OK.

Here we are.

It’s time to take a serious look over the past year, and plan for the future.

In years past, I penned a couple columns in which I noted “I’m going to make a few resolutions and announce them to the world. It’s going to be very public. You can all hold me accountable to them.”

Nobody really held me to accounts, but I’m going to try again anyway!

RESOLUTION ONE

As soon as I possibly can, I’m going to make our new place a garden spot worthy of the neighbors’ admiration.

Immediately following our move to a new home, we were forced to fell almost every tree in the yard as a result of disease. (They were all dead or dying.)

The house is still cute, but the place is kinda barren. With an eye to serious improvement I’m already looking through seed and plant catalogs. Almost every evening.

I’m excited at the potential this new place holds. It’s going to be fun.

I also plan to plant a BIG vegetable garden with lots of zucchini. I’m going to need some place to take my grandson when he visits. I believe gardening holds a lot of life lessons for both little and big ‘kids.’

And now ...my prediction as to the fulfillment of this resolution, with the grading being from 1-to-10. One means it probably won’t happen, and 10 means it’s a sure thing.

Resolution Prediction Grade - 10.

This is definitely going to happen.

A) I love gardening, and ...

B) I, unfortunately, have a clean slate on which to work.

RESOLUTION TWO

I’ve tried this before, but I’m going to try again.

I’m going to be less grumpy in my weekly pontifications. I’m simply not going to let our national, state, and local politicos get me as upset as they have been doing in the past. I’m going to keep my cool.

There’s going to be a lot more “Hearts and Flowers” in 2014, and a lot less “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I implore you ...”

My prediction for success?

Resolution Prediction Grade -2. (Two being - “Probably ain’t going to happen, but I’ll try to be sweet.”)

I’d like to be less grumpy in my writing, but “they” make me crazy, so ...I suppose I need to resolve this and try a little harder this coming year.

Truth be known, I don’t necessarily enjoy being a grouch. I really would like to let my pen flow with more fun stuff.

RESOLUTION THREE

I promise to do everything I can to visit my grandson as often as possible.

That’s an easy one ...”

Resolution Prediction Grade - 10+. ( “Done Deal”)

I have, indeed, done everything I can to see my grandson, but I guess I never get enough of that so I’m going to renew that resolution - just for me!

I now have even more reason to visit and see him as often as possible. During a recent holiday visit to New York, he told me with great excitement and no little sense of pride: “Grandpa, you’re the best monster ever.”

It’s true. I AM the best monster ever!

All you other grandpas who think you’re pretty good monsters - step off.

I’m the best. My grandson told me so.

RESOLUTION FIVE

And now ...

I promise to balance any bad news we may need to print with good news as well. I already try to do that, but we’ll kick it up a notch.

And, by the way, if you folks out there don’t give me reason to publish bad news, I will be more than happy NOT to spend too much time searching out the more unfortunate stories.

Resolution Predication Grade - 10. (Done deal.)

I don’t enjoy having to write, assign stories, and publish news about the crappy things people do to themselves and each other.

So ...behave yourselves.

That’s it. My resolutions.

Now it’s time for you to review your past resolutions - even privately. Don’t fib.

And it’s time to determine some new ones for the year to come.

Be easy on yourselves, and have a great, prosperous, and productive New Year.