Changes in the New Year?

Interesting how neighbors have incorporated fireworks into the liberal liturgy of New Year’s Eve. Not only are we ‘blessed’ with nightly fireworks starting more than a month before the Fourth of July, we were graced with unexpected explosions and terrified pets for Christmas and New Year’s this year.

Some neighbor started a party going around eight last night but double-paned windows seemed to dull it down . . . until some of them decided to brave the cold and head out to their patio to start playing some metal string guitar (badly) accompanied by fireworks. I don’t think they were trying to blend or stay in sinc . . . because they weren’t.

We’ve found a way to get past the musical/explosive events in our neighborhood – we have a large and noisy fan that successfully blocks out the worst of the noise. However, as if they sensed that their ploys to destroy our much-needed sleep were being thwarted, around ten, it sounded like the drinking had hit an all time high or a fight was ensuing.  Just as I was wondering if we should check on this and either call the police or let them thin the herd, I fell asleep. I guess late hours and   hangovers are  required to enjoy whatever football games are happening today.

Perhaps, I should go over around six this morning and ring their doorbell long and loud and cheerfully call out a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Or, perhaps not . . .

Suggested New Year’s Resolution?

I started out January 2017 working on my sewing projects, one of which is making clothing for Little Dresses for Africa. I know I’ve mentioned this charity before but you never know who is checking in and might be interested in spending some of their sewing time helping a child in Africa receive the first new dress in her life. If you check their site, you will find everything you need to know to get started. http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/about/

The basic patterns for the dresses (instructions on their site) and very simple and work up into a beautiful dress but imagination is not restricted so you can add pockets, trim, and such to your creations. It’s a great New Year’s resolution because it is working towards a goal and is fun, too.

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New Year Reflections – Reminders From the Past

When my husband was a teenager, he worked weekends as a dishwasher and cook’s helper at a local lodge. There was a big event one weekend and the owners hired an extra helper and asked my husband if he knew of anyone who wanted to earn some money. He volunteered his younger brother. During the course of the evening, my husband found himself short tempered and demanding of his younger brother. Nothing he did was right, he was too slow, etc. Meanwhile, the other kid hired for the evening was doing about the same job but my husband treated him with a lot more kindness and respect. Suddenly, he realized that he was only picking on his brother because he could but was being polite to a complete stranger. It brought him up short and he started thinking about how we often treat our own family less worthily than strangers. I suppose family can’t leave and we are stuck with each other . . . but that shouldn’t be the mind set. Now that he is a grown up with children, he always admonishes children to treat their siblings as strangers if they can’t find it in their heart to treat them like family. The first time he made this announcement, it stopped them short until he explained it to them. No, they still aren’t perfect children but they have come to realize who should be first in their hearts.

I remember a situation from my own childhood. I must have been around five or six and my mother, as always, was busy baking for some special event at our parish. She was known for her baking and always called upon or volunteered herself to help out. I had witnessed these frenzied baking sessions before and knew to keep clear of the clouds of flour and motherly muttering as she tried for perfection. The delightful smells and pretty cookies finally got to me and I quietly asked, “Mom! If you have a cookie that doesn’t look good or is burned, can I have it?” There was a sudden lull in the culinary storm. My mother sighed and a tear crept down her cheek and she handed me a little plate with several of her most perfect creations. She, too, had gotten lost in the process and, perhaps, the ‘fame’ of her baking. I guess I had made her realize that family should always come first.

These episodes in our lives seem to pop into mind around New Year’s and reminds me to share the best that I am with the people who mean the most to me in this life. My husband’s story reminds me to respect the ones who love me the most. No, I’m far from perfect but I’m remembering more often to try!