New Year Greetings

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, January 6, 2022

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Yes, greetings to all of you from a bright new year, not yet tarnished by the inevitable misfortunes that come our way as a year progresses. And yes, I do have the loss of another friend to report . . .

I was still building things when Ed Britton opened his Ace Hardware store on NC108 near Skyuka Road. I was in there weekly, buying fasteners and other essentials to make a house work. I soon learned where things were, so I just waved to Ed as he helped another customer.

I lost track of Ed when he sold the store, but we started patronizing his son Chuck’s Mountain View BBQ near Columbus. Our whole Lions Club often ate there, not just to thank Chuck for hosting our Saturday morning pancake breakfast fundraisers, but because Chuck knew how to do BBQ!

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Ed and Nancy recently moved into a White Oak apartment near us. Hardly ever saw them because of Ed’s medical appointments; but Ed and I got our booster and later our flu shots at the same time. He rode his little electric scooter into the room and got his shots without a whimper.

Also gone is one Keith Collins, a fellow woodworker in his life before White Oak. I met him when he arrived, but did not see him many more times.

I am surprised when many of my friends die, because they looked and acted fine when I had just seen them, often only a few days before their demise. I know it must be very difficult for the new widows to speak of their lost love, but in my experience the lovelight still shines in their tired eyes as they receive our well-meant condolences and prepare to take up the reins of their new life.

A New Year is supposed to be a time of renewal and a shucking off of old troubles. Some of us will make resolutions we hope to keep. Fran tells me about the things I need to change, and I promise to do better, but somehow these improvements do not materialize.

My faults are deeply ingrained from years of practice, so I think any serious New Year resolutions are probably doomed to failure. Does that mean I should not try?

The US Air Force will observe its 75th Anniversary this year, while the infant Space Force is stretching its legs at 3. I helped the Tryon Daily Bulletin celebrate its diamond anniversary back in 2003; don’t expect to be around for its 100th in 2028.

Also don’t expect to be around for our diamond wedding anniversary in 2029, either. A couple here at White Oak will celebrate their 70th this year. We just celebrated our 67th in Asheville with son Thomas and some very dear close friends.

As I write this we are experiencing a full blown summer thunderstorm, complete with flashes of lightning, rolling thunder, and driving rain against our windows. Sure are thankful to have a strong building to protect us from these harsh elements of Mother Nature’s temporary rampage. We are very thankful not to be in the path of a tornado!

Or a wildfire . . . Far too many folks have nothing left but the clothes they are wearing. We are counting our blessings!

We stayed up to watch the ball drop in Times Square, toasted the New Year with tall cups of Fran’s hot buttered rum. We really missed the late Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians’ version of Auld Lang Syne. Guy told someone that he would be “taking it with me,” and apparently, he did.

Neither of us could tolerate what was done in the Square this year, so we found agreeable music on PBS by a small group of soloists from the Metropolitan Opera. They finished a few minutes early, which gave Fran time to warm her hot buttered rum. We enjoyed our treat and a long kiss before we took happily to our bed in 2022.

Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or