The Best of Times; The Worst of Times

‘Tis the season for articles with titles like “The Best Reality Show Moments of 2008,” “The Worst Snack Foods of 2008,” and “Why 2009 Will Be ‘The Year of the Sweet Potato’.” So I’m going to pile on with two lists of my own:

1. Why 2008 Was Great:
  • The Orwig twins are born
    Goes without saying. One of the best and most significant days in my life.
  • Harrison milestones
    Too many to mention. The guy started second grade, and has been growing up in countless ways. He seems to be making the transition from “little boy” to “young man” already. With the addition of the twins to the family, Harrison has sometimes moved into a more grown-up caretaker role even though we haven’t asked him to.
  • Grace Milestones
    Again, too many to mention. She started preschool. She changed instantly from “baby of the family” to “big sister” and “middle child.” She has made the transition from toddler to little girl.
  • My political candidate wins for a change
    Don’t worry, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this. But it was very important to me because I felt it was very important for all of us. To me, November’s election seems to improve the odds we will pull through the next decade.
  • Ford releases some kick-butt new cars, giving hope
    I had been worried, but it seemed I was starting to see some Ford cars in daily use that really could be a part of the Way Forward we’ve been counting on for the past three years. It wasn’t just the Fusion any more. Now there were multiple Ford vehicles out there that people genuinely liked.
2. Why 2008 Sucked Big-Time:
  • Grandma Shepard dies
    The fact that this event was not unexpected makes it no less traumatic and significant for all of us. Now that the body of Wealthie was gone I’m really starting to miss the Grandma who was in my life for so long.

  • Luke dies
    I still have trouble believing I’m even typing this one. It still doesn’t make sense, and it still affects our family on a daily basis. Luke, and the loss of Luke, comes up when I’m talking to Harrison, Grace still asks questions about him, and I think of him and his family literally daily. Harrison has made new close friends but he will be forever affected by losing Luke. As stunned and sad as we were when it happened just before school started, I never would have guessed how affected we would still be now. 
  • Claire gets sick
    This story has mainly turned out to have a happy ending, but it was horrific while it was happening and it cast a dark cloud over an exciting time in the life of someone who didn’t deserve it.

  • The economy siezes
    That “Way Forward” plan mentioned above, already behind schedule, was dependant on people not only wanting but also being able to buy these new Ford cars they were starting to like. The events of the fall seemed quickly to nullify any hope of a way forward not only for Ford and the (now) “Detroit Three”, but this entire region of the country. 
  • The US Senate left us to die
    I know I shouldn’t take this personally. It was just politics, after all. But when the bailout failed, it killed any remaining faith I had that when necessary, politicians would rise to the occasion and become leaders. They didn’t. It doesn’t bother me as much when citizens who don’t have all the facts make callus statements about “letting the free market take its course” or “controlled bankruptcy.” But those senators knew the likely consequences and they cold heartedly decided to risk the ruin of a region of our country and even a potential depression in the hope the UAW would die in the process. As one of the people scheduled for ruin, I do take it personally.
So there’s my list. I’ll start work right away on my next post: “Why 2009 Will Be the Year of Early Potty Training.”

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