Making a surprised leap halfway to the indoor plumbing in the pre-dawn darkness of 2018 was not the thoughtful way I planned to begin the new year.

Who knew that Cowboy’s new Christmas squeaky toy — thanks to his 15-year-old friend, Sophia — lay in wait? Who could see that buck-toothed squirrel, or beaver, or whatever it is, grinning up at me from the bedroom floor?

IMG_3612Fortunately, stepping on the beaver-squirrel in the dark was not my only experience this morning, although my wakening epiphany — involving dubious dietary choices — was just as mundane.

I have not been able to say “merry” this holiday season after learning of tragedies befalling others.

But I awoke yesterday grateful for my own health, realizing as I stirred in bed that I was breathing easy, despite cancer treatment at the start of 2015 and a damaged left lung.

Today, a shakier start. What was the bubbling, acidic feeling down my throat? I speculated about heart disease but righted myself quickly, realizing it was almost certainly successive meals involving tomatoes — consumed, I thought, as a smart alternative to a week of homemade posole.

Driving home last week with good news about my latest CT scan, but remembering that I more than once have heard the erratic mutations of cells called a crapshoot, my mind settled on a new resolve for the coming year: Keep a firm grip on every day.

I did not anticipate the ramifications of tomatoes, nor the lurkings of beaver-squirrels.

But as I lay in bed this morning, trying to think down the tomatoes and seeing the sun lighten the trees, I remembered to focus on what’s at hand.

Then, with a squeak and a leap, I soared into the new year.




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