I’ve always been a person who is prone to sentimentality and melancholy on New Year’s. It’s extremely difficult for me to let go of things, even though once I do, I know it is for the best. As I’ve lost more and more loved ones, I tend to wonder more and more about what the new year will bring. I’m trying this year to be very optimistic.
That being said, I can remember a few memorable New Year’s memories worth talking about. The first time I remember the decades changing was 1979/80. Instead of celebrating with my family, I remember writing all night about how I loved the 70s and would miss them. Even at a young age, the melancholy was already strong within me.
In the mid to late 70s, I remember my Mom wanting to go at the last minute to get ingredients to make her favorite punch. My Dad agreed to take her, and off we went. We had just passed the sight of where Pizza Hut now is, and our car gave up the ghost. Dad knew he had to get help because it was freezing cold. He decided to walk to the nearest payphone. My Mom and I sat in the car cold and scared until Dad returned. He had gotten hold of his step Dad Gene, and he was coming to get us. We only have to make it in the cold for a bit longer. We had to have the car towed. We never did get the punch ingredients, but we sure were thankful to get back home in the safety and warmth of the house.
The next New Year’s Eve that sticks out in my mind, is when all of America was holding its breath to see if the Americans held hostage in Iran got released. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Ruth came up, and we all played rummy and ate snacks until we heard the good news; the Americans were being set free. We commenced jumping around and shouting. Ruth went out, honked the car horn and kept shouting, “happy new year.” That year there was no time for melancholy.
New Year’s Day was not without tradition in my family. My Granny Graham wouldn’t let New Year’s Day see daylight without cooking a pot of cabbage with sterilized silver coins. Whoever found the coins as they were eating would supposedly have money all year. Cornbread and pork had to accompany the cabbage. Now I carry on the tradition. I like to believe that my Granny is looking down from heaven, smiling at me for remembering.