And welcome back to The Brenda Kern Show. Today we're taking a special look back at the year 1997--highlights, low points, and even some bloopers!
Anniversary Celebration, January 5, 1997
I started off the year by celebrating ten years at Focus on the Family. This means being recognized in a small ceremony (to be held in January '98), which is nice, but it also means an additional week of vacation (for a total of five per year!), which is VERY nice.
And the Oscar goes to..., February/March
During these weeks we aired our second annual "Oscar Hound" series. Most Saturdays during this time I bravely drove to Denver and located a series of theaters armed only with a newspaper and a map! Those of you who've been following the show for a while know that the real accomplishment involved is the map usage.
Home Maintenance Part I, March
On a Friday evening, while my roommate, Cindy, had friends visiting, the water heater, unfortunately, met an untimely demise. A replacement was not available until Monday! On our next show: Cold Showers and Their Effect on Out-of-Town Visitors!
The Care and Maintenance of Contact Lenses, March
Two days before leaving on vacation, I broke one of my contact lenses! Replacements were not available on an overnight basis, so I went on my trip with the old ones. Our expert gave this helpful advice: "Always pay attention to what you're doing when working with your lenses." His new book "Talk Show Hosts Who Really Hate Their Insufferable Expert Guests" is now available...
The Blizzard of '97, Part I, March/April
I spent Easter in Boston with my family (Mom and my brother Bob came up from Maryland to the home of my sister Tina and her husband John AND BABY CASSY). The "April Fool's Blizzard" dumped 27 inches of snow on Boston, closing Logan Airport for a day and keeping me there an additional two days. Weather notwithstanding, it was a delightful time with my family.
The Blizzard of '97, Part II, April
A few weeks later, a major snowstorm dumped about two feet of snow on Colorado Springs.
U2 Dreams Do Come True...May 1, 1997
U2 came to Denver on May 1, 1997 (only the second show of the US tour), and The Brenda Kern Show was there! It took me about a decade to achieve this particular goal, but maybe being a more mature fan made it even better than it would have been in 1987!
Travels in a Tercel, Memorial Weekend
Because I now have a reliable vehicle, I dared to venture east once more (ROAD TRIP!), visiting friends in Topeka, KS and the Kansas City area. We had a great time, and I'm even welcome back sometime! (The only automotive trouble I've had since purchasing the new car in November of '96 has been a low tire, caused by a nail. What a HUGE blessing it is for me to have reliable transportation! Thank you, Lord!!!)
Home Maintenance, Part II, June
A day before Cindy's parents were due to visit, the basement experienced another water-related crisis, this time in the form of flooding. I now know the approximate absorption capabilities of every towel I own, how many towels have to be wrung out to fill a bucket, and how many times towels have to be washed after such usage to return to a shade near what they were originally. A crack in the wall (going all the way to the outside underground) had to be repaired, then the wall re-surfaced, then re-painted, some of which occurred while Cindy's parents were here. On our next show: Noxious Fumes and Their Effect on Visiting Family!
A Not-Quite-Average Vacation, July
In July I visited my Mom and brother in Maryland, as usual, but this summer vacation held a bitter surprise for my family. My aunt Karen (wife of my dad's brother Jay) died suddenly of a heart attack on July 5. I felt the loss keenly, but perhaps felt even more strongly a sense of helplessness--I couldn't make the hurt go away for her family and friends. After the funeral, Mom and I headed to Florida for a week with her mom (now 90), where we tried to make some sense of it all, and agreed that we are so thankful to have the Lord to lean on in these times...
The Thrill of a Lifetime, July 25
Many of you know that even world-famous talk show hosts like me are fans of certain celebrities. I was privileged to see, in person, my VERY FAVORITE one, appearing with his band (Dogstar) in a small venue in Denver. I estimate I was only 20 feet away! (My heart is racing and I'm blushing even as I type this!)
...With a Triple Twist...August
I attended the National Gymnastics Championships (Junior and Senior, Men and Women, Individual and All-Around) in Denver with a friend. It was an exhausting week (Denver is about an hour north of here, this was a four day event, we drove back and forth while still working full time...) but a thrill at the same time.
The Blizzard of '97, Part III, October
Two-three feet, drifts up to five feet (here in my complex), snowbound for two days, the Governor declared a state of emergency. Enough said.
The Weird Psychology of Being a Sports Fan, 1997 Football Season
The Washington Redskins have made me doubt my sanity and question why I am loyal to them. Audience members shared similar frustrations with their favorite teams.
On Relationships, Winter '97
I have developed a love/hate relationship with my furnace. (This furnace has a very unstable pilot light, which must be re-lit constantly, apparently when a butterfly somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere so much as sneezes...) I love it when it creates warmth like it's supposed to, I hate it the rest of the time. Because of my personal problems with electrical/mechanical objects (see Christmas letters of past years), I fear, each time I re-light the pilot, that it will be my last time. As I've shared with some of you, if I should die this way (ka-boom!), you'll know that my last words were something along the lines of "Oh, shoot."
Relatives with Unreasonable Opinions
My niece is the cutest person ever born. Audience members were not encouraged to share their thoughts on the matter, and we did not have any "expert" guests. I'd send you each a picture, but there are only so many Cassy pictures in the world, and I'm not sharing.
One week from today I plan to be flying back East for a Christmas holiday with Cassy (and the rest of my family) in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Well, that's it for our special hour-long retrospective on my life and times, 1997. Won't you join me again next year?
Much love to you all. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Keep in touch.