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Should old acquaintance be forgot?

We two have paddled in the stream, 
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared 
since auld lang syne.

2013 has been an interesting year. The older I get, the more I appreciate the good and the more I have learned to ignore the bad. It was a spring that featured a constant stream of evaluations, visits from therapists, and trying to get my son enrolled in preschool following Early Intervention. The year ends with a happy, chatty, socially-adjusted 3 year old who knows his alphabet, colors, and most of his numbers. He has friends and favorite teachers and wakes up asking if it will be a school day. Talk about transformations.

My daughter has started sleeping through the night, has a new fondness for chocolate pudding, and speaks in whole sentences herself. Usually overly cute ones that are somewhat manipulative and give me pause about what an older, craftier girl she'll become.

I completed my first triathlon in an only somewhat-embarrassing time...I wore a wetsuit and swam a mile in a lake. I got on a road bike for the first time and have discovered a new love of tucking into a pair of aerobars and flying down the road at 30 mph. My summer rides in the woods got me visits with antler-wearing groups of whitetail deer, coyotes, and a pond full of so many frogs that they echoed through the forest in a loud chorus.

There were road trips with the whole family and a quiet, long weekend with the mama on a sheep farm in Wisconsin. My kids discovered the joy of rides in the bike trailer. And we've spent many a weekend morning riding bikes together at the gardens. Plus I've reconnected with some surprising old friends who I share common interests with--or in some cases the surprise was simply that we've put old grudges in the past.

On the other hand, we've spent much of the last 2 months with some illness or another. Our beloved greyhound passed on. My plan for racing an Ironman in 2014 had to go onto the back burner. I won the lottery for a registration to the Chicago Marathon but didn't take the spot.

But it's all in perspective. For Christmas, one of my aunts made my mom and their other sister a 3-ring binder full of over 200 years worth of family history from the American Revolution to today. Mom brought it with her on her Christmas visit so I've spent some time over the break browsing photos, obits, genealogy, news articles featuring my relatives.

One relative formerly owned some of the most expensive property in Manhattan where the current Trinity Church now sits. Unfortunately, that particular relative chose to side with the British during the war so...ooops. It's ok though, because my great-however-many-grandfather was busy spying for General Washington enough to have articles written about his fight for a pension via the witness of another veteran of the Revolution. That's the problem with having to burn all the secret documents related to your colonial-era espionage.

The book traces marriages and heart attacks and photos of bad dance costumes. One great-great grandfather (I still keep his shaving mug) was one of the first to bring electric to his state. I cherish an old photo of him with an old utility truck, his line crew, and him looking dapper in a coat and hat. I've only seen photos of him my age, still relatively youthful. But there's one in the book of him as the gray-haired old man my mother remembers from her childhood. Nothing like his earlier self.

Auld lang syne, indeed. Have a great 2014 everyone. To paraphrase Burns, you take your pint cup, I'll take mine, and we'll drink a cup to days gone by.


  1. great write up. that book of family history sounds amazing and fascinating. wishing you much luck in 2014 with running/tri's as well. join us for the north point triathlon in august. cheap, close and sprint/oly options. Happy New Year!


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