Happy New Year, everyone! I haven't stayed up to ring in the new year since 2000, and I followed my tradition last night and went to bed at 10:40 or so, when Gemma finally decided to sleep. It was a bit different when I was growing up in Munich. We would have a fairly alcoholic punch and stay up to watch fireworks, listening to the radio, as hour on the hour they announced the New Year around the globe.
Out here, if you happen to be up at midnight, you might hear a couple of shots ring out as some neighbor fires his gun into the air. Hopefully the bullet does no damage in its descent.
I remember being in 3rd grade just after the new year (writing the strange new year on my papers), and thinking about the year 2000. I had worked out that I would be 36, and I remember thinking how creepy the year "2000" sounded to me, and I rather hoped I wouldn't be alive when it came. I'm glad now that I stuck around, even though the world is in only a few ways better and in others a whole lot worse than it was in 1972.
There are six positive additions to the world who are living under my roof right now, all but one born after the year 2000.
I used to think about Tante Postler, an elderly refugee from the Sudetenland, who lived for about 30 years in my grandparent's home in Germany, how she was born in the 1800's and died at 103 in the 1900's. How strange it seemed to me that her life reached back into a past century. I suppose that if I live to a ripe, old age, my grandchildren will think the same of my life. "She was born in the 1900's," they'll say with some awe. Isn't that funny...?
Here's a toast (with coffee), to all my friends and family whose lives bridge the centuries. Happy 2010...May it bring you many blessings.