Browse My Vows


A New Year looms. Let the shortcomings of the past fade into the mists of memory. This is the moment for vision, for goal-setting, for energy and dedication and the rustling-up of a year’s worth of fresh willpower.

Good people of Ipswich, it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions.

Here are mine:

  1. I resolve to make more space in my mudroom by finally returning my empty milk bottles to the Appleton Farms store, now that my accumulated inventory is worth something in the neighborhood of $438,000.
  2. I resolve to sneak onto Little Neck and take photographs to prove I did it. Not for any real reason. Just because they say I can’t.
  3. I resolve to be a more community-minded citizen. I will no longer deliberately rev my engine and squeal my tires outside the House of Peace.
  4. As a newcomer, I resolve to make every attempt to assimilate myself into the culture of New England. Consequently, I will start cutting left in front of the other guy when the light turns green.
  5. Likewise, I resolve to start obeying the hand signals of other drivers holding up traffic in order to let me in at Five Corners.
  6. As a longtime resident of Arizona, with very high standards for the authenticity of Mexican food, I resolve to give En Fuego another try.
  7. I resolve to be less cynical about the prospects for Old Town Hall. I will cancel the mock exorcism.
  8. I resolve to give a significant boost to the Ipswich economy by sampling all the libations produced here.
  9. I resolve to get a handle on my rage. In my response to speeders on outer Linebrook Road, I will step down to bird shot.
  10. I resolve to be more environment-conscious. I will turn down the thermostat and negotiate with Kristina for more cuddling.
  11. I resolve to be more honest with myself. Accordingly, in my “Outsidah” columns, I will cease promising to lay off cracks about Rowley.
  12. I resolve to chill out about the lack of public restrooms in Ipswich center. I will remember to go on the train.
  13. I resolve to do my part to preserve our most valuable natural resources. I will kill green crabs, carry my litter off Crane Beach, and send fan mail to Robin Crosbie.
  14. I resolve to get more serious about our endangered species. I’ve talked long enough about my plan to increase the perilous piping plover population by strengthening their mating impulses. This year, finally, I will start producing plover porn.
  15. I resolve to support the arts. I will withdraw from all my volunteer activities, cut back to two meals a day, and rearrange the remnants of my calendar so that I have enough time to attend every J.T. Turner performance in 2015.
  16. I resolve to adjust my attitude about irregularities in the pavement of our roads. I shall perceive them as opportunities to slow down and smell the roses, to increase my mindfulness, and to use the constant dodging as a means of improving my video game skills.
  17. I resolve to get my New England Patriots obsession under control. I will keep my Patriots jersey, my Patriots sweatshirt, and my Patriots underpants; my Patriots hoodie, Patriots game jacket, and Patriots flag; my Patriots clock, inkpen, flashlight, and car magnet; my personalized “Doug Brendel Day” photograph of Gillette Stadium; and my Tom Brady bobble-head doll. I will, however, give up praying to the Tom Brady bobble-head doll.
  18. I resolve to pay more heed to my personal physical fitness. I will increase my goal of 30 minutes a day of cardio. This year, I will aim to do 31, maybe even 32.

And now, dear Ipswich, I wish you a Happy New Year. May the potholes rise up to meet you. May the nor’easter be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your snow-shoveling, the rains fall soft upon that leak in your roof, and until we meet again, may all your permits be magically granted, free of charge, without having to call the electrician in again.


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