“Meanderings: Birthdays and Fires” by Jim Peters

Congratulations to frequent contributor Jim Peters on his upcoming birthday and condolences on the fire that has put him and his family out of their home for the time being. Jim sent along the following observations on these and other events:

Usually these two topics do not mix, but my nephew, son of Ashley Tsongas and her spouse Maura, was born on January 1st. while my back porch and part of the back of my house burned on the 2nd. And my fifty-ninth birthday is coming up on January 9th. I was born in 1954 on 1/9/54, the year, month, and day of my birth. Not that it is making me feel too lucky right now. But, bad things do happen and it does no good to question “Why me?” Things just happen. I was surprised to see it in the newspaper, though.

Anyway, I am sitting in the motel room right now awaiting a host of people who are deciding my fate as it pertains to when my family get back in our home. So Vicki, Chloe, Rory, and I wait on the electrician and the carpenter and the disposal people. In the meantime, we find that we have a slew of friends. Family and friends have been great. I did not know that so many people could be so nice to one family at the same time. Many people should be mentioned but I would inevitably miss someone and that would definitely not be fair.

I had the great good fortune to have a fairly successful year with my small landscaping business in 2012. I did not make as much money as I would like, but I learned a great deal about my craft. I also worked with a great many persons who referred me to others. I did some weeding, built a 17th. century garden, and mulched more gardens then I could count. I also mowed a great deal.

I look back on 2012 as a year of some disappointments, but mostly a great year. I told Carol Kanin of the Tsongas campaign four weeks before the election that my prediction, at the height of Romney’s polling, was that we Democrats would “sweep” the Presidential, Senatorial, and Congressional races in Massachusetts and, in the Presdent’s case, in the country as a whole. I contributed what I could to the “Get Out The Vote” effort but others did far more than I did. One person who stood out in this area was District Campaign Coordinator Andrew Howe. His effort was incredible. And, I am certain that Elizabeth Warren appreciated that effort.

My health is basically good. For that I am also grateful. I really enjoy going to early morning Masses. I try to attend daily, but that is kind of impossible on the days that snow falls, or a big job beckons, and other of life’s challenges beckons. I really appreciated something one of the Howe’s said to me, which needs not to be repeated. I went fishing with two of the most wonderful flyfishermen you could ever meet. They say I catch fish because of my Parkinson’s Disease. My rod shakes the bait and I catch the fish. I had a good discussion with the always entertaining John McDonough of early morning television fame. And I enjoy being on the television bantering with George Anthes.

So, it was a good year. I am still on more medication than you can “shake a stick at.” But it keeps me healthy. I am a grandfather, a great uncle on both sides, and an avid fisherman. Life is good.