Posted tagged ‘putting away Christmas’

“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.”

January 2, 2015

Using Gracie as a barometer, I figure the day is a warm one, more inviting than the last few. When she goes out, Gracie stays a good long time. The spit on her face is another indicator. It’s disgusting I know, but it tells me she’s been running, a joyful exercise for her. She hasn’t even had her morning nap yet. She’s back outside.

I started the sad task of putting away Christmas. It was a small first step.

I don’t remember celebrating the New Year my first year in Ghana. Christmas and Thanksgiving I remember and over Easter I traveled, but I’m thinking I was in bed at my usual time on that first New Year’s Eve. The only place in town where I might have gone was the Hotel d’Bull. It was the hot spot and even had a bar with an air-conditioner but you’d never know it, too many people were squeezed into what was called the cold room. The hotel had a courtyard, the scene of many jumps, dances to us. It was an easy walk downhill to the hotel from my house. We used to go see movies there, from the roof seats. The movies were always old or bad or both. I remember there was a jump on Good Friday so I’m guessing there must have been one on New Year’s Eve.

For my second New Year’s Eve I was in Ougadougou in Burkina Faso, called Upper Volta in my time. The ambassador from the US had invited any volunteers in town to his house for a party. The real guests, the diplomats, wore tuxedos or long dresses. Volunteers at that party were easy to recognize. We were the ones wearing dresses or shirts made of native cloth, and we didn’t mingle feeling just a bit out-of-place; regardless, that was the best party I ever attended in Africa. There was champagne, and the servers with white jackets and white gloves never let glasses get empty. The food was unbelievable. It was all the food I had been dreaming about and missing: ham, mashed potatoes, turkey and so many vegetables. I think I filled my plate at least twice, maybe more. I know my glass was never empty.

I have no long-range plans for 2015 except maybe winning the lottery. I just have to start buying tickets.

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