It was the best of times -- no, but this year was better than some (2001 comes to mind). We're recovering from 9 / 11, the economic news is a bit brighter, the drought may be coming to an end, and the world isn't at war yet. Here's our look back at the Year That Was from a Home & Family perspective -- ranging from the serious to the sublime to the ridiculous, but not necessarily in that order.
1. The anthrax scare still has Americans writing postcards and e-mail.
2. Post-traumatic stress in children becomes a hot topic after 9 / 11.
3. Two for the price of one: Guitarist Eric Clapton has his two daughters baptized, then surprises guests by marrying his girlfriend.
4. Hockey dad Thomas Junta is found guilty of involuntary man-slaughter in his rink-rage trial.
5. Troubled ninth-grader Charles Bishop crashes his plane into a Tampa skyscraper. 6. How haute: Designer Yves Saint Laurent, 65, closes his salon.
7. National Cancer Institute finds no real evidence that women over 50 should have
annual mammograms. 8. Scientists announce they have cloned pigs, leading perhaps to pig-organ transplants someday.
9. Scientists announce they have cloned a kitten, leading perhaps to clones of beloved pets someday.
10. "Nesting" is huge after 9 / 11. 11. The Catholic Church spends the year trying to deal with the aftermath of predatory priests and allegations of sexual child abuse. 12. The nation has one of the warmest winters ever. 13. Ashley Pond, 12, vanishes in Oregon. Two months later her friend Miranda Gaddis, 13, disappears. Their bodies are eventually found, but it's the beginning of an unrelated series of child kidnappings that dominate the national news through the summer. 14. Morgan Kay Beamer, the daughter of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer, is born. 15. Patched jeans make a comeback. 16. Hear me roar: All-America Selection 'Diva' cucumber doesn't need a "male" plant to produce. 17. Former First Dog Buddy is run over and dies near the Clintons' home in New York. 18. Gov. Parris Glendening and his deputy chief of staff, Jennifer Crawford, marry.
19. Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi Longstocking books, dies at age 94.
20. Star power: Tom Cruise starts a run on beer and Patron tequila after ordering the combo in Vanilla Sky. 21. Tom Cruise gets clear braces.
22. Battle tops are the hot toy at the New York City Toy Fair. 23. Americans learn President Bush's niece Noelle has a serious drug problem. 24. Pottery Barn names a sofa after Baltimore. 25. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan's wife, Juanita, announces the end of their marriage. 26. A month later, the couple reconciles. 27. Controversial research finds most divorced people -- and their kids -- do just fine. 28. Saint-John's wort may lower the effectiveness of cholesterol drugs, studies suggest. 29. Soigne, one of Baltimore's best new restaurants, opens in Riverside. 30. Cell phones are becoming increasingly popular with teens. More than 30 percent of 15-to-17-year-olds have them.
31. Chelsea Clinton straightens her hair. 32. Hallmark decides not to add patriotic messages to its Valentines in spite of 9 / 11. 33. Study suggests more than 5 million American teen-agers are binge drinkers. 34. HGTV's Dream Home is in Maryland this year. 35. Top U.S. and French chefs launch FiveLeaf, which ships flash-frozen
versions of their haute cuisine by mail order. 36. GHB, the "date rape" drug, gains popularity on college campuses as a recreational drug rivaling Ecstasy. 37. Sitcom stars make pajamas trendy home wear.
38. Housing prices skyrocket. 39. Woof 'em down: 400,000 hot dogs are served at the Winter Olympics. 40. A miniature
poodle, Surrey Spice
Girl, wins Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. 41. December and May: Joan Collins, 68, marries theater manager Percy Gibson, 36. 42. Bunco, the
social game known as bridge for the brainless, takes off. 43. The 'Chilly Chili' pepper, which doesn't sting gardeners' hands when they pick it, is introduced. 44. Two new drugs in the pipeline, Picovir and AG7088, stop cold viruses. 45. Ninety percent of middle-aged Americans will become hypertensive, research shows. 46. Fox anchor Greta Van Susteren's plastic surgery
is the talk of the TV news industry.
47. Ethnic brides clean up at the box office with Monsoon Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding: 48. "Wear-ability" is the word at the fall 2002 fashion shows in New York. 49. Reality TV takes over the country. 50. U.S. infant mortality rate is down 3 percent. 51. Happy Dog Toys introduces the Bubble Buddy ($9), which creates bacon-, peanut butter- or barbecue chicken-flavored bubbles. 52. Cyber-dating becomes a way of life for millions.
53. Liza Minnelli and David Gest get hitched. 54. Men are averaging 16 hours of housework each week, women 27.