Letter From New York 12 31 14 Some thoughts at year’s end…

Outside, the sun is setting and I am prepping for my New Year’s Eve – as probably are all of you. I am following what has become my tradition of the last few years and I go down to Hudson, have dinner at the bar at Ca’Mea or the Dot and then attend the Red Dot’s annual New Year’s Eve party.

To avoid all the dangers of driving on New Year’s Eve, I check into the Inn at Ca’Mea and make it a bit of a holiday. I don’t have to worry about driving and I don’t have to worry about other drivers.

As I was driving back home from checking in, the obituary writer for the New York Times was being interviewed on NPR. She posited that the industry hardest hit by deaths during the year was Hollywood, with many of the last that went through the old studio system passing away, such as Lauren Bacall and Shirley Temple, as well as those who went too young, like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams, both having so much left to give. And let us not forget Louise Rainer, who died this week, having been the first to receive back-to-back Oscars for her work in the 1930’s. She lived to 104. Today saw the passing of the great character actor, Edward Hermann, best known for his work in Gilmore Girls.

This last day of the year is a good one for contemplation. To think about the ones who have gone before us and to hold close to our hearts the good things that have happened. I find it a bittersweet day and not one I particularly like. That’s one reason I make a plan for New Year’s Eve and probably make one that is not dependent on others.

As I often do, I peruse the stories breaking around the world and the world is going on its drumbeat. 2015 has already begun in Australia. New York security is supposed to be tighter than a drum. A two year old accidentally killed his mother when he reached into her gun-loaded purse.

Out in Asia, bad weather is hampering recovery efforts for the AirAsia flight that crashed. The news is the news; often not much good is reported. But I like to remember that good things happen, too. My friend, Mary Dickey, brought me a Christmas gift today, a battery powered toothbrush, just the right size for my backpack. We share a passion for brushing. I’m taking it with me tonight.

It is that blend of good and bad that makes the world so interesting and so unpredictable as well as frightening. Nature plays with us. It will snow in California tonight, I understand.

Dark is falling on Claverack. The old year is ending. The new one will begin. May you all have the Happiest [and safest] of New Year’s!

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