“What’s the most important thing in life? .. Necessity … People do what is most necessary to them at any given moment.”

— Archie Gates, “Three Kings

They’re everywhere — on the nightly news, sports shows, “Dancing with the Stars”, political talk shows and even cooking shows — the hits of everything from 2014. It seems that the lists vary from show to show, depending on what event was most important to them, right? There are marriages and divorces, election surprises, political and entertainment scandals. I can’t top those, but I had my moments.

Here is my list of the top stories of 2014 in my life:

JAN. 19: She, who didn’t want to go out to dinner on her birthday this day, because it was too cold. We went anyway when I said it would come out of my Christmas money.

JAN. 20: The garage door jammed and came open after I closed it. I didn’t notice it, and it stayed open all night, which kept the heat running in the far back of the house. I didn’t tell her.

JAN. 22: Temp at -10. Trash barrel stuck to ice jam at bottom of driveway and wouldn’t come loose. She rapped on window and said to give up. I did.

JAN. 23: Garage door man came and fixed door. $125. She said because I did it, it should come out of my Christmas fund. Then she said she was kidding.

JAN. 25: Won $25 bucks in lottery. She made me give it up and then said how sweet I was to do it. She is happy.

JAN. 28: Funny sound in pipes in basement turned out to be leak in outside pipe. Crew came and said they would return in summer.

FEB. 11: OMG Shirley Temple died, and she who has no sense of humor said I had to stop saying I dated Shirley in high school.

FEB. 13: Ralph Waite died. She, who STILL has no sense of humor, said I must stop telling people “The Waltons” was based on my family and I that I was John Boy.

APRIL 12: Started diet to lose weight for daughter’s wedding: one egg, lunch-piece of turkey, glass of Fiji water and brown rice. Got this from Cameron Diaz weight loss article in magazine.

JUNE 13: Full moon on this Friday the 13th. They say it won’t happen again until 2049. She says not to plan on it.

JULY 24: They dug up in front of house for natural gas line. Neighbors were out watching. I watched from the house. I like oil. If you get an oil leak it’s messy, but if you get a gas leak in the middle of the night … you’re dead.

AUG. 6: They canceled “Taste of Waterville” because of rain. It was the first time I agreed to go, and so didn’t shop for dinner. Ate at Ruby Tuesday.

AUG. 12: Lauren Bacall is dead. She, who loved Lauren, insisted that I must now stop telling people I dated Lauren in high school.

AUG. 14: Yeaaa. We got NETFLIX, so we could watch “Breaking Bad” after listening to friends touting it for years.

AUG. 17: New Blu-Ray player broke down, unable to watch NETFLIX. Bummer.

AUG. 31: THE WEDDING! Finally. I’ve lost the requisite 30 pounds the bride insisted I lose. The bride and groom looked wonderful. Everyone looked great. She, who looked the best, kept following me around trying to stop me from asking if I looked great and resembled George Clooney. No sense of humor.

SEPT. 9: A big one for me. Refused to eat my own cake. I worked too long and hard to lose this weight. I look marvelous for my age, but the late summer cold has left me with a cough. Doctor says lungs clear, and not lung cancer as I insisted. I’m still not convinced.

SEPT. 19: Exciting day. Old dishwasher broke down. We got one, and they came to install it. I love buying new things. I’m like a 9-year-old. Even a new dishwasher is like getting a new toy. I hope the stove breaks down.

NOV. 22: Youngest daughter announced her engagement. Hope they elope. I could use the same outfit. I have it in mothballs. But if I lose another 30 pounds, I’ll look like the late Don Knotts.

DEC. 15: Jack rooted in far section of garden and got skunk smell on his nose and paws. Had to get him in the tub and sprayed him with expensive cologne I got for my birthday. Much better.

DEC. 19: The furnace man came and cleaned it. I love a clean furnace. Always an exciting day.

Yes, it’s been an exciting year full of highlights. Hope you had as good a year.

Have a great 2015.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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