As most of you have probably figured out I'm a 'homebody', close-to-the-edge-almost-a hermit. However I do enjoy friends and family (most of the time...;-) and so when some folks from Church invited us all over for New Year's eve, it was something to look forward to. Usually we do get together on NYE, but it is sporadic and never a sure thing. Lest you think, that, whoever hosts this is inviting a huge amount of people, they aren't. Our little church averages about 18-20 folks on a good day, and not all those will show up at a 'gathering'.
This year, a couple that have been working on building their new house for several years, decided to open up their home to us. The house is amazing, although they still have quite a bit of finish work to do. There is allot of wood, and a southwestern feel to it (they are from out west). The floors are wood, the kitchen cabinets a beautiful natural hickory blend of light and dark wood. I'd give my eye tooth and my false eye tooth for their Soapstone stove and their elevated (and huge) hearth. I also loved the little closet that was completely lined in cedar.
Getting there proved to be a slight challenge. I rode with my Mom and Dad and was the 'designated driver'. Mom had the directions and a little flashlight and we set off. Of course it was dark and of course I got some loony-toon on my bumper who was either flashing his lights at me or had a defective headlight (I think the latter), so that I was halfway blinded during a good part of the drive. I was a little skeptical of the directions, since they were something like this 'go down 73 Hwy til you see Such and Such's Beagle's and Such and Such's Leather Shop, and then turn left on This Road right after that'. Well....that is all very well and good in the daytime, but when it's dark, in the country, you can't see anything that is three foot off the road, much less read, including business or road signs. I think I ended up turning left on three different roads, or maybe just two, before finding the correct one--with the help of Mom shinning her little flashlight out the window onto the road sign! After that it was all back roads and with the judicious use of the brakes and flashlight all signs were properly spotted and the correct turns were made in a timely manner. Wonder if those folks noticed us spotlighting their house number sign??
So, what do a bunch (fourteen to be exact) of old fogey churchy people do on New Year's eve? We have fun of course! First there was food (we are Baptists)and lots of it. Snack type stuff and it was all good. Lots of good hot coffee, and sodas to round out the caffeine overload. We visited. We toured the house. We ate. Visited some more. Then I was challenged! Time for the card games to come out and the gloves to come off as we became, uhm, slightly competitive. Sequence was the game of choice. One of the ladies from church is like the master game lady and has a closet full of fun games to play. She actually made the sequence board (and one for me too, one year!). Anyhoo, the guys magically faded out of the room when they saw The Board go down on the table. Us gals divided up into two teams of three each, with two spectators. We all had to have refresher courses on the rules, and there was massive confusion throughout the game on the uses of the Jacks--one eyed and two eyed.
It was all fun. The laughter flowed and the constant bantering, hassling and secret signals were a hoot. Some of the players got all caught up in conversations, and that was the best time to make covert, but strategic moves. Our team won, not that that is important of course (but I wanted to make sure you knew that we won! Winners! Woot! Woot!). Ahem...well anyway, it was all good, winners, losers, it's all the same.
We stayed until around 10:00 p.m. (I know, but hey I was shocked I lasted that long!) and then took off for home. It was very cold out but nice and toasty in the house with good friends and fun times.
The people that own the house we went to, had this beautiful dog named Sidney. He is a Lab/Australian Shepherd mix. Short haired, Lab sized and a beautiful blend of dark blue merle coloring. That boy is smart and very cheerful. He knows how to shake (both paws, depending on which paw, er, hand you offer), sit, lay and is working on going to his bed and staying there. He was so happy to have guests and ran from one to the other, liberally offering his paws to all. They also had a gorgeous cat named Jack. He looks allot like Meshach, as he was Siamese colored, long haired, but he was also a Manx! What a pretty boy. I told Boone he was in for it for a few days, since I was inspired in all the work that Sidney could do--I mean Boone only shakes with one paw! And wheres the enthusiasm?
Back at the homestead, things had been left in a very depressed state. Boone and Ariel were inconsolable that they were not going to get to come into the house at 6:00 p.m on the dot. Instead I fed them outside and put Boone in his pen! Talk about long faces all around and sad eyes. whew... I'm surprised real tears didn't fall. I gave them belated Christmas gifts---cow bones! With lots of yum still attached! Wow! Bones guys, isn't this exciting? They wouldn't touch them. How dare I. Still hadn't touched them when I got home. Talk about will power and knowing how to professionally sulk!
It was getting on 11:00 by the time I got home and released the prisoner (Boone) and let them in the house--'for only a little while Boone'. Boone was ecstatic. He was bouncing off the walls and me, and grabbing little stuffed animals right and left. He was in the how-ouse! All was not lost! Ariel was pretty happy too, and nestled on her bed. So, while I hadn't intended to stay up til midnight, I did, so Boone could snooze in the house awhile. Hey, I guess snoozing in the house is much more fun than snoozing in his own little house. So me and the cats and the dogs all ushered in the New Year. I was the only one awake, mind you, but it was pretty nice.
Hope whatever you did on New Year's Eve brought you smiles and contentment.