Memorable New Years Eve’s…
I realize for many adults: “Memory” and “New Year’s Eve” present a huge gray area…but surely there are bits and pieces you remember.
For me – having grown up in Boston – my most memorable New Year’s Eve happened right here in Southwest Missouri. I can only narrow down the year – and I can’t tell you much about the conversation – or who all was there…but I’ll never forget it.
We were on a buddy’s acreage – super cold, but with a HUGE bonfire. Perfectly clear night, crisp air, crescent moon, stars forever – the Milky Way hanging like a massive contrail.
I’m sure there were a few cases of cheap beer – but we were all nursing homemade wine. Not the kind with freshly-crushed grapes, brewers yeast and barrel aged – I’m talking 3-week-old Welch’s grape juice with 4-cups of sugar, Fleishmann’s and a balloon on top of a gallon jug to monitor fermentation. Hillbilly? You bet.
I’d say we were on about 15-acres of fenced pasture, and my buddy had just fixed up a 50-year old Farmall Tractor. Having never operated one…I spent the better part of the evening burning his gas, chasing cows in a tiny beam of headlight on high-gear.
To a lot of people around here – this has to sound unbelievably boring…but I don’t how to describe it – I just felt…at home. Totally relaxed. No Dick Clark or Seacrest on TV – no monitoring the count-down – listening to crappy pop-music from the past year…Just a group of people, layered-up, 15-degress, enjoying the glow and warmth of a bon-fire…acting stupid.
10:45 – I was on the phone with people an hour ahead in Times Square…they’d been standing there all day – telling themselves they were creating a memory that would last their lifetime. I felt sorry for them. Shoulder to shoulder – butt to butt for a dozen hours…just to see a ball drop and confetti fall.
I don’t care how elaborate they make that crystal ball every year – it’ll never match the brilliance and quiet beauty of gleaming stars on a crisp, cold night…crackle of a fire 50-yards away, din of relaxed conversation and laughter among friends…sitting on the back of an old American-made tractor, alone – away from the party, looking up, absorbing the night sky, truly thankful for where my journey had taken me.