A Year Of Almost

118We spent a week last month in Punta Cana.  The daily high in the Dominican Republic was a reliable 80 – 85 degrees.  Even the evenings were warm and pleasant.  We were surprised, however, by the plane-load of Russians that were staying at the resort.  These weren’t Russians who now live in Cleveland or Russians who now live in Philadelphia.  No, these were Russian – Russians.  Muscovites!  It certainly added to our trip.  We noticed that the women were very attractive.  Some drop-dead gorgeous.  The men were big.  Huge.  And Russian T-shirts come in only one size – Almost. 

Jeff and I had lunch at Shuhei on Tuesday to celebrate our birthday.  And yes, it does seem a little strange having the same date of birth as my business partner.  Not just birthday, date of birth.  We were born a few hours apart on February 4, 1955.  It is a bit like having a twin.  There just isn’t any of that creepy “I know what you’re thinking” stuff. 

I will spare you the math.  We just turned 59.  But no one is 59.  Saying that you’re 59 is a bit too precise, like a child proclaiming that he is 4 ½.  We’re not 59.  We are almost 60. 

I used to know what 60 looked like.  It looked OLD.  Now, not so much.  Maybe just almost old.  Jeff has had a hip replacement.  I have a vacant spot on the top of my head that was once covered with hair.  So sure, we’re older, but we aren’t old. 

This is the sixth year of Barack Obama’s presidency.  The mid-terms are in November and once we are past the election we begin the 2016 campaign.  Mr. Obama’s term, for good or ill, may run till January 20, 2017, but in truth, it effectively ends with the beginning of the serious campaigning in the summer of 2015.  So this year, 2014, it is almost over.  What is really important?  What is worth one last push?  Immigration?  The Minimum Wage?  Afghanistan?  Pick one and follow through Mr. President.  You don’t have much time left. 

The Pentagon spent a lot of money to develop the Neutron Bomb, a device that was designed to kill lots of people, but to do as little damage as possible to buildings and structures.  We are now six years into a neutron recession.  The stock market is at an all-time high and so are the numbers of unemployed and underemployed Americans.  Will this be the year of our recovery?  Will we finally climb out of this economic quick sand and stand on firm ground?  

I don’t think so.  I think that this is the year of Almost.