by Sue Ann Rybak

2020 is a leap year. A leap year is a calendar year with an extra day added – instead of 365 days in the year, there are 366 days to adjust for the time difference between the solar calendar the Gregorian calendar. It takes Earth 365 ¼ days to revolve around the sun. So, every four years, February gets an extra day.

New Year’s is a great time to reflect on the last year. After all, the traditional New Year’s Eve Song is “Auld Lang Syne.” The song is generally credited to Robert Burns, although earlier versions of the Scottish folk song existed.

From what I read on the Internet, “Auld Lang Syne” is about old friends who have parted ways, run into each other and reminiscence over a beer. 

Except in my version, I would be at the Trolley Car Diner getting soft serve ice cream or eating lunch or dinner and bump into an old friend. Unfortunately, the Trolley Car Diner was one of the many businesses that closed in 2019. I hope we don’t lose any more neighborhood favorites.

Last year, I made a new friend Linda Rauscher, and sadly she passed before I had the opportunity to get to know her better. Although, we planned to meet for coffee, we never set a date. I was always “too busy.”

In 2020, I want to take a leap of my own.

I hope I will spend my “extra time” being present for friends and family by making time to spend with them. I will make a conscious effort to practice being grateful for the imperfect present. I am grateful for all the stories and people I meet at the Chestnut Hill Local and through the Chestnut Hill Community Association. I am grateful to the founders of the Chestnut Hill Local and the gift they have given this community. I look forward to the promise of a New Year … a New Beginning. To quote Natasha Bedingfield’s Song “Unwritten,”

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten