It's a new year for me, starting today. I suppose that means I should make some resolutions, take stock, make amends for mistakes, and plan to do some things differently in the future. Damn, that's a tall order. Maybe I should just relax and have a piece of cake.
There are changes ahead. Fairhope has a different look, with funky cottages replaced by big, expensive houses that look new. Its commitment to its history and the dreams of its founders have been all but abandoned, and there appears to be little I or others who decry this trend can do. Just last week I received an anonymous email with a menacing tone calling me and those who have worked so selflessly to preserve the mission of Marietta Johnson liars and fools, and asking me to resign as President of the Board of the school she founded. It's difficult to believe that this bullying behavior on the part of the misguided and uninformed is not simply an aberration, but has become the direction of society, even in our cherished little town.
Of my circle of friends, at least five are moving to other locations in the country. They may visit from time to time, but if I am to enjoy my life in Fairhope I shall have to find new friends and confidants, who will for the most part be from the cadre of new inhabitants who know or care little of what Fairhope means to me.
That's all right. I have other interests. Maybe I'll get involved in amateur theatre. There will most certainly be a huge reunion of Marietta Johnson School graduates on its hundredth anniversary in 2007, and I am slated to be in on the planning of events to celebrate that. I have many resources and much support. I even got a birthday comment on yesterday's blog from someone who lives in Sweden where they are a day ahead of us.
I'm actually happy to be a year older and be in such great shape. Last July I started a low-carbohydrate diet and I've lost ten pounds this year. My trainer at the gym says another ten and I'll be the perfect weight for my size and age -- so that's another personal goal for the next year. My eyes get a little weaker every year, and they're not at bright and beautiful as they once was, but hey. My hearing is great. I brag about these things because next year I might not be able to.
And that Big Book I'm going to write hasn't happened yet. It appears doubtful that When We Had the Sky will get published, but anyone can tell there's at least one more book in me. And I'm looking forward to being the Grandma Moses of novelists.
Yesterday at the nursing home I said to my mother, "I'll be 66 years old tomorrow." She paused a minute to digest that. I wondered if she'd heard or understood. Then she said, "I can't believe that. If you weren't so young, you'd be an old lady!"