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Around the bend: Capping a delightfully dull year

Being lazy, I thought I’d wrap up 2011 by copying the Addison Independent and making a chronology of all the noteworthy events in my year.
But I got stuck early on, when I realized that in January I only had two items to report: I finally replaced the burned-out light bulb in the fridge and I broke the handle on my windshield scraper.
For me, 2011 was not a year of living dangerously.
But just because nothing big happened doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good year. So I want to acknowledge at least a few of the people and things that helped make 2011 a winner.
1. Dear 1999 Honda Civic: Thank you for being my new car. You aren’t real flashy (and I often find myself wandering around parking lots trying to remember what you look like), but you are entirely paid for, and for that I am truly grateful.
All I hope now is that you will agree to shift out of park when the temperature falls below 32 degrees. Yes, I’m saving a lot in gas. But unless we have a really mild winter, the savings will be outweighed by me not being able to get to work for the next five months.
2.Dear goats: Thank you for humbling our family. You win. You three have shown us that our technology is no match for your perseverance. We bow to your ingenuity and hope you enjoy your free-ranging lifestyle until we can build a 12-foot-tall, razor-wire-topped wall and hire armed sentries.
Also, thank you for eating my perennials to the ground; people seem to think I actually “put the gardens to bed” for once.
3.Dear customer service representatives: Thank you for bearing with me. Specifically, to the women at National Bank of Middlebury, thank you for humoring me when I accused the bank of allowing our account to be hacked into and a hefty sum debited without our OK.
Thank you for taking an entire day to look into the matter and ultimately determine that the “theft” was merely an automatic withdrawal I had forgotten about. (I guess that training workshop, “How to Deal with Paranoid, Hysterical Customers,” wasn’t a total waste of time after all.)
And also, thank you to the woman at Comcast who listened patiently to my rant about why, after a free equipment upgrade, our service got cut to just 13 channels. I didn’t know that all this time that’s all we’d been paying for. So thank you for not back-billing us for three years’ access to an extra 87 channels. And thanks also for not pressing charges.
4. Dear tomatoes: Thank you for filling our pantry shelves so abundantly. You are delicious. I apologize for any anti-tomato rhetoric I may have spewed while picking and processing all 44 quarts of you this fall, but that was just the exhaustion talking. You are still my favorite vegetable in the garden and I don’t care if the peas know it.
5. Dear husband: Though I rarely say so, I want to thank you for almost 20 years of putting up with me and my moods, my really ugly-but-comfortable pajamas, and my habit of criticizing you for the way you wash dishes — not just that you do such a bad job but also that you do it so rarely.
After all this time, I still enjoy every moment we spend together — except for that night in November when I got up at 2 a.m. to let one of the cats out and you hid behind the bathroom door and jumped out at me as I stumbled back to bed. I am almost certain this is not what relationship experts mean when they talk about keeping the excitement alive in a marriage.
6. And last, thank you, 2011, for being an uneventful year. Sure, I wish I could say that I ran my first marathon, that I rescued a herd of cows from a burning barn, and that NBC had decided to use my life as the basis for a detective series about a kindhearted country woman who solves crimes with the help of her mischievous but clever goats. But nothing like that happened.
So what if this was an unremarkable year? I’m judging 2011 not by events but by all that I have to be grateful for: a healthy family, a job and a home. And the ability to see the leftovers way in the back of the fridge.
It may be heresy to write this in the Addison Independent, but in my world no news is good news. 

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