Thank goodness the agony of Christmas is over. When you get old, you don’t get anything except shirts and socks and stuff like that.

My 3-year-old great-grandson, Aaron Boswell, got a toy that was taller than him. We never did figure out what it was, but he let me play with it, too. Every time I see what my offspring get for Christmas, I vow to go home and invest all my money in Mattel Toy Co. and Fisher-Price.

And I behaved myself, steering away from the fudge and divinity and cookies to enjoy a small lettuce salad with sugar-free dressing. My doctor, Robert Stark, is in the same office with my grandson, Dr. Wesley Acker, who I noticed hanging around me when I was at the cobbler table with his camera ready. But I only looked at it and ate a celery stalk.

I did get one toy for Christmas. The Man in Black brought me a stuffed Wylie the Coyote. I put it in my office on a shelf with my stuffed Road Runner. Jackie wouldn’t let me sleep with it.

And with the Walmart Christmas behind us, I look forward to celebrating the coming new year. Last year, Jackie and I stayed up until 9:15 p.m. and drank bottles of Ensure until we were silly.

This year, I plan to put a pole up in my front yard and attach a big red ball to it. As the new year comes in, the ball will slowly slide down the pole, and I once again will go through the motion of making a list of new year’s resolutions.

Three of the ones I made last year made it until almost February.

But I will try again, and the first one on the list has to do with my family.

My son Joe is a lawyer, grandson Wesley is a doctor and grandson Nick is a preacher. If I can just get grandson Justin to become an undertaker, I can go out of here for free.

Russell Cook down in Austin is an honorary undertaker but I am afraid he will dress me in burnt orange.

My second resolution is to take better care of the birds in my backyard. I plan to buy more expensive bird seed and suet cakes. Sadly, I made the same resolution last year and it lays on top of my dresser in a wadded up piece of paper.

But I do plan to paint my birdhouses and feeders. I would let Russell do it, but he would paint them all burnt orange.

I also plan for Jackie and me to do more birding. We may not be able to climb the Franklin Mountains or walk the Window Trail at Big Bend, but we can drive through Lake Tawakoni State Park and around the city lake to look for ducks and the token great blue heron.

And for the people who edit my column for the Herald-Banner and The Facts, I plan to put spell-check on my computer.

And for Jackie, I promised to take the ironing board cover I bought her for Christmas back to Wally World and get a refund.

Or I might just trade it in for a new broom.

E.M. “Bosie” Boswell is a member of the American Birding Association and the Audubon Society. Contact him at 6413 Stonewall, Greenville, TX 75402, or email

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