10 Small Good Things from 2022

Regifted from 62 NORD
Regifted from 62 NORD

Happy New Year!

On this first day of 2023, let others pen New Year’s resolutions. Why bother when stats show that by Valentine’s Day, 80% of us will have broken them. (All I can say is dice regrets, add small joys, find a substitute for guilt, forego kneading, top with gin, let rise and leave worries to ferment out.)

Instead, we’re looking backward (as we always do in this blog) to a conversation Magellan and I had in November on Small Good Things from 2022, five automatiste things that spontaneously popped up for each of us.

Magellan goes first, a significant #1… “I didn’t have a heart attack.”

I was sound asleep on Good Friday when I woke with chest pain, one of five symptoms of a heart attack. I “Googled” before waking Spice and phoning 911. The operator answered immediately and asked if I had taken any aspirin? “Yes–I’ve swallowed one.” “Silly boy–take four more and chew them.” Although paramedics are normally overworked on a Friday night, the ambulance arrived within minutes and ushered me into emergency. Defying the reputation of the medical system, blood work, EKG and X-rays were completed within 30 minutes, and again after two hours. All clear and I got to walk home at 5:00 am on a beautiful morning. But it took another hundred days before I was definitively advised that I hadn’t experienced either angina or a heart attack.

My turn, starting small. “My 2023 Moleskin diary—a special design dedicated to Frida Kahlo.”

After two decades of thinking about going to Oaxaca, it’s happening this winter, as well as Mexico City, where we’ll visit the Frida Kahlo Museum.

Magellan’s up next. “We had great weather in Iceland.” 

Friends had visited Iceland in July and advised it was “long-john” cold. The average temperature in Reykjavík in July was 10.6 degrees, the coldest July in this century. Rainfall was 72.6 mm, 45% above the average for the years 1991 to 2020.

We were targeting the world’s shortest shoulder season for tourists, arriving on August 24, just after the start of the new school year. But many attractions close in mid-September as roads close because of massive snow in the highlands. 

By Iceland standards, we had a tropical trip. The country recorded its highest temperature of the year, 25°C on August 30. We were warm and dry in our puff-jackets. Spice even wore her hiking skirt. September started windy and warm, a degree higher than normal, but deteriorated after we left on the 12th. A very bad storm swept over the country. 

Spice #2: “Campaigning for Colleen Hardwick for mayor.”

Colleen lost, sadly, but how rewarding to telephone voters, deliver pamphlets, meet new people and Burmashave (wave signs at busy intersections) for the best candidate.

“Newfoundland exceeded our expectations, and our RV didn’t blow up,” is Magellan’s third good thing.

There are some places in the world that are perfect for visiting with an RV. Newfoundland is one of them, as are New Zealand and Norway. There were a few glitches with the rental, but all solvable.

Spice #3: “For the first time in a dozen years, we heard coyotes at night.”


Magellan #4: “Covid was just an amuse-chest.”

Like an amuse-bouche, just a small bite. A cough and fatigue for only two days, then two more weeks of few symptoms but positive tests.

Spice #4: Re-reading and discussing George Saunders’ The Tenth of December, in our Calgary Book Club.

Time says he’s “The best short-story writer in English—not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.” Here’s a link to Victory Lap, the first story in the book. (You’re welcome.) About literature he says, “It reminds us that things— things out here, in the real world—are always many ways at once… We get a glimpse of who we might be if we decided/opined/were sure less often, or a little later in the game.”

Our last “Small Good Things” both relate to our granddaughter.

Magellan #5:

Our visit with Clare and Keenan in Halifax and the great Airbnbs we stayed in.

Spice’s #5:

Yes, the meals they cooked for us and the new coffee we discovered thanks to Clare.

Now let’s hear from you. What are your Small Good Things from 2022?


Hubbard, Janine. “Most New Year’s resolutions will fail in 6 weeks. Here’s how you can beat the odds.” CBC News, Jan 3, 2020. 

Saunders, George. Liberation Day. New York: Random House, 2022.

Saunders, George. The Tenth of December.  New York: Random House, 2010. 

