(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.
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.