Tonight I will be celebrating New Year's Eve for the 50th time in my life. What a ride so far, I can't wait to see what the next 50 bring. Optimistic aren't I? There were many times in my younger years that I thought I wouldn't make it to 30, so I find it quite amusing that I'm looking forward to 50 more years. Funny how your life changes the older you get.
We have plans tonight, something we haven't done in many, many years. I think the last time Dave and I went out on New Year's Eve was the first year we lived in Kentucky and we went to my cousin's house in Nicholasville. I'm really thinking that's the last time we were even up at midnight. Again, funny how your life changes....
I have many memories of New Year's Eve, and yes, some of them involve partying. I was a child of the 70's, and I did my share of partying. But not all of them.
I spent my middle school and high school years babysitting on New Year's Eve. For the same family usually. I was always a babysitter, my first job being in northern Maine when I was 10 years old. For a couple that lived two doors down on the military base. I was scared to death that first night, although excited at the same time. But, I was always the 'babysitter' in the family anyways.
I actually don't have any memories of new years before moving to Lewiston, Idaho in 1974. We moved so many times growing up in the military, I couldn't [accurately] tell you which state I lived in each new year much less what I did. (Note to self: this needs to be documented....).
One of my first good memories of New Year's Eve though? Sledding at my aunt and uncle's house in Deary, Idaho. They had a little farm there, in a little logging community high in the mountains of Idaho. It snowed alot there, at least it did back then. They still get their fair share every year, but not like years ago. All my cousins were there that weekend and we were having a blast sledding down this one hill behind their house. We pulled our sleds up that hill for hours.
After a while my great aunt Marie called us in to eat chili and we all said 'no', but she then informed us that it was 18 degrees below zero. We were having so much fun that we didn't even realize how cold it was. I also remember my great uncle Wesley tying all of our sleds together so it made a big long train. Then he hooked us up to his pickup and pulled us through town. What fun we had!
For some reason my best memories involve snow..... another wonderful time I remember was when I lived in Pierce, Idaho. Jenni wasn't even in school yet and we lived high up on a hill overlooking town. Pierce is about an hour north of Highway 12 in the mountains of North Central Idaho and at the time most of the people were supported by a lumber mill that was located there. Unfortunately the mill is gone now, but several of my good friends still live up 'on the hill', a term commonly known by the locals in the area.
The local band, who was composed of Jack Smith and the Graham brothers, had quite a following of fans. We would drive to wherever 'Shotgun' was playing, no matter how far sometimes. So, alot of people came up the hill from Orofino for New Year's Eve. We went into the Timber Inn that night and it was barely snowing. We came out of there several hours later and you couldn't hardly see, much less drive. Snowmobiles were used to get people home. Needless to say ... there were alot of people sleeping on floors in various homes in town that night. The roads were pretty bad and most of those there listening to the band ended up not going home until later on the next day. I just remember coming out the next morning and seeing bodies laying everywhere, with whatever blankets and pillows I could find to keep them warm.
Ahhh, it's days like this that the memories start flowing. Remembering the past .... and looking forward to the future. The holidays fall at the perfect time of the year. Right at the end. It's a great time for reflection. I'm wishing every one of you a happy and safe New Year's Eve, wherever you are. And all the best to you in the new year!
God Bless you all.... Pam