New Year’s Eve Review of 2016

Rural Cedar Township

Rural Cedar Township

2016 was the year of the 1997 Subaru.

By choosing an old car as my main vehicle I got a low purchase price and issues related to a 20-year old car.

A leaking head gasket took more resources than expected to diagnose and repair. The car went to the shop three times beginning in September, generating $3,600 in repair and rental car expense. At that price a new car can never be justified. It’s fixed for now.

There were additional highlights.


I began working as the receiving clerk at the home, farm and auto supply store. The dynamic of my weeks changed as I worked regular hours Monday through Friday with weekends off. I haven’t quite adjusted to the “early start time” of 7:55 a.m., which cuts into my prime writing time.

We had a brief spell of sub-zero weather, during which I pruned our apple trees. There was no fruit this year.

I spent free time campaigning with friends for Hillary Clinton before the Iowa caucuses.


Hillary Clinton won the Iowa caucuses by the slimmest of margins. She won our precinct easily, garnering two delegates at the caucus to one for Bernie Sanders and one for Martin O’Malley. Clinton picked up the O’Malley delegate when he dropped out of the race on caucus night.

Had coffee with Congressman Dave Loebsack and a small group of area activists at the Big Grove Brewery in Solon.

Began soil blocking at Local Harvest CSA very early on February 7.


Had a work-related injury at the home, farm and auto supply store requiring a clinic visit and five stitches in my right hand.

Attended the Johnson County Democratic Convention in Tiffin.


Our daughter visited for a few days.

Hello Spring! Potluck hosted by Local Harvest CSA.

Had breakfast in Coralville with my friend from grade school. It was the first of several meals together this year.


Read and reviewed Connie Mutel’s book A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland.

Kurt Friese, candidate for county supervisor, meet and greet at Big Grove Brewery in Solon.


Participated in a signing ceremony for the new agency established to manage emergency services for the City of Solon and three townships.

Attended a wedding in the Soulard District of Saint Louis.


Attended Congressman Dave Loebsack’s annual Brews and BBQ event where I met Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Campaign kickoff event for Amy Nielsen’s bid to represent Iowa House District 77 at her home in North Liberty.

Read the book Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town by Nick Reding.

Began seasonal work at Wilson’s Orchard. This commenced 100 straight days of work.


Met with Kate Edwards of Wild Woods Farm to arrange a job trimming onions.

Covered editor’s job at Blog for Iowa.


Filed initial enrollment application for Medicare.

Viewed the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on my hand-held device.

Beginning of car trouble and repairs.


Mom fell out of bed and had to be hospitalized.


Participated in holiday gatherings for the home, farm and auto supply store and Wilson’s Orchard.

Thanksgiving at home.


1997 Subaru finally repaired.

Medicare coverage began.

Christmas at home.

We made it through the year with some new experiences. For that I am thankful. I’m also ready for 2017 to begin.

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