It is Day 2 of 2014. It’s early and it’s cold and dark outside. The sun will rise in an hour or so and slowly draw light across the frozen lake. I caught the sunset and the clouds yesterday afternoon. We get a little less than nine hours of sunshine at this time of the year. In the summer, it seemingly never gets dark. I love how the shadows in the snow slowly come to life on a cold January morning. I could look out onto the lake forever. It’s peaceful and it is the time of the morning when I can just be.
Yesterday was the first day of the New Year and to be honest, we did not do much. I know I did not do much. I did finish my school thank you notes and I did help clean up the house from our New Year’s Eve dinner, we all did. Some of us were more cheerful about it than others, but that is how it goes. So, the house is clean, for now. We’ll do another cleanup when we pack up and go home back to reality in a couple of days.
Afterwards, we just relaxed. It was bitter cold and windy outside. W lost skiing privileges and O just wanted to hang around the cottage. I cannot blame her, she skied all she could the first few days she was here. She skipped skiing New Year’s Eve day and chipped in helping B and I ready the cottage for our guests. New Year’s Eve was a blast. I grilled steaks and we had a fire in the fireplace. The front room was warm and there was plenty of food and drink for everyone. The grownups sipped red wine with dinner and afterwards. The kids had bubbly apple cider and I had brought root beer and orange cream soda from home for the occasion. We all sat around the table, all nine of us, and it was cozy and comfortable. The best part of dinner wasn’t dinner, although it was good, it was the talking, laughing, and sharing stories. While the adults talked around the table, the kids went upstairs to play and hang out. W crashed on the couch, silently enjoying the evening by himself. We had the Peach Bowl on in the background and we watched the Aggies comeback and win the game in the last five minutes. I saw them play earlier this year at Ole Miss and they won on the final play. It makes for exciting football, but I’d rather be more certain about the victory. When the game ended, we switched over to Times Square and the ABC New Year’s Eve feed from Times Square.
There was a time in my life when being surrounded by a couple of hundred or more thousand New Year’s Eve revelers would have been inviting, but I was just as happy surrounded by a handful of friends ringing in the New Year. We all donned party hats and the kids, especially O, loved the noisemakers. Ivy wasn’t grooving the noisemakers and she left the party for the comfort of the bedroom. We gathered around the television when the countdown got under five minutes. Finally, it came 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1……Happy New Year! We blasted the party favors and the kids danced and sang, we wished each other a Happy New Year, and 2014 began. O realized we could ring in the New Year a second time, on Chicago time, but we reminded her that once is plenty.
It was a good time. We bade our guests a final happy New Year for the evening, I herded Ivy and the kids to bed, turned out the lights and I climbed into bed.
New Year’s Day began with the Rose Parade and then football games. Sometime in the early afternoon, I looked at the time. It was 1:11 PM on 1-1-14. W noted it could have been 1:11 PM and 11 seconds, but only for a second. The moment moved on, like the rest of the day.
We made our New Year’s phone calls and flipped on the Rose Bowl to watch Michigan State and Stanford. O and I played a game of gin rummy and I watched the game out of the corner of an eye. It turned out to be a thrilling bowl game to watch and like the Aggie’s game the night before, it went down the final minutes. Michigan State won.
The evening wound down with the kids and B making ice cream. They made two batches, one batch cinnamon, and the other butter pecan. We’ll get to taste them today, at least I hope to taste a spoonful. I finished the last of my thank you notes while they worked.
It was a great first day of the New Year. Today is the second day and it will be no less a great day. The sun is almost up and the lake is a blanket of white. It is cloudy and cold. It’s gonna be cold all day, but it will be warm in the cottage and we’ll Make the Day Count. But, it will be over before we know it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day because today is gonna be a great day. I know it; I can feel it, because as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German writer and philosopher wrote long ago:
“Nothing is worth more than this day”
Today is going to be a great day. Making the Days Count, even when it is the second day of the year, because every day counts.