Happy New You



12/31/07 05:35:55 AM

Where has the year gone? Has it gone into the trash heap or the archives; I’m not sure which. Into the archives is another beautiful year with a wonderful family. We’ve just moved into an apartment which seems to fit us better. We, for the first time, are in a home big enough for all of us (the second bathroom is key).

Here is an outline of the biggies I can think of this minute:

New House

We love our new house and are looking forward to finishing moving in. Three bedrooms and two baths is the right fit for us. Mason has his own room and it is big enough to send him to. 🙂 Chandler and Lennox are working out the wrinkles in their new quasi-cohabitation. Generally permission is granted to cross the armistice line; especially since Lenna got her princess netting and pink rug. It is strange to be in a modern building and the view, as I look over the BQE and east into Woodside and Rego Park and watch the sun rise as I write this the sky and the contours of the land are enthralling to me. I love watching when the LIRR rolls out of Woodside on the way to Jamaica: a long silvery snake a half a mile on.



I am still so in Love With Linda that it scares me. She is the model for everything beautiful and desirable in my life. I wish I could be with her more and, paradoxically, more like her. I am blessed to be chosen by her to spend these days together with her.

Chandler continues to thrive at the TAG school she’s in. She has a lot of homework and does it without complaint, though she looks at the confections of Cable TV as the just and right compensation for her work. At least is is mostly Disnified Pre-Tween Confections, though she will be a teenager on February 23rd.

Mason and I survived the soccer season (he’s quite good) with me as coach, though he declined to play winter league indoors. Mason’s way with words continues to amaze Linda and I mostly because he is not the squeaky wheel. Out of -or out from under- the hubbub of the family Mason will make a wry comment that puts everything that we are all elbowing to the front to try and frame just so into context. He does so uproariously and seemingly without effort.

Lennox is growing up so fast in so many ways. Just like with her sister we are often fooled into thinking that she’s older because she’s so damned verbal. She is also sassy in a way Chandler can only dream of (and rue). So when she puts her hand on her splayed hip and rolls her eyes as she wipes stray locks out of her eyes explaining “whatever, duh!” we lose track of her age (5) and size (just right). We start trying to reason with the sarcastic teenager that she apes rather than the Kindergartener that she is. Needless to say we miss having Kindergarten across the street, but we’ll see how this move will effect our lives (passive aggressively I think the earlier wake-up and travel will be good for the family).

School Year

I loved my Fall 1 Classes and I am really enjoying the Lit Elective classes I am teaching. The Contemporary African American Fiction and the Black Lit Survey have been soul-expanding (as much as teaching a class can be). I love the students at LaGuardia CC. Teaching them is a dream come true. In many of their faces and papers I see myself struggling intellectually to come into my own. It is a humbling flashback when I see the same misunderstandings that I made in someone else’s paper. It is a merciful reminder of my current domestic bliss when I see the sturm und drang of youthful courting around campus. I look forward to working on my own intellectual and academic development this next year.

Amir’s Murder

The horror of Amir Hassan Reed’s murder this year has put a lot of things into perspective. I am so grateful to be alive, which I generally take for granted. I take life, mine and my beautiful family’s to be a given that shall continue along, but it “Ain’t Necessarily So.” I had taken it for granted that I would wake up to the same cast that I went to sleep with. It is rare that such a Cause Célèbre visits our lives, and I had often wished that my life would intersect with drama and fame. Sigh, I wish that I had marked my door with blood so this angel never came. What I found most annoying and titillating was the comments left on the SFGate site articles: people who knew the least seemed to make the strongest comments. This puts all of my “Willie-Neckbone-Expertise” into perspective: the more I think I know, the less I know.

48 Years

I turned 48 this December. I remember in 1974 thinking that it would be the year 2000 when I was 40. It seemed so abstract and distant (and of course I took it for granted that I would live that long). Well until this year I’ve held up well. During the spring my Achilles tendons started to act up (and I didn’t go to the doctor). In the Fall, playing soccer with Mason I tore up my ankle (and I didn’t go to the doctor). This December my ankle got infected and I went to the doctor. I will go to physical therapy soon because I really miss my morning runs through Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth and Long Island City. I’m feeling trapped by my infirmity in spite of the fact that I did go for a bike ride yesterday. Linda is sick this morning so I don’t think I’ll have that luxury.


