“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”

Happy New Year!

The weather doesn’t look much different being grey and overcast, and I slept away the morning having stayed up way too late last night, but I feel a bit different, a little more excited for each new day. I have no expectations so whatever happens will be a surprise. I know I’m hoping to go back to Ghana in the fall with my friends, my friends from Peace Corps days. We traveled together all the time back when, and we lived in a duplex on school grounds. They are funny and are great travelers, and they love Ghana. It feels like home to them as well. How lucky we are!

When I was a kid, New Year’s Day wasn’t especially significant to me. It meant the end of vacation so it had a pall about it. I’d had a whole week of no bedtime and playing as long as I wanted with my new toys. I’d read my new books well into the night without being told to turn off the light. One week just wasn’t enough.

It really didn’t take long for routine to grab us right back into it. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, walk to school, sit there all day with just lunch and recess to break up the monotony, sit back down after lunch then with great hoopla run home at the end of the day hoping for some outside play time before it got dark.

The funny thing is I never thought of that as a routine. I just thought of it as the lot of every kid. Weekends also followed a pattern. On most winter Saturdays we walked uptown for a movie. The sun was always low in the sky when we’d walk home. I remember that for some reason. When I was older, we’d often skate on a Saturday. We would walk to Rec Park and skate on the temporary rink the town put up every year. It was circular, and we always skated one way.

Sundays were seldom exciting. They were masses in the morning and family dinners in the afternoon before we were free. Bedtime came early on a Sunday. My mother always used the excuse we needed our sleep for school the next day. We never bought it.

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20 Comments on ““And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been””

  1. Hedley Says:

    The flurries are coming your way Kat. yesterday there were literally hundreds of birds zooming around gathering food. Today the squeals continue. Mrs MDH are responding to movements in the household. The Prince is on a plane to KC to see Uncle Eric play on Sunday, deferred chores are being addressed, Van and Them have been in the air along with the football of both kinds

    Dusk is here and I am a shade sleepy.

    I was a shade sad by some of the posts yesterday from your guests, I do hope they don’t feel isolated and perhaps can engage in conversation with the KTCC club

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      The forecast has the next few days a bit warm for flurries. I hope you’re wrong not because of the snow but because of the cold.

      The Prince has a lovely ending to his vacation. Football aficionados are living in nirvana with all the games, including the 100 or so bowl games.

      Having woken up in the afternoon, no need for a nap for me. I didn’t have the drowsiness of the late afternoon.

      I think there is a level of comfort for members of the Coffee family. I do think they know how welcome they are to comment or even carry on a conversation with another member. At least I hope sp!

      • Hedley Says:

        Yes, the Prince will be riding in to Arrowhead with Uncle Eric on Sunday. His Uncle is a really good guy and makes sure that the Prince can be enjoy the show that is the National Football League

        KC are playoff bound so we will be hoping that….well, you know what we are hoping.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        Uncle Eric is giving the Prince experiences of a lifetime; I mean really, the NFL!

  2. Richard Says:

    New Year’s Day was never (to use a colloquialism) ‘such a much’ for us in New Orleans. Mardi Gras was a bigger deal, and it lasted two whole weeks. I believe I was in Junior High before I understood it wasn’t a national holiday.

    We start our New Year on a semi-grey yet nicely-chilled Friday here in Memphis. With bated breath (not ‘baited’ – that’s for fishermen) we awaiteth the downriver progress of the Great Flood we’re reminded daily is headed our way. It’s supposed to crest at 45 feet or thereabout … flood stage is 39 feet. Mama, why is that? I suspect there will be much more damage wrought in the days ahead that reminds us of what’s already been visited upon Missouri … and I’m especially glad I’m no longer in New Orleans when the surge finally arrives there. There’s something about living in a city 14 feet below sea level that brings on an extra-special ‘trouser pucker’ when the levees appear close to being overtopped. Led Zep was right about when they break, too …

    Time now to pop open a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes with chiles and add ’em to some eggs and sausage that eagerly await their arrival in the pan. Happy New Year et bon chance, mes amis …

    • Hedley Says:

      Richard, Happy New Year…nice drop about Zep

      I was listening to The Complete Them this morning and in the accompanying notes Van Morrison credited Jimmy Page with guitar on “Here comes the night” and “Baby please don’t go”

      Maybe we will never know how many sessions Page played….until “The Levee breaks”

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      New Year’s Eve means first night in Boston and here on the Cape in Chatham. Kids are welcome and whole families attend. There is a parade and there are fireworks, ice sculptures and venues all over. It is a wonderful way to welcome the new year.

      We have had three or four days of rain, but we were down so the rain did no damage, no rivers overflowing, no floods. I did see the pictures and watched the news about the flooding. It seems the west coast and beyond can’t seem to catch a break with this weather.

      Happy New Year, Richard!

  3. Bob Says:

    My 28 year old son just asked me if I felt different today than I did yesterday. I replied with a definite no. When I was a kid I always thought that the new year would be different but as I’ve aged each year is pretty much just like the last with newer gadgets.

