Posted tagged ‘New Year’

“I fear thee not, O untried morrow!”

January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

Today is far too warm for January, the mid-40’s. It is truly sweatshirt weather. I’d be disappointed if I were a kid who got a new sled for Christmas. This is new bike weather.

When I was in my 20’s, I wore dresses or skirts and blouses to work. After work, I lived in flannel and denim. My friends and I didn’t need an excuse to party. Cheap wine, some chips, and a bowl of onion dip were all we needed. We often went to Friday happy hours. I can’t remember a weekend when we didn’t get together. I was young.

I’m older now and I’m thinking life just happens so my plans for the new year are simple. My dance card is mostly empty. I’ll survive the winter with good humor even if it snows. We’ll do summer movies on the deck. I’ve bought a few already. I’m thinking a lot of grilling. I’ve been saving recipes. I have no travel plans except for my yearly visit to New Hampshire.

I watched 2017 arrive last night. I wanted to make sure 2016 was gone for good. It wasn’t my favorite year though I do have some wonderful memories. My trip to Ghana tops my list. Way back in 1971 when I left Ghana, I had hope I would return, but I could never have guessed how wonderful that first return would be, and that there would be multiple return trips. Bolga is my familiar Ghanaian home again. I shop in the market, eat all my favorite Ghanaian food, and spend time with my former students. Traveling with my friends Bill and Peg this September brought back old memories and made new ones. I figure I have been amazingly lucky to have had such friends. When I was young, I hoped my life would be filled with adventure. It has been and now I have a new year to fill with more.

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”

December 30, 2016

Today is sometimes sunny and sometimes windy. The big storm yesterday was a disappointment. Not that I wanted snow, but I was hoping for a nor’easter and the loud  drumming of rain against the windows. I wanted to see branches fiercely blowing left to right and almost reaching the ground; instead, it just rained.

Today is quiet. Even the dog is bored looking out the front door. She kept hoping for foot traffic where there was none. She is now napping on the couch.

I went to bed earlier and woke up earlier. I’m working on getting up before nine, okay, maybe by nine thirty.

When I was a little kid, I always wanted to stay up to greet the new year. I seldom did. I’d fall asleep before the ball dropped or Auld Lang Syne played. When I got a bit older, I managed to stay awake but found out it was no big deal. Blow a horn and yell Happy New Year was the sum total of my celebration. Come to find out, all the celebrations are almost the same. Add a kiss and a drink then yell Happy New Year.

Nothing much is going on around here. I scoured the paper looking for diversions. All the local New Year’s Eve festivities were listed. There is an indoor farmer’s market tomorrow and an antique fair on Sunday. None of these tempt me to brave the cold.

In the Globe today was a picture with the header, “Seniors ring in New Year with a bit of rock and roll.” At the party yesterday they counted down to noon. They ate mashed potatoes and chicken. They twisted and shimmied and danced away the afternoon.  That, I guess, is full circle.

“Departure of a year welcomes so many new memories”

December 29, 2016

Cape Cod will get rain and high winds but no snow, but I didn’t need a forecast. One look at the sky was enough. It is a storm sky, dark and foreboding. The wind is starting to pick up a bit, but we won’t feel the brunt of the nor’easter until tonight. Meanwhile, I’m staying home. I’m staying comfy.

I woke up so late this morning I am embarrassed. This weird sleep cycle has to be broken. I stay up until one or two or even three and never wake up until some time after ten. I figure I’ll have to set my alarm for an early time in the morning and then hope to fall asleep before midnight.

I still light my Christmas tree every day although it is getting dryer and will so enough have to come down. The house always looks so empty and dark without the tree. It brightens even the deepest and darkest winter nights.

I always expect the new year to be better than the old. I know nothing around me changes too much but everything I saw, whatever I learned and anybody I met makes me more than I was, makes me a bit better than I was.

The highpoint for me this year was my trip back to Ghana. My friends and I had the most amazing time. We saw elephants walking around our chalets just nonchalantly stopping and stripping trees of their leaves while we stood close but still a safe distance away. We saw our former students almost every night in Bolga. We ate our favorite Ghanaian food. We went shopping on market day which was always my favorite day. It was a trip of highlights.

I don’t need a whole to keep me happy. Summer movies and Sunday game nights are never boring or tiresome. We loved sitting on the deck on a summer night with a small breeze keeping the evening comfortable. We laughed at all the bad black and white B movies we saw. One of my favorite creatures was the giant spider scaling the wall of the skyscraper. On Sunday it is Phase 10 and Sorry. With Sorry, just as you think victory is yours, your man, right next to home, gets knocked off back to start. That’s when someone always says  I hate this game.

I’m going to do laundry today, and that’s it. Gracie and I went to the dump yesterday, and there were so many cars, you’d think they were giving something wonderful away. Gracie’s head swiveled.

Now it’s time for lunch and the rest of the lazy day!

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

January 1, 2016

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.

“Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.”

December 31, 2015

We are all back into our routines. It is as if I didn’t go anywhere. Gracie hogs the bed and Fern immobilizes my feet by lying across them. Maddie is in the guest room. The laundry is in process, and that is the last of my welcome home chores though we do have to make a dump run. I had a great time, but it is always good to home.

I never make resolutions for the new year. I used to, but I was just setting myself up for failure. I am at the stage of my life when I can do whatever I choose. Life is wonderful. I get to sleep as late as I want, go to bed in the wee hours, eat unhealthy foods, have dessert instead of dinner, get together with friends even on a week night, travel any time of the year, spend the day reading and embrace being a sloth. This last year has been all of those. I figure I’m darn lucky.

When I was a kid, I always tried to stay awake to greet the new year, but most times I fell asleep and the old year passed without me. When I was older, I went to parties where we all wore silly hats, blew horns and welcomed the new year with hugs and kisses and toasts to a better year. Now a few friends and I get together to play games, have great food and drink a bit. We do wear silly hats and blow horns. I’m thinking the new year isn’t official without them.

New Year’s Day never carried a whole of importance for me. When I was younger, it meant I had to go back to school the next day, but that was it. Even when I was older, it was just an excuse for a party. Every year was pretty much the same as the year before. That’s not true anymore. The givens are far fewer. Surprises pop up more often. Life is much more interesting when you don’t know what might happen. I’m looking forward to finding out!

Happy New Year!!!

“New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.”

January 1, 2013

Today is cold but warmer than yesterday. I can hear drips from the roof falling onto the deck as the snow melts. The birds are back. Even before my coffee I went outside and refilled the large feeder. I still haven’t located the bird bath heaters, but I know if I buy another, I’ll find the first two. That is the law of averages for me. I met my friend for breakfast this morning. I noticed a few other spots were opened as well, not like Christmas morning when the world seemed deserted except for my diner.

I’m going to watch the Rose Parade this morning as I do every year. I love the floats and am always amazed at how beautiful they are and sometimes how imaginative and whimsical. When the announcers list what was used to create them, I can’t imagine standing there gluing mustard seeds or the other small natural ingredients used to decorate them. I can’t even make decent looking crepe paper flowers with pipe cleaner stems.

The most difficult chore of this new year is remembering to put the right year on my checks. The first couple usually end up needing correction. Luckily, though, most of my bills are paid on-line, and they can figure out the year.

I have an empty dance card for this year, at least so far. No trips are planned though my travel bug itches for one. The deck looks deserted with its covered furniture, stacked tubs filled with decorations to be hung from the branches and with candles, lots of candles, to light and hang from the trees. Summer is a long way off when the ground is covered with snow.

Today I’ll go down to visit my friends, and we’ll play some games and eat dinner together. That’s the best start to a new year.


“New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.”

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I remember when I was a kid, I was thrilled when I first stayed up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. It was a struggle, but I made it. New Year’s Day, however, seemed no different from any other day so I didn’t quite understand all the hoopla. Now, each year is another notch in my belt. I stay up without any trouble and watch the ball descend and hope to remember to change the year when I write out checks.

Today is still far too warm for winter at 48°. I remember a few years ago we had a terrific snow storm on New Year’s Eve, but this winter so far has been a bust. We had a sprinkling of flakes one afternoon, but they disappeared when they hit the ground. Mind you, I’m not complaining, wondering is all.

I can vividly bring to mind so many milestones in my life, and each New Year some of those jump out at me, and I remember becoming me.

I remember wanting to be thirteen, a magic number. It was like a giant step moving from twelve to thirteen. All of a sudden I was a teenager. The world was in front of me. I figured I’d have my first kiss, my first boyfriend, first slow dance, high hair-do and nylon stockings, and I got most of them.

After thirteen,  I couldn’t wait to be sixteen. I knew all the songs about sweet sixteen, and I had high expectations. Most of those weren’t met, but I was okay. The world was still in front of me. On the horizon was the end of high school and the beginning of college.

I loved college. I loved learning; I loved my friends, and I love the parties. We had a great time just about every weekend. Senior year was the year of Friday happy hour get-togethers at the bar owned by a friend’s father. It was a weekly tradition to be packed in that bar and take turns passing the trays of food over our heads to one another. It was a great way to start to say good-bye.

The Peace Corps was next, a defining time in my life. I had planned on applying since my junior year, and I did in October of my senior year. It wasn’t a long wait. In January I knew I was going to Africa. I couldn’t believe it.

The longest stretch of time in my life was from that January until the Sunday in June when I left for staging. When I arrived in Ghana, I was amazed, mouth opened amazed at everything I saw. My entire experience was like that: a joy, amazement. The two years went far too quickly.

When I came home, I had no job, but I found one and stayed at that same school for 33 years then I retired.

That brings me to now. I can’t find all the right words to say how much I look forward to each day. I wake up, go downstairs, make my coffee and then read the papers. Every day starts the same, but I am never bored.

Today starts another year of being retired, of having the world still in front of me. I can hardly wait.

“New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.”

January 2, 2011

The day is overcast but warm. The sun keeps trying to break through, but the clouds are too heavy. Every now and then the day lightens and I get hopeful, but then the sun disappears again. I don’t really mind today’s weather. I’m comfortable here inside and have no plans to be elsewhere.

Poor January 2nd. We had Christmas with all its preparations then a short wait until New Year’s Eve then New Year’s Day. Today is just another in a long line of days.

When I see pictures of singers I really like, I wonder how they got so old. Gordon Lightfoot is one example, and I couldn’t believe it when I realized Judy Collins is 72 or close to it. I have a friend who is eligible for medicare. What’s going on here? How did we all get so much older?

I think I was paying far more attention to life itself to realize that each day meant I was a day older. The first time I got a senior discount I needed a brown bag to stop me from hyper-ventilating. I don’t feel older. Admittedly, I’m a bit slower, and my word retrieval skills have ah, ah, you know, ah, deteriorated. On New Year’s Eve, I didn’t know a single song or singer. The audience was singing along. They all looked twelve to me, and I wondered why their mothers would let them out so late.

I like to think of the new year as a time for renewal, a time for a better me, but I’m been in the house so long I’m going crazy, and I haven’t given any thought to renewal. Yesterday I drove my new car around the block. I wondered where the crowds were and the flags and whether my pit stop was ready for me. I wanted to wave to the crowds in the same funny way as the queen waves, but I didn’t see anyone. Just riding around the block seemed that exciting.

Last night my foot and leg hurt. I moved to a more comfortable position and the pain disappeared, but I figure I need to take this really slowly. Tomorrow I’ll give it another try. I hope there will be crowds. I have my wave all ready.

Come Fill Up Your Glasses: The Tinsel Tones

December 31, 2010

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