fire good. tree pretty.

(I know, I know. That’s wrong.)

This year for New Year’s, I traveled to New England to celebrate with most of my family, and enjoy a bittersweet goodbye to the landscape where I grew up. My siblings and I live in four different time zones, and my parents will be moving to Virginia when my father retires next summer, so we wanted to have one last holiday fling on our old stomping grounds. I usually celebrate New Year’s in Chicago, so I’ve missed out on more than a decade of family traditions for this holiday. For the first time since it was instituted, I got to be there for the New Year’s Eve Tree Lighting. As in on fire, with a torch. I left home long before the year my brother and younger sisters, along with the friends of our childhood, set fire to the Christmas tree (outdoors. on purpose.) in an impromptu celebration that has persisted ever since. It’s been finessed a bit since the first bonfire, and when we got out to the lake the tree was propped up all pretty in a little stand of snow in a clearing on the ice.

We had appetizers and wine. There was a rousing game of Broom Ball, (with the looney lights of La Salette in the background) and some minor injuries.

We had dinner and played games and caught up with old friends. We missed Tim, who wasn’t able to be there and whose absence was like a deafening silence – but I sent him some nice guilt pics so he would know we were thinking of him.

Jesse’s heart aches:
Bethany’s very unhappy:

Kirsten and Faith are madder than hell and
they’re not going to take it anymore:

At about 11:30, a crew went out onto the ice to get ready. At 11:59, I started a stop-watch. We counted down the last 10 seconds and Jesse lit the tree up.

A smoky sputter, and then an evergreen blaze of glory:
What a nice way to ring in the new year. I had planned a whole year-in-review type post, at least in bullet points, but that feels overwhelming to me at the moment and I’m just going to skip it. This is what happened on the actual Eve. If I think of other stuff I just have to tell you about, I’m sure I’ll find a way to let you know. Happy New Year and all the best to you and those you love in 2010!

p.s. Here are a couple of other pictures from the trip. It snowed the entire time I was in New Hampshire. And I found a real live phone booth! Old school.

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6 thoughts on “fire good. tree pretty.

  1. Fringe

    i’ve always said it’s never a proper family gathering unless there are a few minor injuries 🙂

    what a magical post, dearest. thank you for sharing. xo


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