Sunday, January 1, 2017

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Forty some years ago...really, that long.... New Years Eve was numbingly cold and crisp in northwest Missouri. I had ( choose one) 1) been invited, 2) invited myself, or 3) made it clear I had no stay over and welcome in the New Year with Blake and his friends on Tarkio. We stayed up way too late, had a wonderful time, and struggled the next day to look wide awake and chipper when he dropped me off in Kansas City where my parents were spending New Years Day with my aunt and uncle.
It was paraphrase the famous line from Casablanca..."the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Tonight, decades later, I poured batter on the griddle and listened to Aaron, Lizzie, and Josh outbrag each other about the number of pancakes they had consumed. Eight to ten each, to listen to them. Aaron nestled on the couch reading, ignoring the football game just like his grandpa. Josh had a camping lantern under the dining room table where Liz and I turned over pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle of Times Square. Lizzie has mad puzzle skills, a talent she has obviously inherited from her Grandma Millie. Spilling the puzzle out on the table is a throwback to New Years past when the women and kids tapped their fingers each time a new piece was joined and the men reared back in their recliners and snored after lunch was over.
It is a good thing to visit these ghosts of New Years past before the fireworks go off and the future is upon us. I am happy to be home, to set a table for the family we only imagined those forty years ago, to watch movies with grandchildren and to listen to the same guy sleep through football every New Year.

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