The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — It’s not soon enough that this year will be over. It’s quite possibly been the bumpiest year of my life, and I know on midnight on New Year’s Eve, I won’t fondly be looking back at 2012.
Although it’s not been the year I had hoped for, at least my family is all still together. We might not have the things we want in life, but at least we have the things we need. A true blessing, that’s for sure.
Growing up, New Year’s Eve wasn’t celebrated often in my family. One year, I remember my Aunt Neva had a party. Aunt Neva always had the perfectly clean house. She always wore the right accessories and she never went out of the house without looking anything short of fabulous. She always wore an apron, and I can’t remember her ever leaving the kitchen — ever.
The living room was for the kids. The dining room was for special occasions. The kitchen was Aunt Neva’s home base. She always seemed happiest when she had a wooden spoon in her hand or when she was checking the oven on that day’s meal.
You can only imagine a New Year’s Eve party at Aunt Neva’s was nothing but wonderful. Having enough cousins to start our own baseball team, the children were usually busy in other rooms of the house. There was Dick Clark on the television. That glittery ball would have to drop soon, and we didn’t want to miss it. And we always wanted to see what those silly New Yorkers were going to do as they huddled up in Times Square. Plus, there was plenty of mischievousness to get into.
This one particular New Year’s Eve was surprising to me, as I saw my mother enjoy an alcoholic beverage. First, I was flabbergasted that we were not only going to stay at someone else’s house after dark, but we got to stay up until midnight. Back then, neither were usual sources of entertainment.
So, seeing my mother sip on a piña colada was quite a memorable experience. An experience that probably would have gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for the whirling blender that was a siren song to us kids. We all came running, as we were hoping the sound would result in us getting milkshakes. After all, that’s usually the only time we ever heard a blender running. Imagine our surprise.
But we were a tough and hearty bunch, so we bounced back fast from the milkshake debacle. We had each other. We had a dinning room table to use as a fort. The older boys had to scare us girls with stories of what might be living in the dark, upstairs attic. And there was still the matter of that glittery ball. So much to do.
This year, I’ll be celebrating the beginning of a new year at home, quietly. No piña coladas. No blenders. No cousins or scary stories. Just hopes and dreams that 2013 will be better than the last.
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