A TGB READER STORY: Rings and Things
The Alex and Ronni Show – The First One of 2020

Happy New Year 2020


It is good to have these few days at the end of an old year and beginning of a new one to reflect on what has been and wonder at what will come.

In my personal life, I gained a second disease, COPD, and just kept going anyway even though all the statistics say I should be dead of pancreatic cancer by now.

Obviously, I am not and am living in golden time – way past my life expectancy. I am grateful beyond measure.

Outside my personal milieu, there are only two stories that matter: Climate change and what fresh hell Trump will inflict upon us next. I think a lot about the immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers – especially the children snatched from those parents and scattered around the 50 states.

The Trump administration kept poor records and some of those families will never be reunited. America, the United States of America, made this happen and I am ashamed.

The big thing about a brand new year is that we have a clean slate upon which to imagine how we can collectively make things better. Maybe we're only dreaming but every great thing I ever heard of began with a dream.

As has been so in years past, I am deeply fortunately to have the best group of readers any blogger could wish for. You are here every day – smart, caring, thoughtful, compassionate, funny, and you say the nicest things.

As this new year makes it way through the universe, may every one of us have enough.

[This post will stay up through tomorrow and we will return with a new post as usual on Friday.]

Now, tell us about your 2019 and your dreams for 2020.


Dear Ronni,
And I am always grateful for you! Happy New Year!

I always remember sitting in Greenwich Village breaking bread, eating mussels and drinking wine with you when I met you for the first time. You encouraged me in my early blogging days, and have been a role model for me for the past 15 years.

Sending love and light to you,

Ronni, I always appreciate your thoughtful comments and amusing Saturday videos. Thanks!

Happy New Year to you, Ronni. Let's keep on kicking. Best to all who pass through here ... we're a tough old bunch.

A dream for 2020 is that all the identity-theft, scams, robocalls, and other digital tom-foolery will disappear. I awoke in a brand new year to find someone has been messing with my teacher pension account. I will spend the first few days of the year straightening that out.

Happy New Year, Ronni.

Happy New Year, Ronnie!

I know it's just another day, but somehow, this year, I'm hopeful for good things to happen.

Delightful, Ronni and Commentators all (well to:dkzody, hope that your pension issue gets straightened out quickly and without undue suffering.)

As a fat squirrel sits in my wild bird feeder, gobbling down the contents, I have faith he won't be there too much longer.....or was I making a wish about the current resident of the White House?

Blessings and gratitude to all in 2020.

Happy New Year Ronni -I wish you and all who come to your bloghouse the best possible health and happiness in this new century.
I am burying myself in Leonard Cohen videos - so much to say to us older folks!

Always begin a new year with hope and optimism. Things will always get better. We are closer to the time when we can look forward to a new president. Take heart! Happy New Year....ellie

Best wishes to you, Ronni, and all the readers of this blog. I feel like I have found a new family and there are many days when something Ronni or a reader has posted stays with me throughout the day. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes thought provoking but always meaningful.

My biggest wish for 2020 is that we restore our faith in our democracy and get rid of Trump. I'm holding out that the Senate will put country and the constitution over their personal agendas, allow necessary witnesses and vote their conscience. Wishful thinking?

As an immigrant myself, I'm mortified at the separation of families at the border and the lasting effects on the children. Just read a story in the local newspaper that a Trump owned winery in Virginia waited until all the grapes had been picked, processed and bottled and then fired undocumented workers that had been employed there for at least a decade. Who will harvest the grapes next year?

Cornel West said it best, for me anyway: “I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” Let's all hope 2020 is a better year in many, many ways.

Cheers, Ronni!

2019 was a lousy year for me. Trump in the White House and me limited by back and leg pain. The year ended in rehab, after back surgery on 12/3. Now I'm recovering at home (alone).

In 2020, I'm hopeful and optimistic. I'lll get to drive again pretty soon. I'll turn 77, which seems a lucky age, and my dog will return from a friend's house when I'll be able to put her food and water dishes on the floor. I'm hoping for a new, Democrat President, and I'm hoping I can work in the yard. I'll be putting in lots of shrubs (flowering) and easy perennials, in recognition of some realities of older age.

I'll be reading your postings every day, Ronnie. I love your writing and your information and insights. I send my love to you every day, even though it's rarely put out as a comment. Wishing you, and all, the best of new years.

