One year ago, I tried to shake off a strange trepidation, an ominous foreboding that unlucky number 2013 would be trouble. It appeared with many personalities just like any other year. On most days, it wore taupey beige, occasionally donning colorful ups and dappled gray downs. These clever disguises fooled me, but every so often it revealed a glint, a glimmer of brass knuckles clenched in its fists under the hem of its cloak. It lurked in shadows. I shuddered.
After flaunting a kaleidoscope of prismatic luminosity on my birthday in April, the bully bared its metal mitts. It punched my gut and flattened me. I never saw it coming. I caught my breath then stood. Nostrils flared, I stared hard into its cold dead eyes, (there were three of them). It laughed and receded into the shadows.
I prayed this black-leathered heathen would never return. I prayed it had the wrong person. There had to be a mistake. That’s what it was! Mistaken identity.
Something deep inside told me to prepare for battle if the darkest of years reared its heinous head once more. A week later, when I learned of my diagnosis, it rushed me from all sides. Clad in a studded bodysuit and a death mask which hid its hideous eyes, it struck hard. I flew into the air and crumpled to the floor. It used my body as a punching bag. Then it stood over me with hands on hips. It sneered.
Thinking I had surrendered, 2013 turned its back. I gathered my strength. My blogging community, friends, and family helped me to my feet. They stood behind me. “Is that all you’ve got?” I screamed. We raised our collective fists. It cowered then disappeared.
Life went back to monochromatic days sprinkled with vibrant color and dove grays. We traveled. My wounds healed. The bully hid.
Just as I breathed a sigh, it came back with a vengeance. This time it targeted Boulder County. It began to rain. It didn’t stop for days. We joked about building an ark. Then lives and property were lost. Roads and bridges washed out. Towns were cut off. That’s when I could hear 2013’s maniacal laugh bubbling up from the swollen and bursting streams rushing down the mountains and across the Boulder Valley. I worried about my children living at the bottom of the foothills in Boulder. Again we prayed.
The rain stopped. The community rallied. Many rushed to help from all over the world. By November, every road and bridge had been rebuilt and reopened. Generous donations had been collected. Families survived.
It seemed as though 2013’s darkness had been vanquished until I woke with a chill. A few hours later, I checked the thermostat. It read 63 degrees. It wasn’t my imagination. Cold air poured out of our furnaces. Something was wrong. A regulator station in our area had broken down. It was 5 degrees above zero outside. That would be the day’s high temperature.
I heard a faint sound. It was 2013. It was back. It cackled and then it crowed up and down the neighborhoods. A gasket failed and gas was shut off for repair. The temperature plummeted inside and out. Later that evening, it dropped to 43 degrees. We shook.
2013 continued to guffaw. It slapped its thighs.
At 10:00 PM, my husband Danny switched on the gas fireplace. A flame appeared. It roared. We were lucky. The power company had missed us when shutting off valves outside homes in our neighborhood. There was just enough pressure to light a furnace. By the following night, most of our neighbors had heat. The laughter waned and then disappeared altogether.
The last weeks of the year brought its colorful highs with my son’s graduation and promotion at work, my daughter’s excellent semester and some dappled grays with the loss of a friend to cancer.
Today, the sun shines over the valley. I hear wheezing and coughing as 2013 splutters through its last few days. I have never looked so forward to the end of a year. Die 2013! May you rest in a sense of peace you had no sense to give us. I don’t ever want to hear its haughty laughter again.
I am prepared for anything in 2014, but I won’t tempt fate. I plan to take a self-defense class and wear noise-cancelling headphones, just in case.
Thank you for coming along with amazing support on my Wildest Ride ever.
Happy New Year!
Did 2013 rock for you or suck big time?
Google Zeitgeist: Here’s to 2013!