “Comrade, your life is boring.”
November 8: Trump wins the president election. Who saw that coming??? Wait – I did. Exercised my restraint muscles by not posting dozens of “I told you so” comments.
November 9: Promptly forgot who Evan McMullin was.
November 17: my son and his wife took my granddaughter away and moved to Utah. What. The. Heck.
November 19: Installed a new oven in our kitchen and did not burn the house down. The oven didn’t work, but it was installed.
November 23: Happy to learn that I am still near the top of Mcat’s kidney donor list, in ink. Never can be too prepared.
November 24: Full of gratitude for all my blessings.
November 24: Sad to hear that Carol Brady died. She was like a second mom to lots of us
November 29: Lost remaining 10% of respect for MItt Romney when he had dinner with Donald Trump.
December 8: Made my final orthodontia payment. Now ready for the millennium.
December 14: Regained 50% of respect for Mitt Romney when he told Harry Reid “Good Riddance.”
December 19: Found out that Zsa Zsa Gabor had still been alive all this time by reading about her death.
December 20: Embarrassed that 15,000 intolerant Mormons would sign a petition asking the MoTab not to perform at the inauguration of a US President.
December 25: Enjoyed celebrating the birth of Christ. Especially enjoyed it being on the Sabbath.
December 25: Read the shocking reports that George Michael had joined his career in death.
December 26: Had a small problem with caramel popcorn. And by “problem” I mean “gorge-fest.”
December 27: Carrie Fisher died, leaving hundreds of celebrities anxiously watching the calendar, hoping to make it through the last few days of the year.
December 28: Wrote my year in review list, on the assumption that if anything noteworthy happens, it can always be added later.
Making it out of 2016 with your life and/or any shred of sanity should be considered a huge success. If you are reading this, then you are already a winner. As for 2017…
Bring it on….
(Oh, be sure to read the comments. I was informed that I need a proofreader… who knew?!)