The sunrise lit up the bare winter branches along Route 11 for a beautiful view I would have missed had I gone home the night before and had I not been ill on New Year’s Day. I lay around on my brother’s couch all day, listening to him, busy in his kitchen. I had planned to help him, but some kind of bug had hit me like a brick New Year’s morning. Yes, I stayed up late to see the new year in, but no, I hadn’t partied too hardy, one glass of wine with my New Year’s Eve supper being the extent of my imbibing.
Luckily, our dinner was ready to plug in. I put together a large crock-pot of kielbasa, kraut and pork at home and slid it in Tom’s refrigerator when I arrived on New Year’s Eve. Now, sprawling on the couch, I heard comments about the food: the brown sugar I’d put in the kraut was just right, Tom’s real mashed potatoes were excellent (I often use instant at our house), the cranberry and pineapple salad was good even though we used strawberry jell-o instead of lemon.
I finally felt I’d gotten my bearings back by New Year’s evening and could sit up without feeling lightheaded. All I’d eaten was a bit of applesauce in the afternoon. Now, I joined the others for dessert and enjoyed a half-scoop of vanilla ice cream. I decided to stay a second night so I wouldn’t be on the snowy roads in my half-baked state.
Tom and I were up early so we could pack up my things and pack him a lunch to take to work. Being on the road at sunup is a great way to start a new year.
I thought about how the interstate had cut through so many properties, no doubt causing grief for many families whose land would never be the same. I hoped the passage of time had eased an acceptance of the highway for those people. The freeway certainly made my travels north and south much easier than they might have been before it was built. It cut through some beautiful woods that could especially be appreciated on a snowy morning with sunlight glistening over the world around me.
Rolling hills in the clearing before me looked fresh this morning, dotted with barns and silos on farm lands, making me wonder if they were still operational. I was in a mood to ponder the passage of time and the way things change; the new year was here – ready or not. The way things work out for us is relative to how well we adapt to life’s changes.
Starting out the year feeling sick meant things could only improve. Here I was, the second day of the year, feeling better. Time for a fresh start. Time to look Baby 2008 square in the face and let him know I’m ready.