28 December 2023

Closing out the Year with Some Loose Ends

First of all, there's no "auld lang syne" in my house.  My husband Allan and I are more than happy to see the end of 2023 because it's been a hard year. A very hard year.

It started off with a call from a Florida detective to tell us that Allan's son, Eric, died in his sleep (he was only 53). It was the kind of call that we knew was coming (he'd been living on the beaches in Florida for 10-15 years), but it's still horrific when it comes. And never to be forgotten. 

Anyway, we started making plans as to what to do about the body... 

And then came a fight between exes, etc., for Eric's body, which got so complicated that I wasn't sure if I wasn't in "The Wrong Box", or "The Comedy of Terrors", or a soon to be a new version of "Vacation at Bernie's".  Among other things, there was a semi-fraudulent so-called mortician, another real mortician who turned out to be a drunk, and a torrential rain storm… 

I'm still juggling it all around in my head. But sooner or later, I'll figure out a way to write about it in a story.  As we all know, everything's grist to the mill to a writer.  

Also, Allan was in the hospital 4 times this year, March, May, July, and December (he just got out last week, barely in time for Christmas) for low blood pressure, then COPD exacerbation, for internal bleeding, and the last time for another COPD exacerbation. Our calendar is full of doctors' appointments, so we're having an active social life. Of sorts.  

Meanwhile, dear friends, this is why no Christmas cards have gone out in the continental United States...

As for me, I'm a bit fragile myself (I've been diagnosed with migraine headaches, when I always thought it was just really bad sinus trouble, on top of the a long-ago diagnosis of arthritis and osteoporosis), but I manage to take care of Allan pretty well. 

The good news is that Allan has done 3 portraits and is currently working on a memorial sculpture. 

And I'm still writing and getting published in various magazines and anthologies. The latest is "The Four Directions" in Black Cat Weekly #120 December 17, 2023.


And now for some loose ends of stories I can't forget or just found out about:

Back on Nov. 2nd, in my "Crime and Punishment" blogpost (HERE), I brought up the case of Arnold March, 91, who was arrested for shooting his son.  But the story never mentioned the son's name, and nothing else was said for quite a while.  Well, there's finally been an update:  

Earlier this week, 91-year-old Arnold March was arrested and charged with attempted murder for shooting his son. Since the incident, Dan March, who was at first NOT identified by authorities, has gone through three surgeries to fix the gunshot wound to his arm.  Dan was transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and a family member started a GoFundMe to try and help cover some of the medical expenses.  (HERE)  

And then there's a new one:  I would like to say I've heard it all, but this one has me going WTF? 

"A man was shot dead in the parking lot of the YMCA on November 15, 2023. [Police Capt. Tanner] Jondahl said, officers have determined two vehicles pulled into the parking lot and one person shot the other in the north entrance of the YMCA parking lot." While they finally named the victim - 70 year old Donald Michael Heinz - four days later, the shooter has not yet been named, nor have any charges been filed. “We want to have all the evidence before making a charging decision,” Brown County State's Attorney Winter said.  (HERE)  (Who is the shooter related to anyway? T. Denny Sanford?)


Meanwhile, going back to hospitals and doctors and such, it's my confirmed decision that what is desperately needed in this country are hospital doulas, who (if you've been in hospital for a certain number of days) will go home and/or meet you at your home and help you the first day back.  I had to bring every piece of home medical equipment to the hospital so they "could see if it was doing a good job for him", and then, the last day, lug it all back home, and then hook it all up again, AND go get new prescriptions, and did I mention dinner time?  Seriously.  GIVE US DOULAS!!!!  


But let's leave this year on a good note:  I remember, back in 1970 or was it 71? Sitting in the back of the Whisky a Go-Go in L.A., on  Sunset Strip, getting a little – okay, a LOT – merry, while John Mayall played on stage…

So here's my annual farewell to the year, an oldie but a goodie, "Farewell December" by John Mayall.

Time for reflection…
Winter is here
Goodbye December
The passing away of a year…

Watching the day of the wind
Blowing the dirt from the sky
Clearing the air for tomorrow
Bidding December goodbye

Make celebration...
Another year is gone
Now part of history
Got to be moving along…

Look for the sunrise…
Old days are dead
Goodbye December
Got a big future ahead

        — John Mayall


  1. Absolutely hope we all have a better '24 and gosh that goes double for you two.
    Enjoyed the song, I wasn't familiar with it.
    Lifting a glass to you both.

  2. 2023 has been a bad year in so many ways and I am sorry that it has been especially bad for you and your husband and family.
    But art is good and writing is good and I hope they will continue to be consolations for you both and that 2024 will bring many good things.

  3. Thanks Jan and Janice - yes, we have hopes for a better 2024! And let the writing and art continue for us all!

  4. Good job Eve. I totally agree with you. I for one am looking forward to 2024. I am so glad to be out of the hospital and home with you. Happy New Year everyone.

  5. Eve, tell Allan that Kiti and I say Hi. It's been several years since we met you two for breakfast at the restaurant south of the airport in Sioux Falls and talked for quite a while. We wish you well.

  6. R.T., I remember it well, and it was really nice. Any time you're going to be in the neighborhood, give us a call!

  7. Wow. You and Allan have taken a beating. I confess I had to look up doula.

    In the meantime, congratulations on the stories and I hope you and Allan have a fabulous New Year.

  8. Eve, I hadn't listened closely to the Mayall song before but… nice! I'm not sure what to call the genre… folksy, bluesy, semi-progressive… but the harmonica works oddly well. BTW, Mayall is 90!


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