New Year

Smoke and a Derailed Train for a New Year

Ours was a quiet, stay-at-home end of 2022 although I was charmed to be awakened at midnight, I presume, when somebody in the neighborhood shot off some kind of fireworks. Awoken, Hank and I wished each other, “Happy New Year.”

Other years, we’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve at friends’ parties, First Nights, and bars.

I recall one New Year’s Eve in a small town’s only bar when it seemed everyone in the joint was planning to quit smoking at the stroke of midnight. So naturally, they were all smoking their brains out that night. 

That was before Massachusetts officially banned smoking in bars and nightclubs. But that night the cigarette smoke hung in a thick cloud over our heads. The man in the next table chain-smoked. “Quitting for the new year?” I asked. Yup, he said, although he ended up sticking with the habit.

Here’s another memorable New Year’s Eve: getting stuck on a train from Boston to Philly to meet my future in-laws because another train had derailed. Most of the passengers were headed to Times Square in New York and keenly disappointed they weren’t going to make it. People got drunk. A fight broke out and the cops had to come on board.

Resolutions? I make them year round so why bother tonight? I do hope Hank and I are able to travel.

Reflections? It was a productive year. I retired from journalism for good. I published three novels, thanks to darkstroke books, and started another. (I am a third of the way into no. 7 in my Isabel Long Mystery Series.) I’m glad to see our children and grandchildren doing well. We live in an interesting house, well maintained thanks to Hank, in an interesting village. There have, of course, been challenges, but I will spare you those.

For the past few days, I’ve been saying “Happy New Year” to strangers such as grocery store cashiers and post office clerks. Everyone has been receptive. I wish the same for you. To a Happy New Year. I like the sound of it myself.

ABOUT THE IMAGE ABOVE: Our cat, Stella, sits on the front porch table, telling me it’s time for her to come inside.