Total Eddie 2022

Welcome to Total Eddie, 2022 edition. I’ll forgive you if you don’t know what I mean by Total Eddie. Posts to this blog have been sparse in recent years, New Year’s posts in particular. Total Eddie is an initialism for the acronym TTLETY, or, top things Luke experienced this year.
Late last year, I had a fine piece of Total Eddie rising in the oven, but the piece melted in my brain when I came down with COVID shortly after Christmas. I can’t recall any of the experiences that might have made that 2021 list, but I’m sure it would have been a fine one indeed. Now I find myself at the end of another year, COVID free this time, reaching back for the most indelible experiences of the past fifty-two weeks. Here we go––

I drove a lot. Those who know might see those words and yawn. I’m in sales. Driving goes with the territory, especially when one’s territory covers an entire state. But 2022 had me racking up more miles than ever before, I estimate 50,000 or more. Many of those miles I drove alone, just me and my audiobooks. Many others, I had company––my eldest son, Samuel. To Oregon for swim meets, to Utah for a swim meet (in a beast of a rental car), to Canada for a swim meet, twice to visit the college he will be attending next year. Road trips: there’s nothing better, especially when you’re going someplace new, and you’re with someone you like. We don’t often talk about deep or important stuff, just little things––work, school, friends, cars––but live long enough and eventually you may learn there are no little things. There are no big things. There are no things at all. There is only us, being together.

Samuel and ‘Chad’, the muscle car.

I went on dates. Ms. Christmas and I have been married more than twenty-one years now. There aren’t a lot of surprises. When we go on dates, it’s not to dinner and a movie; it’s usually the grocery store. On a good day, it’s the park with our dogs. I’m going to tell you something: you can believe me or not, but I’m being honest when I say that trips to the grocery store with my wife have been some of the best moments for me. You must think I’m crazy. Grocery shopping sucks, especially when you shop at the busiest Safeway in the county, where they never have adequate help at the deli counter, and you’re sharing every aisle with small armies of mobile order shoppers and their kamikaze carts. It’s so frustrating and so damn funny at the same time. I sorta love it, and I definitely love her. Years from now, when I’m preparing to depart this mortal plane, my final thoughts will be of Ms. Christmas and me, battling the chaos together at the old Safeway.

I went on tour. I finally fulfilled my childhood dream of putting a band together and hitting the road. Sort of. It wasn’t my band; it’s my son Isaac’s, and I didn’t put it together. I was just along for the ride, making sure we didn’t lose any youngsters along the way. You might say that being cooped up for hours on a motor coach full of junior high kids is someone’s idea of hell, and you might be correct. But sometimes you have to go through a bit of hell to get to the heaven on the other side. One of our tour dates was a parade in beautiful Wenatchee. My job was to walk at the rear of our group as they marched through the streets of downtown, playing and replaying different marching tunes they’d prepared. What I witnessed that day was magical as it was unexpected. I watched a group of loud, goofy teenagers coalesce into a single unit and together create a miracle before my eyes. That’s the only way I can describe it––miraculous. You may think I’m overstating it, and if you do, I’d say these mediocre times have made you cynical and numb. When a group of teenagers walk down the street with instruments in their hands, and smiles spread through the watching crowd like a happy virus, I call it a miracle. The remarkable part is the kids didn’t know they were in the act of changing the world for the better. They only thought they were marching and playing songs they’d played so many times, they were sick of them. This world has a way of making miracles look ordinary. Quite probably, we perform miracles every day, and we don’t even know it.

Isaac and his fellow miracle makers

Okay, last one…

I learned to love rain. We are headed into the time of year I’ve often dreaded––the bleak days of Winter. If you’ve ever struggled with what some call a “mood disorder”, you know what I mean. For many, these weeks of sunless drizzle can feel endless, and there’s nothing that can be done about it, not that I haven’t tried. I even own one of those artificial sun lamps, meant to trick your brain into feeling like the day is gloriously sunny. My brain was never tricked by it. Some time ago, I began to question my contempt for certain types of weather. Why should I hate something I can’t control? Moreover, what’s the point of preferring sun and warmth if I can’t also appreciate gloom and rain? The two conditions depend on one another, and I depend on them both. Both are a part of me.
Recently, I was driving home at the end of a chaotic work day, and it was raining, the fickle sort of rain that makes you sigh and confuses your windshield wipers. I was sitting at a stoplight when something came over me. I gazed through my moonroof to find a watery kaleidoscope of gray, constantly swirling and changing, and I thought, Each of those rain drops is falling exactly where it’s meant to fall. The rain is like me. This moment, I’m where I’m supposed to be.
The same goes for you and for all of us. If we want to make the year 2023 a happier one, we might try reconciling ourselves to the reality of what is, rather than pining for our own ideas of what is supposed to be. The weather seems a fine place to start.
That is all for Total Eddie 2022. If you’ve managed to read to the end of this, drop me a note, and I’ll send you a prize!

My new van, ‘Nancy’, beside my new board, ‘Scarlett’

12 replies »

  1. Just when I think you can’t get any more brilliant in your writing and sharing your random thoughts – you blow my mind. Happy New Year, Luke! I love you!

  2. Happy New Year! Love the new wheels! Thanks for sharing your highlights! FYI I am one of those crazy mobile Instacart shoppers. 😂

  3. Lucas! Thanks for sharing, I’ve missed your posts. Here’s to contentment, happy New Year from Montana.

    • Thank you Lisa. For your prize, I drove to a cold lake and paddle boarded four miles up wind to a spot with an amazing view of Mount Rainier. I asked the mountain to send blessings to you in Montana. 😌

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s