I took a sizable — and much-needed — break from Nana’s Whimsies, but I’m back in the saddle again. I’m raring to meet 2023 head-on.

Bill and I no longer even stay awake long enough on New Year’s Eve to see the ball drop in New York City. We might have still been awake when the clocks struck midnight in London, but it wasn’t televised, so I don’t think that counts. We were nestled all snug in our beds by 9 o’clock, Bill sawing logs and me reading the first book I will complete in 2023. I wasn’t even able to watch any more of the New Year’s Eve celebration in Nashville. I shut off the TV while Dierks Bentley was singing. Sorry Dierks.

Mesa, AZ, is big on New Year’s fireworks. Perhaps all of the Phoenix metro area is hell-bent on blasting away, but I can only speak for Mesa. Behind our AZ house there is a desert area in which no one can build. Every year, people gather back there and shoot off fireworks. This year, it seemed to begin earlier and be more relentless than usual. More noisy, as well. In fact, some of the boomers were so boomy that Bill was convinced they were pistol shots. I told him to stop buying into the Next Door mentality that all loud noises came from guns, especially on New Year’s Eve. I managed to convince him that no one was going to fire into our bedroom window, and he fell asleep. I finally turned off my Kindle around 10, and fell asleep to the sound of firecrackers.

At some point, I awoke to the sound of silence. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 o’clock. I knew the revelers were only taking a break, but I enjoyed the temporary sounds of silence. As the clocks struck midnight, the fireworks began once again. I laid awake listening to the booms and thinking about the upcoming year.

“What will 2023 bring?” I wondered to myself. Having experienced the last few years, I am no longer confident that there won’t be major surprises ahead. Certainly, on January 1, 2020, not many Americans expected that in a couple of months, they would be confined to their abodes, desperately wishing they had stopped at Costco for toilet paper the week before. I can’t wait until 2020 is over, everyone foolishly thought. But as you might recall, 2021 wasn’t a great improvement over 2020. The Battle of the Vaxers v. the Anti-Vaxers began, and morphed into battles between everyone v. everyone-else-who-didn’t-share-their-point-of-view.

On a more personal level, I can assure you that on January 1, 2022, I had no clue that by the end of the year, we would have sold our home of 30 years and moved to a senior community. The idea on that date wasn’t even a teeny-tiny spot on our radar. Circumstances led to our making the necessary move, and we haven’t looked back.

So what surprises does 2023 have in store for us? I eschewed the notion of New Year’s resolutions long ago, having broken more resolutions than grains of sand on Waikiki Beach. Our homilist yesterday suggested we concentrate on three things — heart, help, and health.

When you think about it, that about covers it all.

Happy New Year’s. I hope you are all blessed in 2023.