14 In ’14

I did these 14 things in 2014.

“But wait!” you say. “There are 15 things on this list!” That’s because I’ve added one more “thing” that I didn’t actually do … but I’m not telling you which one, so I can preserve my deniability for the other 14. Got it? OK, here we go.

•   Saw two of my three sons move out of the house. Both landed well, with good jobs and impressive maturity. Two down, one to go!

•  Ran 572.8 miles. Small potatoes compared to some of my marathoner friends, I’m sure, but it’s more than I did last year, and definitely less than I’ll do in 2015, barring injury.

•   Read 20 books and 93 short stories. My goals were 25 and 100, so the good news is, I can use this goal again next year!

•   Rode my bike naked through the streets of downtown St. Louis. What can I say? It was a hot day.

•   While fully clothed, dumped a mixture of ice and Mississippi River water over my head. I guess this will go down in history as the year we all dumped ice water on ourselves.

   Won big money in Powerball. Depending on your definitions of “won” and “big money,” there might be two things on this list I didn’t do this year.

•   Won $568 in a 50-50 drawing. Hopefully I didn’t use up all my luck!

•   Took almost 2,700 pictures. Down from previous years, probably, but …

•   Took 371 pictures of one person in one morning. Don’t worry: she knew about it.

•   Visited every public riverport on the Arkansas River over the course of four days in August. More fun that it sounds, actually.

•   Flew to New Orleans—the day AFTER Mardi Gras. Hopefully I can work out the timing a little better sometime in the future.

•   Tried to explain the barge industry to a ballroom full of retired carpenters. Did OK, I guess.

•   Nearly finished writing the first draft of the next Great American Novel. The book will be done in, say, 20 years.

•   Swam in one ocean and one Great Lake. I’d sure like to add another ocean in 2015.

•   Voted. Several times.

So it was an … interesting … year. Here’s to an astounding year in 2015! Cheers!