As I wrote those words, I wondered how the world will reflect on them in 2037. There’s been much moaning and groaning about what a bad year 2016 has been—for celebrities, for our country with the bitter divisiveness and what I at least see as an unsatisfactory and scary outcome, and for me personal—one shattered and one broken hip, lactose intolerance, etc. Briefly putting aside the good things that happened (moving into my cottage, a Chicago visit with my kids, etc.) I admit 2016 didn’t seem to lay the groundwork for a bountiful and joyous 2017. Most predictions are that it’s going to be worse, a year that requires all our strength and courage and faith, and I admit it may well be. But despite some naysayers, I don’t think the world will fall apart nor will our country. There will be bright moments and happy spots, and circumstances may conspire in ways we’ve not even imagined to make it a happy new year.
It’s been years since I wanted to spend New Year’s Eve at a fancy restaurant or huge, noisy party, and I never had the slightest urge to spend it in Times Square waiting for the ball to drop. But I do believe the fantasy that how you spend the evening of December 31 sets the tone for the coming year. With that in mind I invited a few close friends—six couples to be exact—to come by on their way wherever they are going and help me welcome 2017 to the cottage (all but one couple came—and they were out of town). Most were spending a quiet evening at home and liked the social break.
I intended to serve drinks and no more, but Jordan got hold of it and suddenly my “party” was the focus of her Saturday planning. She served meatballs, hummus, and the artichoke/spinach dip I asked Christian to get at Costco.
At six tonight, the cottage was filled with laughter and loud voices, and I said to one guest that was exactly what I wanted-it will be a happy, joy-filled year. Oh I’m not guaranteeing it, nor am I saying that hard times won’t come. I think I’m hedging my bets and trying to ensure that there will be good times if we all stick together.
Another neat note for New Year’s Eve—at the invitation of my good friends Betty and Don Boles, Jordan and Christian took Jacob and his pal Collin to the Stockyards to watch the herd today and then have lunch at the Star. Jacob loves to go to their restaurant, the Star, and reports they had a really good time. And a good grilled cheese.
Now the Burtons have gone to a local party, and I am at my desk. But that’s how I want my new year too—early fun and a quiet period before bed. I’m off to put the finishing touch on my evening—read a good book.
May your new year be filled with the blessings you wish for, with love and friends and fellowship. And may our country prosper and recover its moral ground and strength.