Ready for the journey that 2022 will bring

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Welcome 2022! 

At least, I hope we will want to welcome the New Year.  It has been a couple of difficult years.  Remember when we thought 2020 couldn’t leave fast enough?  While 2021 seems to have been less difficult, I think we will all agree that we’re ready for this nasty COVID to fade away.  Optimistically, we slog into 2022.  

My husband reminded me of the New Year of 1978 and how the cold, wintry weather swept in, much like this New Year is forecast to have.  It was the day of the launch of construction of our new house on January 2, 1978, the result of much planning and anticipation.  We had met with our builder, Mr. James Coleman, a talented, reputable gentleman who had provided us with a do-able estimate in the months leading up to the new year.  We knew of his earlier builds for Ernie Harland, Robert Khayat, and David Sansing, to name a few. All quality builds.  

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Even before the construction on our house started, our neighbors welcomed us to the neighborhood.  Mr. John Henry Adams, father to Jack Adams, came on his tractor and bush hogged the property, allowing us to see how really beautiful the land was where our new home was to sit (adjacent to what is now The Farmstead on Woodson Ridge).  What remained was for us to pull the kudzu vines down from the many pecan trees.  So many trees and so many vines!   

Little did any of us anticipate that on that launch day when Mr. Coleman had planned to dig footings for our new house would also be a cold, snowy day.  In Oxford!  On Woodson Ridge Road.  He chuckled and said he’d be back when the weather allowed.  The next week brought yet another round of snow!  Who knew that snow would once again dust our would-be home site?  The temperature remained quite cold, and the ground was frozen.  It seemed cruel that for an area that hardly ever sees snow to see it swirling about for consecutive weeks.  But it did!  

Finally, Mr. Coleman and his son Donald were able to begin construction in earnest.  And with only one other crew member, progress seemed slow.  And while we had been meticulous with the house plans, every day brought the need for decisions about one thing or another.  So many decisions!  Mr. Coleman would listen patiently to me and my thoughts about the particulars.  But when it came time for a definitive decision, he always sought my husband’s final word on the subject.  Not that it was a bad thing, it was just the way Mr. Coleman was accustomed to doing business, with the man of the house.  Mr. Coleman was quite the craftsman, and it was a pleasure to watch him work.  He and his small crew of two did the bulk of the construction, only subcontracting the brick work and painting.  

By the time the house was nearing completion, the weather had taken a significant turn to warm weather.  In fact, when we moved into our new abode on May 25, it was downright hot!  Quite a swing from the January 2 start date!  We lived there until downsizing in 2005.  And sadly, the house burned a couple of years later.  

My thoughts are to reflect on years past but look forward to the possibilities of a New Year.  Think about the positives and build on those.  Manage your stress, manage your money.  Be intentional.  Write down your goals.  Life is a journey.  Stay motivated and be hopeful always!

Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle. Contact her at