Quiet New Year’s Eve reflects pleasant reality

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As the sun went down and New Year’s Eve approached the Betterhalf and I were sitting in our La-Z-Boys watching the evening news. She turned to me and said, “You know this is the first time we didn’t plan anything special or go somewhere to celebrate?”
I waited a few seconds without replying and was relieved when the Betterhalf answered her own statement by saying: “I think it’s sort of nice.”
It was a cinch I wasn’t going to dispute her statement. She had planned a low-key, two-person meal featuring a delicious grilled swordfish steak dinner complimented by a desert that included an earlier-baked surplus batch of homemade Christmas cookies and fudge.
As the two of us reviewed New Years pasts in those early evening hours we realized at our age we were just happy to be able celebrate the arrival of 2020. Many of our old friends didn’t make it to 2020. Others faced senior aches and pains more troublesome than our own.
A short time later reality set in for us too -- at least for one of us. About 9 p.m. I stood up; approached the Betterhalf; gave her my New Year’s kiss; wished her a “Happy New Year” and headed off to bed.
A twinge of guilt came across me when I headed down the hall to the bedroom and saw our dog, “Missy” moved onto the coach where the Betterhalf was stretched out watching her TV program. I don’t know if Missy and the Betterhalf exchanged their New Year’s kisses at the stroke of midnight, or not.
A huge elephant and a tiny mouse were in the same cage at the zoo. The elephant was in a particularly ugly and truculent mood. Looking down at the mouse with disgust he trumpeted, “You’re the puniest, the weakest, the most insignificant thing I’ve ever seen!” “Well,” piped the mouse in a plaintive squeak, “Don’t forget, I’ve been sick.”
 In a small town’s dingy store there was a yellowing sign tacked to the wall behind a cash register. The sign proclaims the proprietor’s fixed inbred skepticism of all humanity. It reads: No checks cashed. Not even the good ones.”
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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