December has got to be the most interesting time of year to launch a blog. I’ve been worn thin with my time trying to do it all with multiple jobs, this blog stuff, and then doing all the family stuff for the holidays. It’s been quite the month.
And year, honestly. Two thousand seventeen was a year of many things. I graduated college (after ten years), moved to a different city, and launched my blog. Amongst the triumphs, I experienced some pretty difficult things. As cliche as it is to be hopeful for a brand new year, I am so looking forward to a fresh start.
I haven’t thought of any New Year’s resolutions just yet nor have I thought of any plans to ring in the new year, but I am looking forward to a brand new year. Although I do hate writing out the number 8. Anyone else struggling with NYE plans and resolutions?
Getting to the point, this Friday’s personal essay is dedicated to a New Year’s memory. I have many, many, many memories of New Year’s celebrations, but this is one of my favorites.
I reached my hand into the large yellow chip bowl to grab my 100th salty round chip. I somehow found a perfectly intact chip and immediately dropped it into the cream cheese and mild salsa mixed dip. I’d been sitting here for at least 30 minutes, stuffing my face. It was my most favorite dish that my Mom made for every party. I was in a daze, with an already full tummy, looking around the room trying to take it all in.
We were staying in a large cabin in Big Bear for the weekend with two other families. The Trumbo’s, the Castro’s, and the Dahilig’s were all in attendance and we already had spent a couple of days playing in the snow. It hadn’t snowed while we explored the small city, but we were hopeful it would happen. It was cold enough.
The cabin seemed old. The dark green carpet throughout smelled funny and the paintings of deer and ducks were an odd choice. There was a TV in every room though, which made me feel more at home.
“Tara, I think that’s enough.” My Mom said to me under her breath.
I just looked at her with my mouth full, while my hand was digging around in the chip bowl for another perfectly round one. Without any hesitation, she picked up right where she left off in her conversation with my Dad and the other adults sitting around her. As soon as I finished swallowing, I was already forcing another cream-cheese-and-mild-salsa-dipped-chip into my mouth.
“Tara!” Someone screamed at me.
With a mouth-full, I quickly turned around to see who was yelling at me. It was Nicole.
She screamed, “Come downstairs!” and turned and ran toward the stairs.
I peeled myself off the ground and chased after her. Once downstairs, Nicole, Matt, and Greg were already talking over the rules of the game.
I forgot the name of the game, but it’s the one where you all go in a room, turn off the lights, and try to find where people are hiding.
We played the game for what felt like forever. Each person had a couple turns to be the seeker, before my Mom was downstairs looking for us.
“You guys! It’s almost midnight,” she said curiously, walking around the downstairs den, “Don’t you guys want to be apart of the countdown?”
As soon as she said “the countdown,” the lights in our room went on and we were opening the door, obviously not caring about the current game we were playing.
“There you guys are!” She said, almost frightened.
We ran out of the room, one after the other, and raced each other back upstairs. All of the adults upstairs were standing in the kitchen getting drinks ready for the midnight toast. Us kids sat on the couch, grabbed handfuls of snacks, and glued our eyes on the TV screen.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve was playing and the time stamp read 11:58:33. The screen changed from Times Square to Disneyland and back to Times Square, with crowds of people celebrating the arrival of the year 1999. The time stamp was going fast and suddenly all of our parents were standing around, with drinks in hand. The time stamp read 11:59:40 when my Mom knelt beside me and asked me if I was ready for the countdown. The other kids and I stood from the couch and made our way to our parents.
“3…2…1!!!” We all screamed.
We all cheered and hugged, almost matching the excitement of the crowds on the TV. In between every hug and “Happy New Year!” I’d catch a glimpse of the TV. Every shot the screen switched to, was filled with confetti, fireworks, and people cheering.
Once we exasperated ourselves with everything, my Mom handed us silly string and noisemakers and told us we could go out on the snowy balcony to play with them. As fast as possible, we put on our snow gear and ran outside. The adults watched through the closed sliding glass door, while us kids threw icy snowballs and silly string at each other.
We were only 5 minutes into the new year when suddenly, it started to snow.
“YOU GUYS! IT’S SNOWING!” I screamed.
We all froze and looked up. From the dark sky above small snowflakes began floating down. It was silent. We stuck our hands out and opened our mouths, in hopes that a perfect snowflake would choose us to fall on.
The sliding glass door creaked open and my Dad yelled out, “Is it snowing?”
Without any words to him, he stepped out onto the balcony. He was followed, one-by-one, by the other adults.
For the next hour, we all played in the snow. Every person had a smile on their face and a full heart.
Here’s a picture from that night. ❤