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Column: Out with the old, in with the new

By June Mathews

Special to The Tribune

Whew, I made it!

Another holiday season has come and gone, and once again, I managed to keep my wits about me and maintain some of my scant supply of sanity.

The few Christmas decorations I pulled out this year are repacked and back on their designated shelves in the basement; my bank account, though somewhat depleted, is at least not overdrawn; and all the relatives I considered strangling over the past few weeks are still alive and kicking.

We did, however, experience some disharmony in the home when the dogs got into a blood-drawing battle over their Christmas toys.

We have no idea what caused the fuss. One minute, they were happily chewing on festive red and green nylon bones; the next, they were angrily snapping at each other like a couple of furry little piranhas.

For a day or so afterward, Bitsy limped around on a tooth-punctured front leg, and Moxie’s swollen snout looked like she’d been attacked by bees.

But as their injuries healed, so did their normally cordial relationship, and they were soon back to their favorite games of chase, hide-and-seek, and let’s-rip-every-sock-in-the-house-to-shreds.

On a related note, Jimmie and I gave each other giant economy-size packages of socks for Christmas.

Otherwise, the final two weeks of the year were pleasantly lowkey with smatterings of merry and bright, and that was just what I needed. After a busy autumn, some relaxing time off brought welcome changes to my blood pressure and attitude about life in general.

Which brings us to the beginning of 2018, accompanied by my annual inner debate over New Year’s resolutions. Should I bother making them or not?

Rare is the resolution I’ve kept beyond January, so I tend to think it’s pointless to even make them. On the other hand, NOT making them seems to imply a lack of introspection and ambition.

And even if I don’t keep them, resolutions at least temporarily inspire me to be a better person in some way.

Truth be told, though, I’ve so far been disinclined to worry about resolutions. Not for myself anyway.

But as a devoted wife, it occurs to me that Jimmie could probably use some resolutions, and I’m just the person to make them.

I mean, he often doesn’t know what’s best for him, and – OK, I’ll just come right out and say it – I do. Nobody understands what improvements a husband needs better than his wife, right?

So, here’s a preview of what I think Jimmie’s resolution list for 2018 should look like (all in his best interest, of course):

“I resolve to cheerfully share the TV remote with my wife anytime she wants to watch one of those stupid reality shows with dancing, overindulged brats or storage lockers. For whatever reasons, they interest her just as much as hockey games and National Geographic wildlife documentaries interest me. I’ll even let her sit in my new recliner without complaining about how uncomfortable the couch is.

“I resolve to stop emptying my pockets on every available surface in the house, even though I fail to see a problem with making good use of empty space.

“I resolve to fix a few things around the house, like the singing toilet in the master bathroom, the doorbell that hasn’t worked in two years, and the broken hinge on the pet food cabinet, as well as anything else my wife tells me needs fixing. Or painting. Or pressure-washing.

“I resolve to continue being a good sport when my wife writes about me and to keep smiling when people at work or church tease me about it. She’d just better hope I don’t take up writing one day because payback would be heck. But lucky for her, perfect grammar is of little concern to me, and I’m a bad speler… spellar… uh, speller.”

Happy New Year from our house to yours, everybody!

Email June Mathews at

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