I'm very grateful to have discovered your blog more than a year ago and appreciate your honesty in writing about your health issues (as well as other topics). Like you, I'm horrified and ashamed by our treatment of immigrants, especially separating families.

My main hope for the coming year is that out of all this turmoil and chaos comes more kindness and compassion toward others. I see it as the only hope for our country.

Happy New Year Ronni. It's been a mixed year for us 2019, several graduations of grandkids, high school and college. The married grandgirl and her spouse returned from Georgia and bought a house a mile from me. One girl came down with sepsis from an undiagnosed appendix but is recovering. Another is engaged to a young man I would happily adopted. I have COPD and am recently told I have heart failure. Even so I will be 78 this winter and after the initial shock and tears realized something is bound to get me sometime and I've quit worrying about it. Other than wanting to see more of family and friends I like my life and am making only small adjustments at this point.

For 2020 I am working with a others to get our 18+ voters registered and out to vote. I hope you all will too so we can unseat many who should not be in public service. I really have no formal plans for 2020 at this point beyond trying to be a kinder, better person.

Happy New Year to all!

It feels oddly metaphorical, but my husband and I spent last night and this morning watching the Ken Burns documentary on Lewis and Clark. It originally came out more than 20 years ago and we've seen it more than once over the years on PBS, but we recently picked it up on video at a thrift store and needed to watch it to see if it even worked. It did and I found myself drawn in to this remarkable story once again.

I say it feels somewhat metaphorical because it left me reminded that we never know what lies ahead, even when we think we have a pretty good idea, and that what seem like insurmountable odds are often overcome. The trials and tribulations of the Corps of Discovery as they made this journey were almost inconceivable. And to think that Sacagawea went along, with a newborn, and not only survived the journey to the Pacific and back, but that her son thrived astonishes me yet again. Not only did she go along, but she may been the linchpin that held everything together and kept them from being murdered more than once.

May this new year and new decade bring us enlightenment and restore our sense of direction. I'd like to think that the forces that came together in 1804 can still exert themselves again 216 years later.

Happy, healthy New Year to you, Ronni, and deepest, most sincere hopes for a better political and moral situation in America in the year to come.

I joined this blog just a few weeks age and enjoy it so much! It's rare to find on-line communication that is so honest, kind, and thoughtful (as in thinking rather than reacting). And best of all, it is by and for old/er people! We are fortunate to have lived long enough to experience "old age", which for many of us translates into a greater love and gratitude for life.

My personal goal for 2020 is simply to be able to continue what feeds my spirit: reading and learning, participating in discussion groups, taking care of my grandchildren, gardening, and staying in touch with the people I care about.

My hope for our country is that liberals and conservatives can recognize we're in this together and stop demonizing one another. We really need to work together to understand and address the big issues of our times.

Agree totally on the two important issues of climate change and the danger our democracy is in.

I saw a man with a T shirt today that simply said...
courage, honor and integrity. And I though trump has none of those attributes...none.

He is immoral and anyone who thinks otherwise has really been conned or they are just like him.

Hoping 2020 will turn things around....against the odds...

Welcome, 2020! I will work hard to
turn my adopted state. arizona, either blue or at least more purple, to elect gun sense majorities in the Senate and keep them in the House so that the Background Check Bill finally gets passed and to continue to educate families about the importance of keeping guns away from children and family members that may be a danger to themselves or others. Go, MOMS!

Although preventing gun violence is the issue I chose to work on, I also care about replacing the current administration with one that values human beings more than wealth and power.

Personally, I am working on being kinder and more patient. Right now if I see one of my peers (invariably an old white guy) walk into a restaurant wearing a MAGA or Trump 2020 hat, I still feel like walking up and screaming “How CAN you support a guy like him?” which is fruitless as well as rude!

I am grateful for the joy and depth of 'knowing' you, and for the wonder of this present moment. For the first time in my life, relaxing more into what is, rather than what should be.

Happy New Years to all my follow Ronnie followers and to you too, Ronnie. I loved reading everyone's comments...I will add my own. I am down and out and depressed about what lies ahead for the USA. Perhaps reading the new Margaret Atwood book is scaring me or perhaps just knowing about how our Supreme Court is stacked by you know who is enough. Humans are short sighted. They will vote for power. They will vote for wealth. A high stock market is the ticket to keep the moron monster in place. Sigh..Horror.

