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It is time to say so long to 2007 and welcome in the New Year, but I’m not quite ready. This year exceeded the unusually low expectations I held for it one year ago.

Hanging that 2007 calendar on the wall meant the approach of my 40th birthday was imminent. It was a day I had been dreading since my 21st birthday, when I suddenly realized I had to keep counting the years as they passed.

But once my birthday arrived, right smack in the middle of summer, I found “being” 40 wasn’t nearly as traumatic as “turning” 40.

And what a summer it was!

My 19-year-old niece, Katy, stayed with us and helped Glory and me balance out this testosterone-filled home we live in.

On more than one occasion, Katy and I managed to slip away in her little red convertible for a girls’ night out. It was the perfect cure for the Feeling 40 Blues.

I discovered over the summer that Ron and the boys are afraid of bears, or at least more afraid of bears than I am.

On our first night sleeping in a cabin in the mountains of West Virginia, Ron and I awoke to something making noise outside our bedroom window. (Yes, the cabin had rooms and even a Jacuzzi. We weren’t roughing it by any means!)

The following morning, we discovered our trash had been strewn around, obviously by a wild animal looking for food. When I suggested we leave snacks out the next night, all four Zich men acted as if I wanted to invite a Grizzly into our cabin.

So I didn’t leave any snacks, and we made sure the garbage can lid was on tight. It was boring, but a much safer way to spend our family vacation.

Summer was followed by a blessedly flea-free fall, something I will be forever grateful for after enduring the invasion of 2006.

I am also very thankful that Jimmy’s mid-September appendectomy was a complete success. I can’t look back on 2007 without remembering the sight of my son being wheeled into surgery, but with that memory comes a deep appreciation of the excellent care he received.

There is some surprising news to report about Glory; she may actually have dropped a few pounds this year.

Over Thanksgiving, Ron’s mom commented that Glory looked like she had lost weight.

Since I don’t have doggie scales here at the house, I’m going to assume Mom was noticing something about her granddoggie that simply escaped our notice. Glory must be looking svelte these days!

Another big event in November was the 232nd birthday of the Marine Corps. I wore a pastel-colored ball gown for the first time ever and had high hopes for our pictures.

However, the photographer posed us in such a way that I’m tilting away from Ron. The odd angle suggests I’m about to take a tumble, and I cannot look at the picture without laughing.

2007 was a terrific year for catching up with old friends, those dear people I’ve come to love at various duty stations and then had to say goodbye to when the Marine Corps moved us on.

If I make any resolution for 2008, it will be to do a better job of responding to e-mails and long-distance phone calls in an effort to make sure the ties stay close between our family and the scattered family we have adopted over the past 17-plus years.

Before I say Happy New Year, I want to properly say goodbye to 2007.

Now I’m ready …

Happy New Year, everyone!

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has moved eight times in 17 years of marriage to her Marine Corps husband. They have been stationed in various locations, including Okinawa, California, Texas and their current home in Springfield, Va. Find the Zichs online at www.lifeonthehomefront.com.

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