There's a lot to be said for going to a New Year's Eve party on your own block. Our neighbors three doors down had a great party--lots of good company and good food, and I had my--believe it or not--very first martini. (Meh.) We excused ourselves early to go get Amie and walk down the street to my mother-in-law's house, where the six of us (counting all of the dogs) rang in the New Year. After making a valiant attempt to watch New Year's Rockin' Eve (Who are these people?) we were delighted to find Garrison Keillor hosting Emmylou Harris and the Old Crow Medicine Show, among others, from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Now that was a great New Year's Eve show.
Why, yes, we are old. And your point?
Did anyone else notice that Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church follows the common lectionary? Keillor delivered a brief homily on the same Colossians passage we had heard preached Sunday morning.
Now I'm watching the Rose Parade, which I love to do because of the six years we lived less than a mile from the parade route. I get a little homesick for Pasadena when I see those shots of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Norton Simon Museum. We used to get up around 6:30 and walk over to Colorado Blvd. to stake out a bit of sidewalk (hard to do, since the sidewalks are covered with sleeping revellers at that hour) or, better yet, a random bit of scaffolding on which to perch. The floats look wonderful on TV, but you cannot imagine how breathtaking some of them are in person. I'm a big crier, and I have been moved to tears more than once by seeing an amazing float, up close and personal.
Something they don't show you on TV: The reason the cameras are near the beginning of the parade route is because these very heavy and elaborate floats sometimes break down halfway down Colorado Blvd., and must be towed the rest of the way. Not telegenic. Something else they don't show you on TV: the horde of street preachers following the parade with megaphones and huge turn-or-burn signs, handing out tracts that Pasadena sanitation workers later sweep up by the hundreds.
One of my classmates at Fuller was a native Pasadenan who grew up in a neighborhood near the end of the parade route. When he was a kid, he and his friends would comfortably watch most of the parade on TV, and then run outside to see it live!
Twenty-five years ago today, in a tiny apartment living room, a smiling young man knelt before his girlfriend, took her hand, and asked her to marry him. She said yes--then cried for joy. Sometimes she still does.
Don't forget your black-eyed peas! Happy New Year!