It was magic. It was way too fast and way too short. The drive down was way too rainy, but we got there, Middle Son delivered in time for work Sunday and Friend delivered to her fiance (hereinafter "Romeo"). New Orleans was crawling with the Hawaiians, unanimously judged to be among the nicest, most generous and most welcome tourists the city has ever seen. The Georgians arrived with us, a series of SUVs bearing "G" magnets and antenna flags (driving way too fast for conditions). There was a fight in a very neighborhoody bar called Lotsa-Luck and a gathering around the end of the bar for dinner and drinks with a bunch of Romeo's high school buddies (these folks are in their 50s now) at Lakeview Harbor. It ended with a tired hustle home New Year's Day night, exhausted with a cold, but very, very happy.
I remember last year posting about the Psycho Therapist's notion of consecrating the New Year and I can't help but think of it as 2008 begins. While I missed visiting with my dear blogger friends (I got a short visit with Adrastos and talked to Dangerblond twice), I had the time of my life, spending New Year's Eve as a guest, member of a party of six, in the center of the upstairs window overlooking the courtyard at Commander's Palace. Oh. My. God. All dressed up in thrown together evening wear (thanks, Kim, for pointing me in the right direction for the perfect black lace top that made it all work) with a most exceptionally gracious host, I couldn't believe it was really happening. He was greeted by name when we walked in the door, and again all along the way as we passed through the kitchen and up the stairs to our table. I felt like a believing child on Christmas morning. In the middle of the Turtle Soup the trio of musicians visited our table. With the bass within reach on my left and the clarinet (also within reach) just beside the banjo-playing singer, they struck up "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?" and I couldn't help myself. I cried. It was a perfect evening. After twenty some-odd years of staying in on New Year's Eve, considering it "amateur night", I did something really different (really, really different, for me). Maybe it's a sign of change.
The last three months of 2007 were hard. The KnockingShitDownCo lost a founding partner after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Sister Bel, with whom I live, was diagnosed with the same disease. Money's tight and a lot of people are depending on me. I am heading into 2008, for lack of a better word, tired. But, filled with gratitude to Friend for encouraging me to go, to Romeo for introducing me to his wonderful friends and most especially to the one of them who was our host, I did something different this New Year's Eve and it was magic.
May 2008 be the Best Year Ever. Happy New Year, y'all. Peace. Out.