From the desk of Dora DePaoli: The year past, the year new

January 12, 2001

I am thankful for tons of things in the year just past. Mostly I am appreciative that my family and I have enjoyed wonderful health and had the opportunity to get together many times. I am grateful to be able to enjoy my children and grandchildren and friends and relatives and to have a part-time job with wonderful co-workers.

My family and I had a relaxing Christmas and New Year's holiday. We took lots of walks and bike rides, played cards and visited the desert a couple times. One of our no muss/no fuss activities over the holidays was driving around looking at the many beautiful lights. A couple of nights we took off in flannel pajamas to enjoy the sites. We probably would have had a tough time explaining several pajama-clad people to a police officer if we had been stopped. I guess it is no worse than going to the market in fuzzy bedroom slippers.


Last year many lovely people died. They are all missed by family and friends. Some of those are Bonnie Beth McCormick, Harry Walters, Bill Rudolph, Tom Stacey, Joyce Thompson, Aaron Strahm and my husband's 87-year-old aunt, Mary DePaoli, of Globe, Ariz.

Keith Savage and Faye Forsmark, both of Holtville, died between Christmas and New Years.

Many mourners are grateful for God's promise in Micah 7:8:

"When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me."

When my husband died at a young age I was comforted, like many others before me, with these words written by George Gordon: "Heaven gives its favorites early death."

Perhaps in the new year I will finally understand some things that puzzle me. For instance, why do many law enforcement people refer to their suspects as "ladies" or "gentlemen"? On police shows I have heard things like "the gentleman" was seen leaving the elderly woman's apartment through a window with a television, or "the lady" was apprehended while selling drugs to an undercover policeman. Webster's describes a lady as a woman of refinement and gentle manners and a gentleman as a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior.

My nephew, Henry, shared some manageable New Year's resolutions a person could probably keep:

Stop exercising. Waste of time.

Read less. Makes you think.

Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.

Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.

Take a vacation to someplace important, like to see the largest ball of twine.

Start being superstitious.

Personal goal: bring back disco.

Not wrestle with Jesse Ventura.

Buy an '83 Eldorado and invest in a really loud stereo system.

Get the windows tinted. Buy some fur for the dash.

Get further in debt.

Associate with even worse business clients.

Wait around for opportunity.

Focus on the faults of others.

Mope about my faults.

Recently I spotted this personalized license plate in Holtville: SERVIAM. Turns out it belongs to the Rev. Cecilio Moraga, priest at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. SERVIAM is Latin for "in service," something for which we might all strive.

I hope I will keep that in mind in the new year as well as the following thought I recently read: "We would be well on the way to perfection if we could weed out one vice from ourselves each year."

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