Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

I love New Year's Eve.
Amateur's Night? and Entertainer's Dream Evening! or Something in Between.

I have many found memories of New Year's Eve long gone.
There was my childhood. I remember one year at my cousin Brad's house with a bevy of cousins. I have no idea who was babysitting us. My mom and dad traditionally went out with friends to the Legion or Sheep Shed, or something or another. My mom got all dolled up....always with lip stick.

Fast forward to college, and stumbling back to our apartments from the Rox... kissing my friends, male and female alike.

Then there were the years then Amy Detviler (and the man now long gone) house sat for the 3M executive in their lavish home outside of Stillwater. There was formal attire, Rediel stemware and plenty of wine, a sit down dinner, games and a Karaoke contest... and kissing my friends, male and female. One of those years I threw up the next morning in the Jack and Jill bathroom we shared with Joan and Wade. Wade threw up too.

One of those years, I wore a long, red Ann Taylor silk dress. That was the year each guest went around the dinner tables and everyone gave a resolution. Mark's resolution to ALL in attendance was that he would, "propose to Andrea in the year ahead." This caused quite stir since we were so often on again, and off again. True to word, we got engaged that March.

After that came the infamous party at our now sold house in Hector. That party will go down in history as one of the best New Year's Eve parties EVER of all who attended. Me and some key party planner attendees arrived in the country that afternoon. We set up heaters in the garage. We cleared the family room of furniture. We set up tables to accommodate seating for everyone at dinner. We set up aerobeds and mattresses in the furnace room and office to provide comfortable accommodations for ALL, since no one was leaving. We made lasagna, salad, and got the bread ready. We set all the tables with blue table clothes and decorated the rooms in silver, with candles everywhere. The now toasty garage was set up as a full bar. I put red bows on the County Road sign off 212 to alert all the city guests where to turn, in the middle of the very dark country.

...and the party began. Mark, Gretchen, Dan, Sam, Jenny, Brett, Rachel, Mara, Dawn, Angie, Heidi, Jess, Molly and Peter were set up for the night. I invited my cousins in the country, but the flu kept them away, they had small children, or other plans. They missed one hell of a party. Once on site, everyone dressed up for the festivities ahead. We started with the kitchen island filled with appetizers, and moved on to a sit down candle light dinner. We ate. We drank. We danced. We sang. At the stroke of midnight, we had a champagne toast. The flutes were filled with back-step chilled bubbly on a white clothed banquet table in the garage. I kissed my friends, male and female alike. The rest of the night shall remain a blur. Morning dawned with egg bake for all those who could stomach it... and a bit of a mess.

All these years later, I think my Dad is STILL mad about the state he found the house in when he arrived several days later. (My dad spent most of his time at his apartment in the cities.) In my defense, everything was back in place, but I thought the cleaning lady would arrive BEFORE my dad. So...why scrub and vacuum the floor???

One year we hosted friends in our tiny town home. That year we cleaned out the garage, strung Christmas lights, got a giant piece of carpet remnant and heaters from Menards to create a party headquarters. We returned the heaters and carpet a week later. (I swear the carpet remnant didn't get dirty!)

Fast forward to the year my belly was LARGE with the expectance of Marly and Dean. Mark and I dined at POPS! in NE Mpls. I wore a beautiful steel grey blouse with a square neck line and grand sleeved. We came home, watched a movie, and toasted midnight snuggled in bed with sparkling grape juice in Waterford Crystal flutes.

After that there was the year at Jenny and Jeremy's condo in Minneapolis. We brought two ten month old babies with jammies, a breast pump, and pack-n-plays. We were home by 12:30.

The next year was spent at the H-we House, were kids crawled or ran, and I had a dance party with the toddlers. Gretch created a delicious meal (tortellini soup with sausage) which we ate after the kids went to bed.

And then, and then...

...there have been three generally quiet years here in Brooklyn Park. The first year on Riverview Heidi and little Cale came. It was tame...and I dare say a wee bit boring. I decorated and got out the china and crystal, but the evening just didn't shine like it does with a house full. Cale didn't like my stroganagne either. Last year the four of us went to Mavericks. Both years we had a basement dance party and an 8 pm countdown.

And here we are tonight, at the close of 2012.

I am sitting at my kitchen table right now. We have yet to download any photos. This year the four of us decided to try fondue. The kids liked the beanie weanies best. No... that is NOT fondue. We have had sundaes for dessert. We have already cashed out two cans of silly string, and the kids and Mark just finished a movie... and it's 8:00 pm. Dean helped me decorate this afternoon with silver garland and Marly helped make the sundaes in wine glasses with whip cream. Soon we will toast with Kristian Regale, and put the kids to bed. After that, we may sneak across the street to the neighbor's for midnight fireworks on the river (weather permitting).

And so, there is my history of New Years.

Although the last few have been quiet and uneventful, I still do NOT consider it Amateur's Night.
I know there will be shining 'Eves sometime in the years ahead, with a bit more pomp and circumstance then the last few.

Alternatively, I consider it the night for each of us to do what is "shining" for you! Be it a night in your jammies playing games with family, or an evening with a house full of friends, or hitting the town - Happy New Year's to All!

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