Follow by Email

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Begins

It's always a little strange to pass from one year to another.  In many ways, it's just an ordinary 24 hours and then in others, matters of significance and worthy of reflection often bubble to the top when we turn to a new calendar year.  At any rate, New Year's Eve offers us an opportunity to enjoy the company of good friends while celebrating the hope and expectation of a new year.
We were quite uncertain about what to do on New Year's Eve as Tanner is a real basket case when it comes to the fireworks.  So when our friends who live south of Stockholm near the water in beautiful Saltsjöbaden invited us to come and join them for the night, we were happy to take them up on it.  It was a rather warm New Year's but very icy and slippery.  We arrived safely and were happy that we didn't have to go anywhere until the next day!  A lovely outdoor fire was burning to welcome us.
Judy was busy preparing dinner for us all while Olle poured drinks.  The table was gorgeous and the company even better.  We enjoyed wonderful conversation and a lovely dinner.  Dessert was a combination of a very healthy and tasty fruit platter alongside of very unhealthy but decadent and delicious mint brownies!  At 9.00, one of our guests, who is Russian, left the table to call his parents in Moscow.  He taught us how to say Happy New Year in Russian and we spent the next several hours perfecting our pronunciation.  By the way, you say С Новым годом.  So yeah, thinking that we perfected our pronunciation is kind of funny, actually.  With Russia firmly planted in the new year, we turned our attention to Stockholm where we were aware of the clock moving towards midnight as the bangs and booms from the fireworks increased as did Tanner's barking!  It was still 100% better than being in the city but he would not step outside for any reason at all!  At midnight we toasted and kissed and wished one another a bright new year.  Some fireworks were slightly visible from the porch but it was also just kind of fun standing outside in the relatively comfortable night air, listening to the sounds of the new year.  We retired around 2.00 a.m. after sharing in a lovely evening of celebration together.

We awoke to a beautiful morning and after coffee and breakfast took the dogs for a lovely walk through the snowy woods.  The melt is on as temperatures have been above freezing for a few days now.  Water was flowing, the ground was soft, the snow mushy.  Still, it was gorgeous and not very cold.  Tanner even found the water appealing on January 1, taking a plunge into the chilly Baltic.  What a crazy labrador that animal is but I must admit, had their been a sauna nearby, I might've been tempted to share in his polar dip.
We are grateful for our friends whose home is a welcome haven of comfort and rest for us.  We always say that their place is like our summer home and obviously, our winter home as well!  So nice to share these moments with good friends.
We eventually made our way home, tidied up around the house a bit, watched some American football and enjoyed the Rose Parade from Pasadena live through our computer.  It is almost the end of the first day of the new year.  It feels good to have enjoyed the holidays and celebrated well over these past few weeks.  It is, of course, with some sadness that normal life beckons us to return to work, routines, and doing a bit more in a day than eating, sleeping, taking walks and watching TV.  All said however, I am thankful for a job that I love and a life that is full.  Happy New Year friends. Let's hope and pray for good things to greet us in the year ahead but also that God's peace and comfort will join us when sorrow prevails.