Goodbye to 2016, hello 2017 |

Goodbye to 2016, hello 2017

The month ending 2016 was interesting. My son Doug had cataract surgery on Dec. 6 and 20. The surgeon and staff were great! It was done at Banner, and traveling out of town wasn’t an issue. We had much conversation about who would drive him home each time. I smiled.

My friends know I’m still capable of driving a car 10 miles without taking out a telephone pole. So when the first surgery was completed, it was I at the wheel of the car. The conversation was one sided — it went like this: “You’re driving too fast, get in the other lane, watch out for that truck, slow down we’re coming to a light, you’re driving too slow, the speed limit is such and such.”

So went the entire trip home. I’d never been so glad to see the inside of our garage. Doug’s second eye surgery was scheduled five days before Christmas. The conversation, as we once again were heading home, began the same way. The first words out of Doug’s mouth — as I was backing the car out of its space in the hospital parking lot — “Be careful!” Do you get points for clobbering your kid?

Driving to the Courtyard Café, we pulled into the parking lot at about 10 a.m. Doug hadn’t eaten for hours. By then, after steak and eggs, he was fine and I could give up my job as keeper of the wheel. Later that week, we had a wonderful Christmas day. One of our neighbors had invited us to join them for dinner. Our hostess had prepared a Mexican dinner that was fabulous.

Doug ate a lot. This old lady tried; but my taste buds have long given up the ghost. However, I managed to get plenty to eat. Since we usually eat alone on Christmas, it was nice to spend this special holiday with friends. A few days after Christmas we got a call from my son David. He and his wife Wendy have a lakeside home in the Southern California Mountains near their home in Irvine.

Their family — two daughters and sons-in-law plus six little ones – were all heading there to celebrate the holidays. Since the house has two fireplaces the kids were thrilled that Santa would be able to come down one of the chimneys to leave presents. It wasn’t to be. On Christmas Eve the electric went out. It didn’t come back on until Christmas evening, which meant that David had to build fires in both fireplaces.

It took persuading to convince the kids that Santa would find a way into the house. Down from upstairs came mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. Anything else to keep them warm. After the electric came on, the kids had fun with their new toys. Thankfully, order was then restored. Now to other news. Everywhere were reports of what the police would do at places like New York City prior to the New Year’s celebration.

At almost every location – where crowds were anticipated – roadblocks of huge trucks are to be placed so some nut wouldn’t be able to drive into a crowd and kill people. Elsewhere in the world there’s been just too much of this disgusting terrorist activity. All I could think about was other New Year’s Eve in Times Square where a million celebrate most years.

What kind of world do we live in requiring these precautions must be taken so everyday people can experience the joy and pleasure of celebrating the coming of another new year? When will this hatred finally stop? Then, early Christmas morning about 2 a.m. when few cars are on the road, another unnecessary tragedy occurred close to our home. We awoke to the sound of a helicopter landing just west of Leeteville Junction.

There were police and highway patrol cars everywhere, their flashing lights filling the sky. The LVN reported what happened. Usually at that time there’re maybe 10 cars in an hour. When there were just two on the highway, one alleged speeding drunk-driver rear-ended the only other vehicle, ejecting a young woman from a car, perhaps causing fatal injury. Now a young man will have to live with that for the rest of his life.

Please say a prayer for all involved. Special thanks to our dedicated police and hospital personnel, Care Flight and the LVN for keeping us informed. God bless all, we remain hopeful that 2017 will be a special year for you and yours.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at