Thursday, January 3, 2008

new year

It has been snowing since the early hours of the morning. They did not predict this, they being the weatherman. 3-8 inches they'd warned in the forecast with periodic snow showers for the first day of the new year. We love the fact they got it wrong. That they didn’t see it coming. As we wake on this first day, we count the inches of snow (already 12) as the heavy blanket of powder grows steadily.

Our new year’s day dictates certain traditions. There is time for quiet and contemplation, the enshrouding snow storm providing a perfect silence. We trace back through the year our favorite meals, favorite days, favorite travels; we tally resolutions vanquished and resolutions forgotten or let go. We mark the new resolutions, though this will take a week or so to sort through. We listen to the Strauss Concert in Vienna: there is the French polka, the Blue Danube to which we cannot help but get up and dance, then the finale of the Radezkey’s March, the clapping in the music hall deafening. Tradition dictates we vow to some day listen to the concert in person.

The snow beckons and we have little thought of a New Year’s meal. There is the notion of an all-day graze of cheeses, salumi, and also as our tradition dictates champagne, domestic caviar, and smoked salmon. A formal meal seems too much for a day of reclining, reading, and resting.

New snowshoes on and we traipse through the meadows making trenches in the snow. The weather is heavy and we can barely see across our hills. The air is comfortable and the snow looks soft for falling. It is too spectacular to come inside even after we have exhausted our energetic spurt to claim the great outdoors. We build a fire on our terrace which is covered by our snow-covered balcony, making a sold roof. The summertime seats whose wood frames are left to their own devices in the winter weather are swept off and covered with sheepskin, blankets and pillows. We set a table with our champagne, two flutes, the caviar and salmon, sour cream as white as the snow. We light the chandelier. We bundle up, hands in front of the fire, and toast to good luck, good fortune, and peace in the year to come.


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