New Year’s Day in the Cold and the Rain, Counting My Blessings

It’s New Year’s Day and I’m sitting at my computer, writing a blog. A cold front came through early this morning, and brought a persistent drizzle. It’s past noon, and by this time on most days I’ve finished the blog and turned off the PC, but not today. Today, I’m just getting started. My sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Wendell were here until an hour or so ago. They joined Sandra and me for dinner at a downtown hotel last night and we came home in time to turn on the TV and watch the ball drop in Times Square.

blue moonAfter the ball dropped and we had kissed in the New Year, we went outside to look at the “blue moon.” It was directly overhead and clouds scudded across its surface as we craned our necks. Elizabeth pointed out that the full moon was the second one in the month of December, and earned the name of blue moon because it’s such a rare occurrence.  The last time a blue moon occurred on New Year’s Eve was in 1990. The next one will be in 2028.

Of course the moon was not blue, but it was eerily beautiful as a full moon always is.

Earlier yesterday, my daughter, Grace, her husband, Frank, and her two strapping sons, Jonathan and Adam, said goodbye after visiting for a couple of days. And I’m looking forward to seeing my younger daughter, Christine, and her boyfriend, Rob, tomorrow. Christine phoned to say happy New Year while I was writing this.

My brother, Bill and his wife, Faye, also phoned this morning to wish Sandra and me a happy New Year, and we heard from my son, Ross, and his wife, Lisa, over the holidays. Ross is recovering from an operation that took a part of his foot, but he is in good spirits. He reports that he was able to walk a few hundred yards the other day, thanks to a special cast the Ontario health program provided. Sandra and I are looking forward to having Ross and Lisa stay with us for a few days in the spring. And we are also expecting Bill and Faye to visit. I’m looking forward to playing golf with Bill, and I am praying that Ross will be sufficiently recovered to try and play, too. He’s a tough kid; he might – literally – be back on his feet by then.

Last night, Elizabeth and I phoned our uncle, Les, in California to wish him a happy New Year. He lost his wife, Eva, a few weeks ago and is devastated. His daughter, Marjie, said he cries all the time. He had thought he would go first, poor guy. After all, he was the one with throat cancer. And he is down to 86 pounds, according to Marjie. But Les was cheerful on the phone and talked about us getting together someday soon. We’ll have to see about that. California is a long way from Florida.

Life goes on, with sunshine and shadow, but all in all, the old year went out peacefully. And the new decade is dawning with a hint of promise. Of course, you never know what’s around the corner. As they say in Jamaica, “trouble never blow shell.” But so far, the Lord has held us in his hands, and I have faith that He will continue to do so.

Today, I will not think about the misfortunes and afflictions that beset the world. I will not think of the lunacy that pits nation against nation, bringing such hatred and havoc. Today, I will count my blessings and look forward to 2010 with gratitude and optimism.

Happy New Year to you and yours. And Shabbat Shalom to our Jewish friends.