    Every year I hope that we will be closer to world peace which hasn’t happened. Political campaigns have become more polarized and nasty. Technology has improved but it really hasn’t made that much of an impact on my daily life. I still have to make the bed and clean the toilet manually and get stuck in traffic. Since the late 90s my salary has continually increased in very small increments but everything is now more expensive. The company no longer can give me a raise because I have reached the top of my salary band so they give me a one time chunk of money. They hate to stretch the salary band because that will look bad to the Wall Street analysts. The top executives compensation is based on the stock price which means keeping everyone else’s salary low. I just finished reading the book, “The Big Short”. That book will give you real confidence in Wall Street and our Capital system.

    I am an optimist and I can hope this is the year we don’t elect Donald Trump as President and that some peaceful resolution will occur in the Middle East. I wish everyone to have peace and happiness in their personal lives, good health and be here for New Year’s Day 2017.

    • Bob Says:

      Oops. My son is only 18. 🙂

      • Richard Says:

        Bob …
        We are, unfortunately, much closer to ‘Whirled Peas’ than we will ever be to ‘world peace’ in this or any other lifetime. What your company did regarding bumping your salary sounds like the same trick FedEx loved to play with us po’ ‘wage slaves.’

        I have – TA-DAA! – changed my position regarding New Years resolutions … I hereby publicly state here that I will:

        1. No longer spike the football in the end zone after every touchdown and,

        2. Exercise a great deal of personal restraint and no longer date the uncountable number of supermodels texting and calling me incessantly for a date.

        That should stand me in good stead with whatever lies on the ‘Other Side’ of this vale … but it will no doubt disappoint the supermodels.

        Happy New Year …

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I feel a bit hopeful at the start of a new year. I never know what it will bring, but I’m thinking a good year. Better to stay optimistic I figure.

      We seem to be moving further and further away from world peace. If it isn’t politics, it’s religion or the unfairness of the world’s economy which pushes us apart.

      I ditto totally your last paragraph. They are perfect sentiments for a new start this year.

  4. Beto Says:

    Happy New Year Kat…..

  5. Birgit Says:

    A Happy New Year to all of you!
    My old year ended with a delicious dinner with my friend’s family and the new one started with nice fireworks in this small village and a beautiful starry sky (far less light pollution here than at home). I can’t complain 🙂
    Back home and back to routine tomorrow…

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I had a wonderful evening with friends. We ate delicious foods, drank a bit and played a game which took all evening. We laughed a lot-the perfect way to greet a new year.

      Happy New Year, Birgit!

  6. lilydark Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Happy New Years. I really don’t recall how we celebrated it as a child. As teen, I’d rather not say. Sometimes my parents would take us in to NYC to see a play and go out to dinner on New Year’s Day.

    I am hoping 2016 doesn’t lead to more disaster.

    Today it seems I’ve caught a bug, and am resting. My cat mewed that she sees no reason for New Year’s resolutions. I tend to agree with her. I do have one though. I want to have my hair cut and have pink strands put in.

    Lori and the pink crew

    • katry Says:

      Hi Lori,
      We had parties when I was older, but no drinking. We were a clean cur crew who didn’t start drinking until college.

      I think it is time for a good year!

      My flu is totally gone, but it did seem to have lasted a while. I left it in Colorado where my sister figures I spread it to 11 people.

  7. splendidone Says:

    Happy New Year to you Kat and the whole Coffee gang! How I love the chance to close the door on the past year and walk into the sunshine of the new!

  8. Morpfy Says:

    Rhubarb Strawberry Jam
    Ingredients
    ________________________________________

    o 1 lb rhubarb
    o 1/4 cup water
    o 2.5 cups crushed strawberries (about 1.5 quarts)
    o 6.5 cups sugar
    o 1 pouch liquid pectin
    Instructions
    Step By Step
    1. Sterilize Mason jars and prepare two-piece lids.
    [To sterilize the jars, boil them for 10 minutes. If you live at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, boil an additional minute for each 1,000-foot increase in altitude. *If you wish, rather than sterilizing jars the processing time can be increased to 10 minutes. Keep in mind that if your altitude is above 1,000 feet the processing time needs adjustment.]
    2. To prepare fruit: Wash rhubarb and slice thin or chop; do not peel. Combine rhubarb and water in a saucepan. Cover and simmer until rhubarb is tender, about 1 minute. Sort and wash fully ripe strawberries; remove stems and caps. Crush berries.
    3. To make jam: Measure 1 cup cooked rhubarb and crushed strawberries into a large pot. Add sugar and stir well. Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in pectin. Skim foam, if necessary.
    Immediately ladle hot jam into clean, hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Prepare jar rims. Adjust two-piece lids.
    4. Boiling Water Canning: Process Half-pints and Pints 5 minutes*. Follow step-by-step directions for your pressure canner’s boiling water method. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see **Altitude Chart for recommended time.


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