2018 'twas a good year

The year 2018 was very good for our family. Nobody picked up an exotic disease overseas the medical community in the U.S. could not cure, nobody was tossed in jail for corruption, nobody lied to the Congress, nobody failed to pay their taxes all the way back to the beginning of time, nor applied for attorney general with the hope they would not be selected.

Really good people.

We had minimal hurricanes, no tornadoes and very little drought as our relatives did in Spur, Texas. Who could ask for anything more?

But no babies were born in our family this year. My kids are pushing 60; could that explain it? Haven't heard any rumors for the new year either.

The grandkids are now spread all over the world from the wilds of Dallas to Boston, Ireland and Australia. Wonder what most of them do for a living?

I know two are with the St. Louis Cardinals and another one works for Disney on the West Coast. Then there is our intrepid hero who spends months at a time, along with the U.S. Navy, under the China Seas and other lovely vacation spots around the world. Can't help but worry about them all.

Our good friends Sandra and Steve invited me to accompany them to Yorktown Day last year. So on Oct. 19, I perched myself on the seat of my walker and watched the parade of beautiful, intense young people marching down Main Street. It was a glorious cool, sunny, happy day with many people milling around, chatting and laughing.

Suddenly a little boy standing nearby with his family, who we didn't know at all, reached over, put his head on my shoulder and his little arms around my neck. I hugged him back. What a sweet memory of 2018 Yorktown Day. And thanks, Sandra and Steve.

After the parade, my friends and I enjoyed ham biscuits and pecan pie prepared by the costumed ladies of the Yorktown Women’s Club, many of them nervous as little girls about their pie-making ability. This I know, for I'd lived in Yorktown for 30 years and sweated it out with other hesitant cooks.

For many years, gentlemen living in Yorktown cooked Brunswick Stew in big black smoking cauldrons suspended above wood fires; how we all loved the mouth-watering aroma and delicious taste of the stew while listening to a costumed guitarist play music from the 18th century.

We sat at picnic tables on what is actually Grace Church's sacred, ancient cemetery. Unfortunately, the federal government recently declared the site to be its domain and, therefore, citizens aren't allowed to cook nor eat there.

I wonder if perhaps my decision to stop driving at age 90 was a bit premature, until I remember the losses my eyesight and other senses have sustained.

A goodly number of our kin are thinking about retiring, but not to Florida, as everybody dreamed of doing years ago. How about considering Williamsburg with its charming 18th-century restored village — Duke of Gloucester Street, also known as DoG Street, is gorgeous — good weather, kindly people and great retirement facilities?

And I didn't even mention world-class shopping with what seems like 100 shoe stores and 150 restaurants.

Anyway, best wishes for a Happy New Year in our delightful town called Williamsburg. We'll leave a candle on for you.

Bailey has been a resident of Yorktown and Williamsburg for more than 40 years and has published many essays in The Virginia Gazette.

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