Happy New Year!

To a New Year…

            I was going to share a list of pithy and witty New Year’s Eve toasts. But searching for them I found very little that felt pithy or witty. And decided to share this instead.

            The dreariest week of the year is upon us- the days between the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ and the rather mournful notes of Auld Lange Syne. The decorations are still up but feel like visitors who don’t know when to leave, carrying the vague dread of taking them down. Packing the precious baubles safely and the not-so-precious at least neatly, and stashing them in whatever designated stash place. Mine is a crawl space under my stairs, with plenty of opportunity for a bumped head and strained knees. This chore is not something I look forward to.

            Here in the Midwest, the weather doesn’t help. Although the snow falling right now is lovely, the skies are a dreary gray, punctuated by the dark, reaching tree branches decorated with dun-colored leaves that refused to drop last fall. I know the swiftly dropping temperatures will make roads a challenge and getting a chilly dusting while I brush the snow from my car, no matter how carefully I wield the brush, is inevitable. If I could be in a comfortable chair, overlooking some beautiful landscape with a glass of some obscure wine reading the book that is screaming for my attention even now, with a nap on the horizon, I’d probably see things differently. Instead, I’m catching up on all the things I neglected around Christmas and gearing up for the insanity that are the days before New Years Eve in a wine shop, after surviving the crazy that are the days around Christmas. And also concoct some kind of celebration to enjoy myself after I stagger home from the aforementioned wine shop after having explained the difference between sparkling wine and Champagne at least twenty times as I help people choose the wines that will enhance their get-togethers.

 I’ve always wanted to revel in this holiday, probably influenced by the holiday movies of the 30’s and 40’s with the beautiful gowns, dancing to big bands, and champagne sloshing from a coupe glass. My past New Year’s have been festive and often raucous. However, I was more likely to watch the old year slipping away with rueful eyes at all I hadn’t accomplished, mistakes I had made, heartaches slow to heal. With more weariness than merriment I’d raise my glass of fizzy wine with a heartfelt wish for the well-being of friends and family and a vague, anxious hope for ‘success’ in one of the too-many projects I was attempting. Oh, and of course to loose ten pounds.

             Because of Covid concerns, my common ennui*  won’t be obscured by party mayhem as the pandemic has forced us to scale back on any large-scale celebration.  I’ll spend most of it in constant motion, a New Year’s Eve ambassador in the wine aisles wearing a festive crown and a protective mask. There is no ignoring the huge tragedies and changes have happened worldwide and to some close friends and relatives where there was little I could do to help. My own life, has had its share of shifts, disappointments, and accomplishments including changing jobs, committing to this blog and Wine Fate, finishing a novel, and bringing closure to some long simmering issues. This year I’ll finally raise my glass (filled with a dazzling South African sparkling wine) with a resolve to banish angst and diffidence and to find every disguised blessing. And ponder the toasts that did strike a chord with me.

      “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” — T.S. Eliot

  • Here’s to staying positive and testing negative. 
  •  A toast to you all. C’est le Vin, and Happy New year!
  • ennui (pronounced on-wee and meaning dissatisfaction, tedium and languor) in a Trixie Belden mystery book at the age of eight. Trixie’s older brother, Mart, was always using big words to annoy her. This is my first chance to use it.  

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