Monday, January 2, 2017

Changing Calendars

New Years Eve 2016: Our annual tradition.

Our family's observance of the flip from 2016 to 2017 turned out to be a two-day event. It was literally, "See you next year!"

As usual, work schedules made it difficult. Mark worked until about 2:00 on the afternoon of New Years Eve, so that wasn't a problem. And Chris was off that day, being a Saturday. However, both Sarah and Dylan worked until 6:00, and poor Jake didn't get off work until 11:00. This convinced me that a family dinner on New Years Eve wouldn't be the wisest course. Instead, we put it off until New years Day.

A big pan of lasagna for New Years Day 2017.

Originally, Dylan had planned to go home from work and take a nap until Jake got off work. Then they were going to hang out with some of Dylan's cousins in Show Low to see in the new year. In fact, Dylan sent me a text asking if I'd "be salty" if they spent New Years Eve with "the cousins" instead of here with me. I assured him I was fine with that.

As it turned out, though, when Sarah drove Dylan home from work, she convinced him (bribed him, that is, with strawberries and pineapple) to come to my house with her and Chris, at least until Jake got home. He grumbled good-naturedly about what a huge nag his sister was, in her efforts to change his mind, but we all enjoyed a pleasant evening together.

In the end, it was after 11:30 before Jake arrived at my house, so they decided not to go out after all. As the ball dropped over Times Square (replayed two hours later for us, of course) we cheered and cried "Happy New Year" and toasted the new year with sparkling cider. Mark, who had to get up for work at 5:00 the next morning, missed out on the festivities. He was in bed by 10:00, which is actually rather late for him. He's usually in bed by 9:00.

The rest of us swiftly followed suit. We all laughed as we parted with the words, "See you next year," as if we were terribly clever, and then everyone headed to their homes and their beds.

And, of course, the obligatory garlic bread. Layin' on the carbs one last time!

Schedules for New Years Day weren't a huge improvement over the previous day, although they allowed a little more latitude. Sarah, Chris, and I all had the day off; Mark got off work at 10:20 because business was slow; and Dylan got off at 4:00. Sarah picked him up from work on their way to my place. When they arrived, they had a surprise guest in tow: my lovely niece Savannah (Darryl's daughter) drove up from the Valley to celebrate with us! The only sad glitch was that, again, Jake didn't get off work at the resort until 11:00. We never even saw him on New Years Day.

I woke up on Sunday with the same yucky stomach issues I'd had on Christmas Day, including a low-grade temperature that lasted a couple of hours. No doubt it's been the result of eating so badly since before Thanksgiving. Still, I managed to make a pan of lasagna while the "kids" played Uno and Phase 10, and then Dylan made us a beautifully crispy, buttery loaf of garlic bread while the lasagna cooled. After dinner, he and Savannah packed up a big square of lasagna and some garlic bread and then drove up to the resort to deliver dinner to Jake. While they were gone, Sarah made us a pan of brownies with cream cheese frosting.

After visiting with Jake for more than an hour, Dylan and Savannah returned and joined us in watching my new DVD, Saturday's Warrior. (Loved it!) Then it was dessert time. Not only brownies, but there were still leftover cheesecake and chocolate orange slices. I insisted that everyone eat as much as possible, because I didn't want any more high-carb foods in my home. I intended to start of my annual "I-will-get-healthy" resolution the next day (and so far I have)!

Sarah, Savannah, and Dylan sit down to dinner.

The night ended after 11:00, when Jake was on his way home. (For Mark, the night ended by 9:15, when he gave up and went to bed.) Savannah headed out with Dylan, since she was staying in the guys' guest room. Sarah headed home next, and then silence fell over the house once again. But it's a good silence, as the happy echoes of laughter and teasing and sharing of stories fade away, leaving behind warmth and joy.

Any year that holds more of these times with the people I love is a good year. A very good year.

Welcome, 2017! And to all, a truly Happy New Year!

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