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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Marking The Eighth Decade

2019 marked the start of my eighth decade. And this post, my 2019th, marks the end of this limited run series initiated on March 3 when I matched my 1949th post with events from 1949, the year that kicked off my first decade. This is your last chance to share something in this series. What was significant for you about the year 2019?

Aside from the out-of-the-park surprise birthday party my wife and daughter pulled off to mark my 70th birthday on November 23, I think 2019 is destined to be the "year before Covid". Oddly, my wife and daughter and I had decided 2019 was going to be the last time we hosted my family for Christmas Eve. No drama was associated with our decision; we simply concluded that hosting for almost forty years was long enough. And then, because Covid was still raging when Christmas 2020 rolled around, everyone in my family hunkered down and did their own thing. That rendered our abandonment of the longstanding family tradition a non-issue. I'm still not sure if anyone in my family will pick up where we left off on Christmas 2019 when the holiday arrives this year. And with only one of my four nieces still living nearby, it's quite possible my whole family may not get together for Christmas Eve ever again. 

If that becomes the case, 2019 could be additionally memorable as the year of the final Barton family Christmas Eve hurrah. I will miss it.

Reflections From The Bell Curve: Gobsmacked


  1. Would love to respond to this post with some pictures of 2019 Christmas Eve, but can't seem to make it happen. Lots of good memories of 40 years of family fun...looking forward to however we end up celebrating with family in the future.

  2. OMG. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I revisited my 2019 calendar and although I knew it was "before COVID" this really drove the point home. So many in person lunches, dinners, parties, visits from friends and family, workshops, Nia jams, Broadway theater, etc.etc. Plus a trip to Southeast Asia with my husband and a trip to Poland, Austria and Germany with my daughter and grandson. A serious surgery that my husband had. And like you Christmas Eve with family. Whew!

    1. Ines; I know what you mean about the 2019 vs. 2020 calendar. When 2020 started out (i.e. before Covid locked us all down), I'd written a blog post about how that year was shaping up to be the one taking me away from home more than any year since my rock n' roll road years; we had at least five extended trips planned, including one to Peru. Instead, we barely left Monmouth County that whole year. Yikes! Thank goodness we the vaccinated are beginning to crawl out from under Covid's long shadow.

  3. Good afternoon, Pat. I hope this finds you and your family doing well.
    2019 is memorable for a number of reasons, and not just because it's only 2 years ago and easily remembered. January 1, 2019 I officially retired after 33 years with the State of NJ. My original plan was to retire this coming January - 2022. But sometimes even the best plans change for one reason or another. So, although it wasn't initially planned this way, it became clear to me and my wife that 'it was time to go'. So, I retired. There was a period of adjustment as I really hadn't thought much about retiring prior to my wife and I discussing it and my making my plans known in September/October 2018. But, all in all, I'd have to say it's worked out pretty well. My wife retiring not long after was a definite positive. Spending more time with our grandsons - a definite plus. My sister and brother-in-law - the closest people to me aside from my children, grandchildren and my lovely wife - also retired at the same time as I did, which allowed us to spend even more time together. And being able to take classes through Brookdale's Lifelong Learning Program gave me the opportunity to be back at a place that means a lot to me and to also meet some new, and really great, people. One of them writes a Blog you may be familiar with.

    Be well .. And slightly altering a line from The Happenings .. 'See you in October'.

    1. Bob; 2019 was indeed a big year for you. I'm pleased we've gotten acquainted since then and sincerely appreciate your enthusiastic support of my classes and my blog. One of the best parts for me has been how much of your story I've gotten to know thanks to your frequent comments here. Needless to say, I love your tag line. I've been known to steal that same song title myself from time to time; comes in handy. doesn't it?