My Aunt Anne died this morning. We expected it, but it was still a shock when my mother called with the news.

AnneGrowing up, Anne was the only girl in a family of nine children. Her brothers, including my father, were paradoxically protective of her, and at the same time, loved to make her life miserable, in the most brotherly way possible.

For the kids of my generation, Anne was the “fun” aunt. Most of my O’Hara uncles married around the same time, so most of my aunts had kids of their own, and when the families got together, the adults, unsurprisingly, wanted to spend some time with the other grownups. Anne married later, and liked spending time with us kids. She’d take us sledding or skating or even to the Cape. Even after marrying Bob MacAulay, and having kids of her own, Anne still liked having fun with her nieces and nephews. I still remember rollerblading with her down the Cape, about 15 – 20 years ago. It was my sister Nancy, Anne and I on an empty Eastham road.  She’d never used inline skates before— just old fashioned roller-skates —but she picked it up, and had a blast. And, once she and Bob built their own house on the Cape, most family members knew they were welcome there.

I think the thing I’ll remember most about her was her smile and her giggle. She had a lovely smile, mischievous but pretty, and loved to laugh. I’ll miss her.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.

I went into Boston for First Night last night.  I felt it was a little bit of a let down compared to past years*—instead of several ice sculptures on the Common and at Copley Square, there were two at Copley and just one at the Prudential Center. I was also irritated because I just missed the early fireworks; I prefer the early family show to staying in town until midnight.  As it was, I just saw the finale at I came out of the subway at Copley.

Ice Sculpture

First Night 2013 Ice sculpture of Jack and the Beanstalk, at Copley Square

I also saw a couple of comedians at the Hynes Center. They were good, but I felt the size of the space they were in—a big hall—was working against them. I ended the evening at an organ concert at the Arlington Street Church. It’s a magnificent building, and I’d never been inside it before.

The Christmas tree came down this morning, and I went over to the Weston Ski Track this afternoon. The snow was great and I actually skied for nearly an hour, which is a lot, since I don’t skate ski well.

On to 2013.

*The best First Night I went to was a couple of years ago, when it snowed that night. There were still enough people in town that I didn’t feel like an idiot for being there, but it was noticeably less crowded.