The first day of 2012 was a bit like many nights in 2011 and yet, it was different from many days in 2011. It was different in the sense that Juan and I hosted an open house for the New Year, something we haven’t done before. In previous years, we entertained a lot, hosting a big Christmas open house, and several dinner parties throughout the year. 2011 came and went, and except for a family dinner in September and Thanksgiving, we did not have anyone over for dinner, or drinks, not even a sandwich. I realized that I needed to change that so, at the last minute, we sent out E-vites and invited people to come over. It was a really good time. Even though we did not have as big a turnout as we would have liked (I think something went wrong with the emailed invitations), we had a nice mix of people from our church, our work, and even our neighbors. I made black-eyed peas for New Year’s luck and we had a good spread of appetizers and drinks.
January 1, 2012 was also a bit like many of the nights we had in 2011. In 2011 we spent a lot of time at doctor visits, and waiting rooms in hospitals and urgent care centers. About halfway through our open house, Erica started feeling really bad, with symptoms she had experienced before. She toughed it out for a couple of hours, and as soon as I was able, I left our party and took her to the ER. Luckily, all the guests that were still at our party, were very understanding and gave me the excellent advice to go to a different hospital, away from the craziness of Pasadena on the night before the Rose Parade. Erica was treated quickly and we got out of the ER in about 3 hours. Unfortunately, by the time I returned to my party, it was over. Ah well. I heard from all the guests, and Juan who stayed behind to continue hosting, that the party was a lot of fun. I just hope that we can get through 2012 with more parties, and fewer hospital visits!
During our party, one of our guests invited Juan to go to the Rose Bowl. Juan accepted, but after the last guest left and the party clean up was over, he felt tired enough that he began to regret that he committed himself to getting up early and going to an all day event. I told him that expanding our social circle was one of our goals for 2012 so he had to go, and he had to have a good time. When he came home from the game, his voice was hoarse and his face sunburned, but he had a fantastic time. Even though he didn’t have a favorite team to cheer for, the friends he went with were Oregon fans, so Juan ended up sitting with the Duck fans, and cheering right along with them.
While Juan was enjoying his first ever Rose Bowl game, I stayed home and tried to get some house projects done. I was feeling the anxiousness that I usually experience when I have to return to work after a long weekend, or the end of a vacation, and I realize I haven’t accomplished what I planned on getting done. I spent most of my morning packing up Christmas, grateful that we had pared down on the decorations this year. It only took 6 plastic bins to contain all my Christmas decorations. Despite the fact that it was a gorgeous day, with temperatures in the mid 80’s, I stayed indoors, packing up decorations, doing laundry and cleaning. Then, Diego asked if I could do something special with him. He wanted to take a ride on his scooter. I thought to myself, it’s a new year, and there was laundry and cleaning to do in 2011 and there will be laundry and cleaning to do in 2013–I need to do something different, now. So, he got on his scooter, I got on my bike, and we took a ride around our neighborhood with our neighbors.
We ended up a our local gourmet ice cream shop, Carmelas. The place has all kinds of interesting flavors, Salted Caramel, Spicy Strawberry Sorbet. I had the Meyer Lemon, and Diego had a cup of Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean. At $3.50 a scoop, it isn’t cheap, but it’s not everyday, that you break out of the old habits, and get a fresh start on a New Year.
Two days into 2012. How’s your New Year going?