Collecting Calendars

Making Memories In The Spaces

Calendar 31

When life is young and fresh each passing year is a significant and noteworthy event. Hanging the colorful new calendar given out by a local merchant, or one hand made from construction paper and a box of Crayola crayons, marks a milestone that seems huge to a child. Each year that passes is meaningful and remembered. When you’re a child a year seems like forever, and moving from one to another is a time of wonder and celebration. So when does that sense of awe turn to something less? When does it become just another night at home? A night that for people like me is a challenge to get through without a nap.

I don’t know when it was that I forgot about those special New Years Eve’s. Maybe that's something that happens as we get “older.” For me, it probably began to change when being with the family – mom, dad, aunts, uncles, sisters and cousins – didn’t sound like enough of a party. When bottles of Pepsi, Bubble-up, Root Beer and Orange were beverage choices but no longer the beverages of choice. When rotating table games of Cootie, Yatzee, Pinochle, and Hearts didn’t add enough excitement to that special night.

In retrospect, those were really good times - the times when we were safest, happiest, least demanding, and most appreciative. Tonight I remember them well. The driveway was filled with cars; the kitchen with a potluck meal and freshly baked deserts; and the living room with card tables, loud voices, and lots of loving smiles. My cousins and I found lots of things to do but nothing passed the time to midnight quickly enough for us. How long until the countdown would begin? With noisemakers in hand – some as simple as an old pot from the kitchen cabinet and a wooden spoon to pound it with - we eagerly waited for our chance to welcome in the New Year. When the time was near we all went outside to the porch, shivering but not caring, as we listened for the explosions that would ring out from nearby celebrations. Some of the “big kids” were allowed to light some small fireworks left over from the Fourth of July and everyone cheered with delight. Our mom’s and dads paused from their games and conversations for some hugging and kissing – something we guarded our eyes from and clearly  didn’t have enough appreciation for. That was our New Year’s celebration... and we loved it!

Tonight, I’ll replace the calendar for what will be the 60th time. When the world says goodbye to 2012, I’ll say goodbye to the decade of my 50’s. Next spring, I’ll be writing about a celebration of my 60th birthday and I’ll be sharing pictures and special moments when my wife, children and grandchildren will all be together in the same place for the very first time. We’ll play games, eat meals, and celebrate with some very appreciated hugging and kissing. I’m sure we’ll love it.

Happy New Year everyone.

I hope you’ll make each day of the coming year special for yourselves and the people you love.. For this is our life – the real thing. Before we know it, we could each end up with an awesome stack of calendars, but it’s not the collection of calendars that matters. It’s what we do with each day and the memories we create that we’ll return to. Long after the stack of calendars is forgotten, the events of special days will be remembered. Let's all live in the spaces on our calendars in ways that we’ll cherish for years to come.

Your comments, suggestions, and stories of your personal edge are always welcome in my guest book.