2021 and 2022 on black alarm clock  with copy space , Merry Christmas and Happy new year concept.

There will undoubtedly be end-of-year retrospectives and “best-of” lists as we bid farewell to 2021, the year that was supposed to bring us out of the stress of 2020.

(And I suppose in some ways it did, and in some ways it did not).   

I will refrain from creating either. In this last column of the year, however, I will mention a few things I have liked and not liked from the year about to end. Perhaps this will preview some of what we will talk about in this space next year.  

I like that we now have a COVID vaccine available to anyone who wants it and millions have gotten it. In my opinion, it is nothing short of miraculous. To say I am grateful does not seem adequate to express my appreciation.  

I don’t like that, after nearly two years, we are still dealing with COVID, and yet another variant and surge are causing cancellations and postponements.  

I like the wealth of entertainment options, especially when it comes to music, we have in Nashville and how many traditional concerts returned this year to the Ryman, Schermerhorn and other venues after being silenced last year due to the pandemic.  

I don’t like that, when an announcement is made at one of these concerts that there are to be no audio or video recordings, or flash photography, audience members proceed with all of these, conspicuously holding up their phones as if (a) they did not hear the announcement or (b) they don’t believe this applies to them.  

I like that my property value seems to be holding its own if not increasing steadily.  

I don’t like that, should I want to move but stay in this area, I must buy into the same market that is supporting the value of my home.  

I like that people are moving to this area and getting to experience what I have experienced for nearly 25 years — a great place to live with great people, great schools and outstanding amenities.  

I don’t like that all those folks moving in are driving up house prices to the point that middle-income folks are being priced out of the market, and those who need to rent have fewer and fewer options.   

I like that, on Franklin Road at the entrance to my neighborhood, progress is being made and the end is in sight.  

I don’t like that, after all these years, the Franklin Road construction continues. I also don’t like that, at the southeast corner of Franklin and Concord Roads, a new subdivision will soon be developed that will cause the stalled traffic and congestion of the road construction to continue indefinitely.  

To close on a high note, here are a few things I liked this year that have no negative counterparts:  

  • A week in Colorado in July with my family.  

  • Ten days out west with my wife in October, exploring national parks in Arizona in Utah. 

  • My youngest getting engaged in June, the last one who will tie the knot.  

  • Learning I would be a grandfather for the fifth time. 

  • All the books I read.  

  • Continuing to write this column.  

There will always be highs and lows. I am grateful for a forum where we can discuss them.  

I look forward to more of those discussions in 2022.  

Bob McKinney

Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at [email protected]