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The Tattoo, Joe Petroski, and the Llama Farm

January 5, 2004

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was a repeat, but I don't mind that at all. It's like watching the same movie two Friday nights in a row, a seventh visit to New York, or Christmas -- never the same thing twice. I could listen to a cello playing 'til the cows come home and go back out again, and hearing about Pastor Inqvist's life is always a real trip. I hope everyone on the show was enjoying a break. I imagine they get tired.

I know I'm tired. It's been one humdinger of a holiday, and New Year's Eve with the Johnsons wore me out. We watched a movie with subtitles (I can't for my own life remember the name but there was a desperately lonely man wanting someone to love), while all six kids played upstairs, hollering occasionally so we knew they were alive. We drank Pauline 's "Holiday Punch" -- a new recipe, made in a bucket -- and by the third drink it was midnight and we raised our glasses and toasted the New Year. It was an ordinary evening, really, though the part I've been thinking about since is our conversation about regrets. The Johnsons talked about buying the Winnebago last February, and Mr. Sundberg was mourning the fact that he didn't do the motivational speaking tour in Canada over the summer. I sat there listening and thinking of all the regrets I might have (the tattoo came mind, and Joe Petroski, and the llama farm) and it occurred to me that regret is about as pointless as guilt. That's when everyone looked at me and Mr. Sundberg said, "Your turn. What are you looking forward to?" "Forward" is a good word, as good as "reverie." I said summer evenings, and the kids' Mother's Day cards, and a weekend in Chicago. A night spent out dancing. A Whitman's Sampler on Valentine's Day, next Saturday's show, and thunderstorms.

Come to think of it, there's not much I'm not looking forward to. So there you have it, and a Happy New Year it is.

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