Greetings, my fellow port swillers, and happy new year!

In what was perhaps a fitting tribute to 2017, New Year’s Eve at Port Swiller Manor proved completely and utterly random this year.  First, Mrs. Robbo had to catch a red-eye flight to Flarduh Saturday night because her grandmother has taken a turn for the worst, thereby breaking up our planned festivities.  (UPDATE:  Good nooz – things seem to have stabled up for now. )  Subsequently, both the younger gels got invited to New Year’s Eve parties at friends’ houses, where they slept over.  That left Eldest and me.  Eldest, who has a nasty cold, went to bed around 8:00 pm, so I simply read some Charles Portis,* listened to some Dvorak,** and went to bed myself a couple hours later.

Oh, and it was 8 degrees above this morning.

Anyhoo, thank Heaven 2017 is over and done with.  What a year.  I am, of course, speaking on a personal level, what with losing the Mothe and the impending loss of Mrs. R’s grandmother (which, for psychological accounting purposes, I’m including in the 2017 column).  In terms of the broader state of things, frankly Ol’ Robbo has been stuffing his face with popcorn and laughing his posterior off.  (If you haven’t read it yet, by the bye, I heartily recommend Dave Barry’s Year In Review column.)  The joke I’ve heard from at least three or four different people, responding to the insanity of the year that just was, is “2018: Hold My Beer And Watch This!

Back on the personal side, 2018 is going to be a Milestone Year at Port Swiller Manor:  My marriage to Mrs. Robbo will turn 25 in June.  The Gels will turn, respectively, 20, 18, and 16 in the next few weeks and months.  Middle Gel will start college this fall.  That’s all pretty impressive, if I may say so without sounding the braggart, and worthy of celebration.

So, let’s all take a deep breath and get on with it……

* His Masters of Atlantis.  It’s always been my least-favorite of his five novels but it grows on me with each re-reading.

** His Slavonic Dances cycle.  Just for fun.