I still haven’t written the great American novel, but I have been working on a story. I haven’t published my dissertation, but I hope to. I want to do more original scholarship rather than just “willie-neckbone” out opinions on things I know little about. So I will continue to do as the Sanskrit Proverb suggests:

Look to this day
For it is life
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and verities of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power —

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today, well-lived,
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.

Happy New YOU, Love Stafford.



14 responses to “Happy New You

  1. stafford, one love to you and your family…I have been looking for that poem, thanks! karen

    “I am one self united with my creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and peace.”

  2. Stafford,
    Yes, to 2007, a non-descript year by number, but certainly not an unimportant year for the world and for each of us. For the world, I can only apologize as an American citizen for the horror my country has wrought. As a sober person who celebrated nine years in 2007, it was a great year, not to mention the ultimate privilege, joy and luck of having retired after 35 years of teaching and pretty much having loved every moment of it.
    2008? We need to do so much in this next year. Good luck to each of us and to our country.
    Happiest of New Years and have a Martinelli’s for us all.

  3. To Dear Stafford and Family,

    Reading your New Year’s Greeting has brought a smile to my somewhat snot-infested face! i am collapsed here under the rubble of my quilt feeling very sorry for myself. i’ve got a rotten bloody flu and not only that but David’s just brought Birdy and Hugo to Tramore (Google it ….beautiful surfing beach a few miles away) to test out Hugo’s new Santa bike on the prom….i want to be there. We are having a party on June 21 to celebrate summer solstice and our wedding anniversary. would love you all to come. We would find space for you all to stay….make a holiday of it.

    Apart from the microbe invasion life is good. We’ve sort of collapsed for the holidays as one of David’s businesses is selling Christmas trees (has a contract from Santa which Birdy is VERY proud of …..she’s his best sales rep). which is MANIC in the lead-up to Dec 25.

    I have a new series starting in January which i’m excited about. Listen in – it’s called “Experience” on RTE Radio 1 starting Jan 8.

    Keep in touch.

    Love and cyber hugs,


  4. Thank you for that Stafford, it was a peach. Happy new year (and You) to you and the gang!

  5. Happy New Year, Stafford + Family! Can’t wait to visit you guys in your new digs. See you in the new year. Love, Edlie

  6. Stafford, Linda, Chandler, Lennox, and Mason! My goodness how your family grows up so quickly. I always enjoy hearing about your life in NYC and someday we’ll actually make it out to visit you. We still have a picture of you “dancing” with Lennox at our wedding when she was still just a tiny baby on our fridge – a nice reminder of a time when life was a bit simpler and the pressures of “adulthood” had yet to really take hold of either Christina or I. But, with the help of the program we’re making it through. I’m sorry to hear about the ankle but glad you made it to the doctor’s office finally! Feel better and have a great 2008.

    James and Christina

  7. Carissimo Stafford,

    Thank you for your special wishes and I want to forward them to you and your Family.
    The 2008 is going to be the best one for everyone and I am confident about that!


  8. what a beautiful family. we wish you love, health, and happiness in 2008.

    am keeping my fingers crossed that i get out to nyc in the spring. will let you know if it happens.

    xxoo, cyn

  9. Dear Stafford, Linda, Chandler, Mason and Lennox,
    Happy New Year to you. It was wonderful so see you all over Xmas.
    Went to the doc about my shoulder and had x-rays taken. No word yet about cause but it’s clear I should rest the arm and it sometimes takes months to heal.
    Constance and I went to Chili’s for dinner last night and today my 80 year old reclusive friend is coming down for dinner. I am taking it easy.
    Reading “Gonzo” about Hunter S Thompson.
    Such a wild man.
    Here’s to a healthy happy New Year. Love you, Mom.

  10. What a wonderful surprise ! Great to hear from you after all these years…we must get together soon. Would love to catch up with everyone. Chandler and Mason have grown so much, and I have yet to meet Lennox. All best wishes for the new year!! Lok

  11. appropos of the comment you left on my blog:

    the beautiful chandler-gregoires–when it comes to entitlement, you absolutely deserve everything wonderful that comes your way. in truckfuls.


  12. Dear family,
    have a wonderful 2008.
    As we saw with Amir’s tragedy, nothing is granted in this life, so enjoy your time on earth and take care of those who love you.
    Big hug,

  13. Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I’m so alive it scares me. I look forward to a little alone time with each of you.

  14. Pingback: Henrik Sundström » Blog Arkiv » Gårdagen är en dröm

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