Wednesday, January 01, 2014

a new year

Since the time of preschool (age three), my year organized itself around the academic calendar. It remained that way through my university years, then throughout my girls' school years and it continued to provide structure for me as my work took me right back to the classroom.

Not anymore.

Because I like organizational frameworks -- the kind that you visualize for yourself -- I need a replacement structure. The obvious choice is the change in the calendar year. And since my retirement coincides with the beginning of 2014,  if ever there was a significant New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, I would say this one trumps all.

Last night, therefore, I partied with some excitement at my daughter's place. She had an incredible menu of snack foods -- mind-boggling in its deliciousness -- and I was super proud to be her sous chef for the evening. Beginning with baking the gougeres (cheese puffed pastry) which were my responsibility in the days when I baked for L'Etoile...

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...I went on to lend a hand where needed, to help fill their table with this incredible assortment:

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Ed came just before midnight and we did the countdown and the bubbly flowed and it was all quite beautiful, even as winter raged outside. The proverbial glow within made all that irrelevant.

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modern countdown

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the hosts

no idea whose phone this is; Ed doesn't have a cell

Happy, happy 2014!

This morning, we wake up to more snow and more cold temps in the forecast.


Can you believe it -- on Monday, they tell us the high will be -15 F! May I remind the weather gods that this is Madison, Wisconsin! I am sure they have their systems out of whack, thinking us to be perhaps Madison, Canada -- you know, that small community within the Arctic circle!

Still, I'm full of excitement. Like the first day of school, this day is lining up my cards for me. I have so many lessons, plans, programs, challenges, opportunities, visions, ideas that I am quite sure it is very much like starting first grade. Or going away to college. Take your pick.

After breakfast, which, thankfully, offers no changes (somethings are best left alone!)...


...I make some decisions as to what will fill my immediate days. Lots of indoor movement to keep me energized (thanks, Ocean commenter for the tip! Ever since I was a kid and thought ballet to be the most beautiful form of movement, I've wanted to mix in some small bits of easy positions into a yoga routine -- this online fitness program is cheap and exquisite! And flexible! Got ten minutes? Do it!). And of course, plenty of writing. And plenty of learning.

First day of school. Like  a kid, I'm prancing about, loving this year already for what it is sure to deliver -- new experiences.

In the afternoon, we go out to ski. It's cold -- single digits and quite brutal when the wind kicks up -- but we're not complaining.

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As usual, it's enchanting in this county park. Even if the sun never quite breaks through a cloud cover.


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Can't say it's not trying...

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And so the day just flies.

In such a good, good way.