Wishing all a good 2020. I want to be wrong. Universe are you listening? ???

When the next "Roaring Twenties" ends in 2029, I will (God willing) be 85 years old. Knowing that hardly anybody in my family ever lived past their mid-eighties I will be paying close attention to every new ache, pain, discoloration, throbbing, wheeze, cough and twinge. And, should any of those "signs" turn out to be more than just old age. I know (through reading your blog) I will face whatever comes about with courage, grace and, I hope, humor. The best of the New Year to you, Ronnie, and all of your readers.

Thank you Susan R for reminding me of these words from Cornel West,  “I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” 

They brought to mind another gentleman's words I first read in the 70's, Lewis Thomas, writing essays for a medical journal. I think this may have been in his book "Lives of a Cell : Notes of a Biology Watcher". (not certain) but it seems more relevant today than ever before. My wish for all of us is that this wise man is right and we as humans will find our 'connectedness'  and common purpose once again.

  "I maintain, despite the moment's evidence against the claim, that we are born and grow up with a fondness for each other, and we have genes for that. We can be talked out of it, for the genetic message is like a distant music, and some of us are hard-of-hearing. Societies are noisy affairs, drowning out the sound of ourselves and our connection".
Lewis Thomas  

Happy New Year Ronni, from somewhere on the road heading south.

Ronni, you continue to be a motivating force in my life.

Respect and appreciation.

"You've got to treasure.

Treasure what you've got.

Treasure what you've got."

(Earth Wind and Fire)

May your blessings continue Ronni. I'm afraid this new year will bring more concerns for me as I learn to work with my dear husband. All I can say is dementia is a b... and we are just starting.

My 2019 went by in a blink. I must have been busy enough. Funny how time goes by so quickly at 73 when senior English class seemed to last 8 hours in the high school days. My hope for 2020 is to spend lots of time with our 7 year old grandson who exudes bottomless Joy for every day and enthusiasm for new challenges and adventures. Keeps us on our toes. My other hope is for wisdom for our elected officials to be unselfish and do the will of those who elected them. My goal is to find my husband’s Danish ancestors and my Czech and Polish ancestors who braved stormy sea crossings to begin life in a new land with freedoms they only dreamed of overseas.

Wishing the planet a better 2020 than it had in 2019. As for me, it's just another year and "we'll see what happens" (to quote the most deplorable occupant of the Oval Office in my lifetime). Que sera sera. . .BIG hopes for the November election!

I also hope for continued good news in 2020 from your doctors for you Ronnie, and the continuation of your blog with all your valued information and insight.

Happy New Year Ronnie and to all of you! Always a pleasure to read your posts Ronnie. I learn so much from all of you. Let’s take a day at a time and live life fully!

Happy New Year Ronni, so glad you are here to celebrate the new year and decade with all of us.

I love your blog so much. I'm hoping you stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Belated Happy New Year, Ronni!

January is my favorite month, I think. One of your readers (?) on an earlier post paraphrased from Anne of Green Gables about the New Year being “fresh, with no mistakes in it”. That resonates with me.

After days and days of dreary rain and blank grey-white skies, we finally have a glorious blue sky today. I feel my soul rise. Wishing you and your “collective” health and joy for 2020.

“The year is done. I spread the past three hundred sixty-five days before me on the living room carpet… I fold the good days up and place them in my back pocket for safekeeping. Draw the match. Cremate the unnecessary. The light of the fire warms my toes. I pour myself a glass of warm water to cleanse myself for January. Here I go. Stronger and wiser into the new.”

– Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

I'm an optimist. I have some back pain, but am managing it. I left my old home but made some new friends. Am exercising more regularly. And I recognize that politics have gotten out of hand, with hate on both sides, but I have hope for better in the future. (Why? Because when you actually talk to people, unlike the media, most of them are reasonable and respectful, even with people they disagree with.)

Happy New Year wishes to you for continued healthy-feeling years to come. My nature is to be optimistic for the future with hope that truth in all areas will prevail to preserve our democratic republic and address our environmental climate issues.

Hi Ronni - thank you for all the pertinent and thoughtful comments ... you make me think. I hope your life carries on in its golden glow - and I too am so grateful for the blogging fraternity.

The world is another story let's hope we can come through unscathed - with thoughts to us all - cheers to you, yours and all of us - Hilary

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