by Beth Diane Bradley
How many public broadcasting employees does it take to jump my car on New Year’s Eve? Three: One to provide the jumper cables, one who knows how to use them, and one to supervise. So it’s come to this – my life is now officially a joke. But since I’m a writer, I prefer to call it divine inspiration.
It was a typical New Years Eve in Fargo with temperatures that are only pleasing to polar bears and those proverbial Eskimos who do not need any ice. I asked some co-workers if they’d like to go out for a drink after work at the Radisson lounge, a bar that is accessible by skyway from the office. Everyone agreed that staying put was a better plan than hitting all the so-called hot spots as the temperatures continued to plummet.
After we consumed an acceptable amount of festive libations for a bunch of middle-aged public broadcasting employees, I decided it was time to go home, went out to the parking ramp and discovered my battery was dead. I was grateful there were still a few friends left at the bar. Fortunately one had jumper cables – and the empathetic comment that this was no way to begin the new year. I told her not to worry, as we were still busy ending the old one.
I love the New Year’s holiday for many reasons. I thrive on recalling the events of the past year, and viewing the promise of the future as a clean slate, or a clean diaper worn by a chubby baby with a top hat on his head.
2013 was a big year for me.
I took a trip to Los Angeles to visit my son, to prove to myself I could navigate the LAX Airport alone without too many anxious moments. I rode the subway, saw the ocean for only the second time in my life, and tried to be okay leaving my baby in a city known for violent gangs, crack dealers and questionable plastic surgeons. But you’ve just got to love the weather there.
The other major event was my sudden decision to become a home owner again. I was seduced by historically low interest rates and the lure of a fenced-in backyard for my dogs.
The rest of the year was all about moving, getting settled, and adjusting to lawn mowing, pulling weeds and shoveling snow. The transition from a life of landlords and coin-operated laundry to property taxes and appliance repair bills has had its moments, but I’m glad I made the change.
I should probably write my new year’s resolutions before it’s too late. I think I’ll keep it simple. Number one: Buy jumper cables. Number two: Learn how to use them. Both are symbolic of some of the things I’ve been working on, like moving out of my comfort zone and learning to trust my own instincts. But it’s great to know when all else fails, I am truly blessed with friends who can serve as a power source when my life needs a jump start.