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home : opinion : columnist March 28, 2023

1/11/2022 12:01:00 AM
New Year Couldn't Get Here Soon Enough
Tammy Wilson is a writer who lives near Newton. Her latest book is Going Plaid in a Solid Gray World: Collected Columns, published by Red Hawk Publications. Contact her at

Tammy Wilson is a writer who
lives near Newton. Her latest
book is Going Plaid in a Solid
Gray World: Collected Columns
published by Red Hawk
Publications. Contact her at [email protected]

Tammy Wilson
Guest Columnist

Thank heavens it’s 2022 already. These past 12 months have been doozies.

Things started to go south for me last spring when an intestinal flareup progressed to a solid round of antibiotics.

This wasn’t my first colonoscopy rodeo, as they say. Fasting and a liquid diet is one thing, but the gallon jug of lemon-flavored “prep” is the clincher, especially at 2 a.m. when the alarm goes off to down the second half.

As luck would have it, my first procedure was cancelled and rescheduled 10 days later, which meant I got to press re-set on the prep and enjoy another gallon of lemon stuff.

Shortly afterward, my cousins from California showed up for a three-day visit. All went well until that last morning, when I discovered a groaning faucet—a whole house full of them, in fact. Somehow an outside spigot had been left open, and my well wasn’t just running low, it was sucking mud.

Pay attention when FEMA and the Red Cross recommend keeping extra water on hand for emergencies. That morning we had to forego showers, but it was nice to have bottled water available so we could at least brush our teeth.

Until the well repair people showed up on the three days later, it was like camping in my own house. I carried water from my granddaughter’s kiddie pool to water plants, flush toilets and sort of wash my hands. The charm of adventure wore off when I got the bill for a new well pump.

But this irksome year had several more months to play out. There was the beach trip when one in our party came down with COVID. Two other excursions were cancelled, thanks to COVID.

The real warm-up came in August, when my air conditioning went down in 90-degree heat. All I can say is, thank heaven for Anytime Heating & Cooling Repair.

In September, my 16-year-old border collie grew too feeble to function and had to be put down. The crisis came over Labor Day weekend, when my veterinarian was closed and emergency clinics had wait times of 8-10 hours. I know this because I called every emergency vet clinic in the area.

Things went from bad to worse when, preparing to bury Furry in the backyard, I severed the wire for the underground dog fence.

A couple of weeks later, my built-in oven gave out. Panic set in as I envisioned a months-long wait for a new oven, but my luck turned around. I claimed the last model in stock.

In November I adopted Ribeye, an Australian Cattle Dog, from the animal shelter. He’s a sweet boy, but to him, everything is lunch: Christmas tree garland, my computer mouse and mouse pad, my granddaughter’s Barbie dolls, a library book, important papers.

Before I set up a crate for Ribeye to lounge in when I’m away, the foam filter from my new vacuum cleaner—the filter I’d just cleaned and left to dry by the sink—was snatched and shredded by this ever-curious cattle dog.

I hired a dog trainer in December, but by then, Ribeye had destroyed well over $100 worth of goods.

And just when I figured 2021 had served up its last sour hurrah, my granddaughter called attention to the “mouse” on the bottom of the attic steps—a mouse with wings.

“Bat Man” arrived in a Terminix van before Christmas to remove the varmint and haul him away to new quarters. Now, to repair the spot where Mr. Bat entered the attic, before his relatives show up.

But there’s more.

The week before Christmas, I came down with a COVID-like ailment that robbed me of my taste, smell, energy and holiday festivities.

2022 couldn’t get here soon enough.

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