You may take them for granted. I try not to – I can’t afford it, having so few of my own. It makes my absence from this space and others like it self destructive.

This year I’ll try to keep my head out my but. I’ll try to think about other people more than myself. I’ll try to give more than I receive. I’ll try not to let politics and current events have the final veto on my mood.

Fate isn’t waiting patiently in line to help, but I’ll try not to use it as a crutch – or an excuse.

Speaking of friends, a BIG thanks goes out to a friend I won’t name… we’ll just call him Butch. Adam has a project for Cub Scouts: building a “pine wood racer.” You start with a block of pine, four wheels, and turn it into car that will roll down a slotted track. Done right, it will get to the bottom of the track before at least some of the others.

Well, you may not know this about me, but I’m not a master carpenter. I’m not the lumber whisperer. I’m competent (sort of) with a hammer, drill, and saw, but you’ll never look at my work with anything approaching awe. So a block of wood representing a car’s potential is pretty intimidating.

Enter Butch. He’s the man with the skillz! Thanks to my friend, both my kids have really cool cars.

Give the gift of words.