The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Fresh Start

Saturday, December 31st, 2005 in Illinois
Fresh Start

I’ve adopted a new tradition for New Year’s Eve. It requires no reservations, no fancy dress, no cash advance. I don’t have to wrangle taxis or drink cheap champagne or go home smelling like an ash tray. No more trying to make a meal out of tepid hors d’oeuvres, cursing panty hose or tripping through snow in high heals.

What do I do? It’s simple really, I stay at home. Yes, that’s it folks, for the past few years (many years, who am I kidding) I’ve spent New Year’s Eve hiding from bedazzled crowds and dreadful weather. Not only do I not miss the whole New Year’s Eve party scene, I wish I had started this tradition years earlier.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love to spend New Year’s Eve in the company of good friends and I’ve enjoyed a good majority of the New Year’s Eve celebrations I’ve attended. But after a while, those celebrations came at an ever increasing price, both financially and energetically speaking.

These days most people I know travel across county, country or state to spend time with family during the holidays. Or they, like me, have discovered the pure joy of ringing in the New Year at home.

So here’s what I do. In the late afternoon, I turn up the heat and curl up on the couch with a good book. This New Year’s Eve, I read Catherine Caufield’s In the Rainforest and find the bits on Indonesia’s Transmigration Program at once fascinating and deeply disturbing. Then about four-thirty, I make a wonderful meal. Something akin to a Christmas feast, only more creative. I have my dinner, follow it with a scruptious dessert, and watch television until the ball drops in Times Square. If I’m particularly energetic, I stay up an extra hour to cheer in Chicago’s New Year.

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Assortment

Our Avocados
Our Avocados
As you can see, we made it to Hawaii. But not until we suffered a few days of total exhaustion in Seattle. We slept so much we barely made it out of the hotel. I suppose that’s what we get after working relentlessly for too many hours.
Summer Winding Down
Summer Winding Down
The beginning of autumn is just a few days away and there are signs of the new season everywhere. Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch is already gearing-up for Halloween and it’s barely the Ides of September.
Tide Watching in St. Ives
Tide Watching in St. Ives
Each year for the past five years, we’ve journeyed to the ends of Britain in search of a bit of peace and quiet. Sometimes in late fall, sometimes in early spring we make our odyssey.