Words by Bloomsbury. “A short story’s whole function is to make us wonder more deeply.” 20 Oct 2022.

Former French Consulate Transformed into Modern Suite.

Over Sea. Magellan found this real estate management company, which offers a nice choice of accommodation in Halifax and Newfoundland.

12 Responses

  1. Estela and I hosted the Boudreau sons and grandchildren for a week in Hilton Head SC last August. Due to COVID, and because they live in Tulsa and Calgary, it has been hard to be just “Zoom” grandparents.
    In July we sold the condo and went back to a single family house. Everything is on one level so much less stress on Estela’s knees. Plus I have a huge basement for storage.

    1. If our small joys were based on reflection rather than spontaneity, I would have included “comments on our blog”—they mean so much to us so TY.

  2. To look into the rear view mirror of life in 2022 I am thankful to not having contracted Covid even though it came to visit our house for Christmas 2022. My thankfulness did not extend to my wife Deb and daughter Melanie as they both contracted the virus from one another following air flight into Saskatoon.
    Air travel seems to be a frequent carrier for Covid so I will abstain for a while more.
    We did learn another lesson this year as we lost a much loved husky of about 12 years, thinking ahead we immediately found a Malamute Pup thinking we needed to fill that gap directly and provide support for our other Mal, “Teeka” as she is getting up in years too.
    Not sure if we are learning more than the pup but at best it’s a draw as her physical stamina is my undoing as she is non stop go, go, go. Wow.
    2023 is now dedicated to training Bayley, the new pup, and I am sure my physical health will now be improved greatly.

    If I may, Magellan mentioned the 911 operator, telling him to take a handful of aspirin. You may want to ask your Dr. about this as a first aid instructor advised me that if you have all ready taken 1 aspirin, not to take more.(may be worthy of an ask)

    Cheers to all in 2023

    1. I should have clarified that I had swallowed an 81 mg low dose aspirin, and then under 911 advice, chewed 4 more low dose aspirins. Harvard Health recommends “For the best results, chew a single full-sized 325-mg tablet, but don’t use an enteric-coated tablet, which will act slowly even if chewed.”

  3. When did I go from wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New year to a happy and healthy New Year? Pat and I wish you both a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year with lots of travel and Sunday blogs for us to look forward to. ❤️

    1. When the lights of health go down (as they have so often these past few years with both the pandemic and aging), the words “Be well” and “Happy and Healthy” are becoming our greetings aren’t they?

  4. Love this New Years look back! Yes small things can make your life the best. Plenty to be thankful for, happy to be healthy and enjoying life.. Happy New Year, I am sure you will love all that Oaxaca has to offer, looking forward to the foodie report. 2023 will be a great year…❤️🎶🍷, thanks for the weekly blogs..Heather

    1. TY Heather. Here’s what George Saunders sent out today about New Years: “We don’t get an infinite number of these dang “new” years. Here’s to increased amiability, more friendship, joy, belly-laughs, and moments of clarity.” I think we’ll be sharing belly-laugh stories about Mexico…

  5. Happy New Year- this says it all.

    piece of fire.

    i have no new expectations for the
    year ahead. just let me live the
    way that i know best. let me feel
    the earth on my feet and rejoice
    that i am still standing. let me
    listen to the waves of the sea and
    find peace in knowing that the
    tides always return to wash over
    me. let me dream about sunsets that
    are not promised and skies that are
    not always blue. let me make love to
    conversations that bring me closer
    to knowing myself and closer to
    believing in something much bigger
    than the four square walls of my
    own chest. and let me rest. oh lord,
    let me rest. and should i be so
    blessed to have this place where i
    can grow,
    let me remember to give
    more than i receive. to listen more
    than i speak. and to understand
    that everyone is searching for a
    little piece of
    fire. may i take part
    in building that.


    1. “…everyone is searching for a little piece of fire…” What a mantra; so nice to hear from you and thanks Lorie—may you be fired up in 2023. (Coincidentally, last night Magellan poured his last beer of 2022 into “Neil’s glass.”)

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