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2009: what a year

I had just turned 48 as 2008 ended and Ottawa was in turmoil. A coalition government was in the air or worse the country faced a possible federal election only a few months after the previous one.
I had just turned 48 as 2008 ended and Ottawa was in turmoil. A coalition government was in the air or worse the country faced a possible federal election only a few months after the previous one.

The recession hit with hurricane force, devastating many in its path. Corporate bonuses, excessive greed and inadequate oversight of financial institutions in the U.S. led to much of the world’s problems. Everyone wanted more and I was left wondering if we would learn from this devastation?

Canada’s junior hockey team brought us another gold medal, Roger Federer became the all time leader in Grand Slam Tennis events and Jordan Staal carried a Red Wing player down the ice, scoring a short-handed goal that likely turned that series around. I am sure Lord Stanley enjoyed the return trip to the Staal home. Serena Williams would also have an incredible year in tennis, beating out a horse for female athlete of the year. How exactly does a horse qualify under this category?

In Hollywood, poster girl Farrah lost her battle with cancer and Michael Jackson had massive record sales after his death. I hope he finds in death, the peace he could not find in life.

Trusted news Anchor Walter Cronkite passed away, as did Ricardo Montalban, Captain Kirk’s nemesis in Star Trek II when not fulfilling fantasies as Mr. Roarke. And then there’s Maude, as Golden Girl Bea Arthur had her final curtain call and actress Brittany Murphy passed away at 32.

Death at too young an age still remains as common as the rising sun.

We also kept wasting our time talking about the environment. If our world leaders could not get their act together in Copenhagen, what hope do we have? Will this planet ever get it? Will we make the tough decisions or is the economy just too important?

I wrote about weight loss and I had few dozen join in the fun. Sadly, like my goal of a 30 pound loss, the enthusiasm of those that joined faded; I made it to 18 pounds. But the battle will continue albeit slightly delayed. I hope those who joined in were more successful and more determined than I was.

I received many comments on my articles throughout the year. It brings a smile when people just stop me in the mall or on the street and tell me how much they enjoyed them.

The stories about the human condition are the ones that seem to generate the most response. Marina Park and fluoridation were discussed too but some articles were misunderstood, specifically two about possessions and Canadian content.

Some believed that my listing of wealth was an accurate portrayal of what I own. They felt I was not doing enough for charity not recognizing that my ‘list’ was greatly exaggerated for the article.

I had thought my article on Canadian content was fairly clear, contrary to a letter to this paper from the union leader at our Bombardier facility.

I love the idea of Canadian content for mass transit vehicles. My article commented on the hypocrisy I believe exists with some who espouse the idea of Canadian content, then fail to support it at other times. I did not understand the many critical comments towards the federal and provincial governments demanding a Canadian content policy, but no negative comments towards our city, when they did not implement that exact policy. I will just assume the letter writer misunderstood.

Any negatives during the year paled in comparison to the many wonderful things that occurred. I watched my sons continue to flourish and I wonder if they really know how proud I am of them.

We had two beautiful summer weddings and the year ended with the christening of baby Avery. The local music group Rough Cuts, an off-shoot of Diamonds in the Rough will become a 2010 weekend mainstay, recalling from my teenage years the incredible voice of their lead singer.

The Easter Seals Roast, the Bachelor Auction and Manipulation for the Arthritis Society were all great fun and each continued to build on past success. These are just a few of the wonderful causes supported by the great people of this community.

Yes, 2009 was a fantastic year. If it was a challenging one for you, I hope 2010 is far better. What this year has in store is anyone’s guess but we can be certain of one thing: when surrounded by family, friends of many years and when you are part of organizations that make a difference, any negatives are too inconsequential to matter.

May you all have a wonderful and safe New Year and be blessed in the many ways that I continue to be.

Just a thought.

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