Monday, December 31, 2007

Highlights of 2007

It's New Year's Eve at MarathonMum HQ and we are celebrating in style. We have already played a rousing game of Harry Potter Scene It (Thanks Santa!), Thing One and Thing Two are currently amusing themselves by watching Wallace and Gromit while I compile this short list of the year's highlights. I would have liked to have blogged about many of the things included on the list, but life got in the way, so now I'm trying to recover by including it in my Year in Review. I should say that when I was a newspaper reporter, this sort of story would have been written about a month ago so it could run today while I was somewhere else. But alas, as I had no editor breathing down my neck asking where the year end story was, that didn't happen here. But without further adieu, here's my personal highlights:

Compliment of the Year: Thing One, Thing Two and I were riding an Amtrak train from Washington to Philadelphia one rainy Friday. We were sitting in a quartet of seats, with the fourth seat being taken up by an older man who took the seat grudingly and only because it was the last available one on the train. After a bad storm, the train slowed to only 6 m.p.h. and consequently was delayed by more than two hours after lightening had hit the power station. But we endured, reading books, doing sticker books, eating the care package that Aunt Christine had made us and enjoying our portable gaming devices. As we got up to leave in Philadelphia, the older gentleman turned to me and said, "You have very well behaved children."

Story of the Year: Without a doubt, The Canoe Man. Amazing. Man presumed dead after kayaking. Walks into a police station years later, saying he can't remember anything. But ACTUALLY, he was living next door to his wife, using a secret passage between houses, they pay off their debts and move to Panama. Now here's a lesson for people planning to do the same thing: DON'T AGREE TO HAVE YOUR PICTURE POSTED ON THE INTERNET, EVEN IF YOU ARE IN PANAMA. The Interweb, and especially Google, is an amazing thing. You should also know that Canoe Man is a misnomer, but that's the nickname the British press came up with, and it stuck.

Sports Highlight of the Year: Being in a first-place tie (for one day, but still) in my Villanova friend's NCAA tournament. Very impressive, I think, particularly when you consider that I was one of two international entrants (the other one was in China, stealing the Furthest Away Crown from me. Drat.)

Trip Highlight of the Year: Has to be, hands down, getting to see the inside of the infirmary at Disneyland Paris on Thing One's 8th Birthday. This could also be called the "Maternal Lowpoint of the Year" since I kept saying to Thing One, "Come on! You'll be fine! We're in Disneyland, for goodness sake!"

Worst Play of the Year: "We the People" at the Globe Theatre. It was written by Eric Schlosser, best known as the author of "Fast Food Nation." Should we have been dubious that a play about the forming of the American constitution should have been a good one? Yes, indeedy. But I did pass some of the time looking at each audience member, trying to see if Schlosser's father-in-law Robert Redford was there. He was not. We left.

Best Book of the Year: "The Road." Incredibly haunting, and not a particularly enjoyable read, but amazing just the same.

Saddest Story of the Year: The Cutty Sark Fire. For the residents of Greenwich, it was like a death in the family. She will rise again, though, for that we can be sure.

Best Musical of the Year: I have to say that I don't usually go in for musicals, but this year I got to enjoy two: Mary Poppins with Thing Two in September and The Sound of Music with Thing One in December. I'm hoping they took away some wonderful memories from our "dates" but even if they didn't, we had a great time. Even funnier, it was the second time that Thing One had been at the London Palladium, having seen "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" there was he was nearly three. Sadly, he didn't remember it at all, not even the flying car.

Best Meal of the Year: Thanksgiving. Once again, we hosted a Thanksgiving party for 22 of our closest friends and their children, and the majority of attendees did not hold U.S. passports. But who cares. It was a great day of sublime food, and all the better if more people can learn to appreciate the best holiday of the year.

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful 2008 full of good highlights. See you next year!

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