Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy Hogmanay!

I guess if we were in Scotland now, for New Year's Eve, we would be wishing everyone "Happy Hogmanay!" It is their name for this date...probably from olden times when you wished people to have "many hogs", a form of wealth in the new year. It is celebrated now by children going about singing and asking for gifts. It is also the name of a gift, cake or treat given on New Year's Eve. Its origin are actually "unknown". I would guess that after tasting one of those "Scotish treats" called "Blood Pudding" one would promptly forget the origin of "a lot of things".

"First Night" is also another name for this evening, especially in New England around Boston. It was started back in 1976 by a small group of artists and has spread from there. It hasn't made it out here on the the "left coast" yet. Maybe "Times Square" might have a form of it tonight with the millions jammed in there to watch "the crystal ball drop" and get roaring drunk. Not for me. I do like the idea behind "First Night" - an outdoor, artistic and cultural celebration from the afternoon until midnight. It would probably be a bit frosty to be outdoors all that time in New England without a little "warming spirits" in you. It would be fun to see a community's local culture, music, dance, comedy and art with plenty of food, fireworks and "ice sculptures". They wouldn't melt too fast. Might even last until "Groundhog Day" (ala Bill Murray)

Betty and I have gone through several New Year's Eve "traditions" in our lives. Now we mostly enjoy staying home, cuddling in with a cozy book or movie and a "wee dram of chambord". We just had Swedish pancakes with lingon and raspbery syrup from Wisconsin (thanks Patti & Roy)
We were out late (8:30) last night to a "house warming" party in Hemet. An "investor friend" of ours was holding forth. Betty, our designated driver, "touched not a drop" for the challenging drive back over the hills on Hwy.79 and its winding, single lane, truck-hogged lanes.

My favorite New Year's Eve custom over the years was when our church youth group would gather for the "Watch Night Service" at the sanctuary and after "praying-in the New Year"(on our knees) we would all go over to a "friends house" (like Gloria's) and have late night/early morning snacks before bundling up and hiking to the start of the Rose Parade on Orange Grove Ave. We'd bring blankets etc. and "keep warm" with our latest "squeeze" By the time the parade started we were all pretty sleepy. My dad and I would also get up real early (5AM) and drive to West Pasadena, park the car and walk across the "suicide bridge" (before freeways) over the Arroyo Seco ravine. We carried a "half ladder" to lean up against the corner of a building at the bottom of the first hill the parade came to on Lake Ave. He would be at the top of the ladder taking 16mm film/home movies and I'd be at the bottom one or two rungs trying to see over the heads of all the "interlopers" We'd then have the parade to show/plague ourselves/friends with for the rest of the New Year. When we were trying to raise our four boys we wanted to give them that same "special parade feeling" so we hiked from East Pasadena (Sierra Madre) to the end of the Parade route to set up our ladder/chairs we had carried. Then "personal-space invaders" would come late and crowd around us with all kinds of interesting smells and dialects. So much for that. Now we stay home and have a better view over and over on several different TV channels (favorites Stephanie Edwards and ? forgot his name). This year, no parade until Monday, Jan. 2nd because the 1st falls on Sunday. The founders of the "Tournament of Roses" back in the 1890's ruled against Sunday parades. "Blue Laws"? no, they didn't want to frighten the coach horses tied up outside the churches along Lake Ave.

This has never been a time for "Resolutions" for me. I make them all year long with the same results, little success. I'm still working on one that I made when I started this Blog last May. It has made me more mindful of my everyday thoughts and interest/ideas for sharing and it has helped me "preserve" my life as I see it or have seen it. But still the nagging problem...that won't just "fad away". It has also given me a "wealth" of "perquisites" (perqs) that are both unearned and delightful. I'm referring to many new contacts, comments, ideas and sharings that serrundipidously(?) keep happening with it's exposure on the internet. I resolve to continue "blogging/posting" mainly as a discipline and exercise to become more observant and mindful of my "present" and "past" experiences/thoughts and what a wonderful life I am having. Happy News Year! Bob


At 10:32 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Bob Eubanks was the name I was looking for. He and Stephanie have a zesty reparte. His knowledge of horses and her knowledge of marching bands just can't be beat. Also, they don't break away for commercials.
Times Square has a "no alcohol" policy. I didn't know that. They must employ other means for keeping warm in that sub-freezing temperature. Bob


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