Good evening from New York.
Over here, it is still January 1, so allow me once again to wish a very happy new year to all who will read these words.
After the sometimes frenzied days of late December, it was a great pleasure to awake to a grey beginning to the New Year, and to know that when the alarm clock beeped, it would not be necessary to jump up and adhere to a schedule.
I was able to awake prior to that electronic beep because I did not stay up late enough to see the final minutes of 2007 drift over the horizon. My new year's eve strange dreams were broken, of course by the sounds of party folks singing and yelling their way home down the sidewalks outside my window. I also think that I hear the fireworks that are sent up over Central Park.
As a measure of how civilization passes by with each year, a sound that I used to hear at midnight was silent last night. On my street, there was a custom at midnight that lots of folks would open their windows, and bang on metal pots and pans with big wooden spoons. A very domesticated way of celebrating the new year.
I fear that the folks that used to do this, for decades, have now been forced to move from the street as the speeding forces of real estate upgrading, and renovation, and costliness may just be stomping upon those earlier simpler forms of celebration. Or maybe, I just slept through it last night. Don't think so, though.
All right. Moving into 2008 and its grey sky and mistiness. I got up early and got down to a bit of very much needed apartment cleaning up. Out with the old sort of thing. Several chairs and tables now are bare, the piles of papers, magazines, books that they once held have been banished to other locations. Some of those piles actually made their way outside the apartment to the recycle area down the hall.
Great. Sent off some e-mails to friends and family. Balanced the checkbook. Started early preparation (soaking in lots of water) of a dried legume known as black-eyed peas. It is considered lucky in traditional Virginia lore, to eat black-eyed peas on the first of January. I am very afraid to tempt fate by ignoring this custom, so every year I manage a mouthful of these beans before nightfall on January 1.
Next I turned to working on a long-term knitting project, originally begun to "use up" left over yarns. As any knitter will know, this sort of project can only encourage the purchase of additional yarns, so the project continues ad infinitum. If all goes well, I will illustrate this blog with a bit of the increasingly large coverlet that results from this multi-year project. I will spare you a photo of the black-eyed peas.
In early afternoon I had a surprise visit from a fellow tenant, who came by to wish me a happy new year. I served him tea and some of my home made sugar cookies (not so many people in this city still bake any kind of cookies.) It was nice to just chat a while. This gentleman had an impromptu birthday party last weekend to which I was invited. So...this is quite a lot of socializing for me in a few days.
The weather cleared in early afternoon, and so I also managed a quick walk over to the Park and enjoyed stretching my legs, seeing all the European tourists doing the same, and came home feeling as if my 2008 was off to a good beginning.
I wish the very same to all of you. Pleasant dreams to all.