By Ruth Nowlin
The New Year’s Eve just past was celebrated in a bit different way for us. In long ago years I dressed up and went to a local gathering with friends. We listened to very loud music (ego my tinitus, never-ending ringing in my ears), laughed a lot, imbibed some, danced until my feet were numb, returned home and crashed until the alarm clock notified us that this day was a work day.
As the children came along these days dwindled to almost non-existence. We began to celebrate early with bonfires, hot dogs, burned marshmallows and lots of fireworks. Most of the time we had to gather up sleeping children wrapped in blankets to make the ride home.
The children grew up and moved on making their own families and we celebrated with lots of coffee, a fire in the outside grill and finally at 12:00 rang the old dinner bell the number of times as the year. This custom began with our daughter, Linda. She thought it would be “cool” if we celebrated my Ma’s memory by ringing the bell once for each year after 1900, Ma’s birth year. We continued this tradition until 2000 when I gave up as my ringing arm gave out.
Since then we have celebrated with snores and wheezes in our nice warm bed. The New Years came in unannounced.
This year we celebrated by attending the wedding of my eldest son’s eldest daughter. Back in the day we “girls” fancied a church wedding with all the flowers, music and falderal. I fancied that type wedding but settled for standing up in my parent’s home with my husband and the preacher. The only guests were my parents, siblings, and his parents and siblings. So much for my fancying.
Two of my daughters had “all the trimmings.” My first marriage did not last forever and neither did theirs. My other daughter had a very quiet, very simple wedding in our home and her marriage is still going strong. Go figure.
Now my granddaughter’s wedding was in a beautiful venue but surely different. It was in a barn. Now, true, it was not a real barn but built the same. There was a preacher, the bride and groom, lots and lots of attendants and a host of guests. It was a beautiful ceremony, to the tune of – I won’t say – and the actual ceremony lasted about 20 minutes. The rest was hundreds of pictures, toasts, a lavish layout of food and drinks, very loud music and I froze in the wide-open space of the “barn.” How the attendants and bride hid their Goosebumps I will never know.
So, they are hitched, we returned home safely in the rain (did I mention that we traveled 2 hours one way) thanks to our daughter and son-in-law. It sure was good to be back home again (to quote the old song).
However you celebrated the arrival of a New Year, I hope that it was a joyous and safe time. As I look back on 2016, there is much to be thankful for. I am praying that with the new head of our country and his cabinet we will move forward to an even brighter 2017, God willing. Happy New Year and God bless.
…and that’s life.