Over the holidays I escaped the snow and ice to visit friends down south that I have known since we were teenagers. It has become an annual ritual that we get together to catch up and ring in the New Year.
The plan initially was to drive down to Mexico and stay at an oceanfront villa. We had done this a couple years ago and began that year with a surfing session on an 80-degree day. However, the past couple years there has been random violence south of the border. As other friends began to drop out of the planned trip and strongly urging us to do the same, we ended up abandoning the plan. It seems that a few days earlier about eight people (policemen) had been beheaded by some Mexican drug gang members, according to an article in the local news.
Efforts to make last minute reservations at the mountain, as consolation plans, were unsuccessful – no room left. Another friend offered to host a New Year’s Eve party, but it was an hour drive and most people didn’t want to travel that far after celebrating. By default, this year ended up being a quiet night watching a succession of movies on the television. We switched from the DVDs to the televised countdown just before midnight. The dogs, swaddled in blankets on the sofa, roused for the flurry of activity as we cheered and danced around the room.
Then the next morning, a group of about two dozen friends met at the beach for a breakfast of hot omelets, fresh fruit, hot caramel pecan rolls, mimosas, and assorted other delectable snacks. A fire crackled in the fire pit and the sunshine glinted off the water as a flock of pelicans skimmed the surface. A pod of dolphins swam past, frolicking in the small waves. We all toasted in the New Year… to the good life!
So, whether donning fancy frocks to go out dancing or just cozying into fuzzy blankets on the sofa to watch movies, the year is truly brought in with the warmth of shared history. And how did you welcome this New Year?