2011: Call it a Wash

by Anne Bennett on December 28, 2011

As the new year approaches, I think a toast is in order. 2011 will go down in my books as the year that our daughter Elizabeth married her love, Brendan. Late in September, after considerable efforts to rehab the old homestead, we threw an outdoor party in their honor that was a resounding success. The theme was loosely based on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” because the book’s protagonist, Elizabeth Bennett, had the same name as our girl (an inadvertent coincidence).

Backstory: in the last 30 years we’ve bought, renovated and lived in four old houses, yet we’ve never actually completed any one of them. This time, for the first time, we went the distance. Tom the carpenter, Randy and Nick the sheet rockers, Scott the painter, Tommy the plumber and Carla the artist, all joined forces to replace, repair, paint and generally put a major facelift on 6111 Mission Drive. It was a herculean effort that took months. At one point I swore that I would never eat take-out pizza again.

Alas, 2011 was also the year of the Bennett flood. Just before Christmas, Tom, who was babysitting the poodles for one night, initiated a plumbing catastrophe that destroyed most of the downstairs, including 65-year-old oak floors that had to be ripped out. We spent Christmas on sub-floors with bare wooden rafters above.

But let’s not dwell on the soggy details. The house will be repaired–again. For several months we will live in the cabana (the little house out back that used to be my mother’s bachelorette pad) and I will focus on slow cooker recipes for hungry poodle, since the cabana has only a microwave and two burners.

This is a good thing if you like soup.

I recently decided to resign from Weight Watchers after ten years, effective December 31, so 2012 is suddenly appearing to me to be somewhat uncharted.

But isn’t that the way life pretty much is? Despite our best efforts to replace uncertainty with well-thought-out plans, it just never works out that way. I’m kind of OK with that.

A wise friend once gave me some sage advice. I had been whining about not knowing what to do with my life and she said, “You can look at this two ways: you ┬ácan continue to be afraid of the future or you can wake up each morning and say to yourself, ‘How exciting! I don’t know what will happen today, but I can’t wait to find out!”

I can’t wait to find out what will happen in 2012.

Happy New Year!

 

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie Snook December 28, 2011 at 11:23 am

WOW! What an amazing perspective! I remember the crockpot recipes from the last rehab and I’m excited to see some more! Sounds like life will be challenging and exciting, how fun. The path I’m walking down has also given me the gift of meeting every day unsure as to what it will bring. I hope I can look at it as an adventure to enjoy more and more. I love reading your blogs I’m on here atleast a couple times a week thank you for always sharing your life with us! Hugs!!

Betsy December 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm

What a wonderful adventure that awaits you!
I can’t wait to continue to “hear” your advice via the blog … but my Momma & I will definitely miss you at the 9am Saturday meetings. Good luck on the renovations & exploring & enjoying the world of retirement!
Happy New Year!

Julie Dailey December 29, 2011 at 8:07 am

You are my weekly inspiration. Weight Watchers will not be the same without your humor and wisdom. Thanks for your help this past year. I”m 35 pounds lighter and will continue on, but it won’t be the same without you. Blessings to you.

Liz Barnett December 31, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Anne, you are my weekly inspiration too, and I will miss you so much! Your insights, wit and wisdom are amazing gifts, and I hope you will continue to share them with others. This website will help, but please let us know if you ever start up any motivational sessions…I’ll be the first to sign up. You will be sorely missed, but I am excited for you as you begin a new adventure, and wish you all the very best.

Mary Day January 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Anne, I was looking forward to seeing you in the front of the room this coming year, but you are off to new adventures. As the poet Nancy Walker said, “Do not be afraid to go where there are no roads!” Frankly, the perception that life has predictable roads is a fantasy that I tossed out years ago. As far as crockpot, my husband got a new crockpot cookbook for Christmas – The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester. Lots of great, healthy meals! Thanks for the blog – I’ll stay tuned.

Kate January 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Anne, I was very much looking forward to your new meeting at the new Prairie Village center, but will have to muddle through. In the meantime, please know that you are a delight to so many of us, and that you felt like a soul mate for this almost 60-year-old on her own unpredictable life journey. See you on Hungry Poodle! Regards, Kate

June Cassingham January 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Anne, what a great picture of you and Champ! Diane, Shirley and I switched back to Fridays for WW since you are no longer there on Saturday am. Miss you a lot. I will continue to check hungrypoodle.com for inspiration, wit and wisdom. June

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