For many years, Don and I found new places to celebrate New Year's Eve. We've honored the change of the calendar in Boston, Wilmington, Newtown, Haddonfield, Anaheim, and Berlin (Germany, not New Jersey). There was also a stretch of a few years when we celebrated with the Woodmans in Hamilton Square and burned calendars in a BBQ. This year's event was a combination of those events, but much closer to home.
For 15 years, Lawrence Township has held a Hogmanay at the Brearley House on Princeton Pike. Many of those years I heard about the event, and knew people who attended, but for one reason or another we did not go.
A Hogmanay is a Scottish tradition of burning of the old grievances of the past year to make way for good things to happen in the New Year. Well, I just made all that up. HERE is a link to what Wikipedia says about the event. It is a Scottish tradition, but one that lasts until the New Year, and this event just went from 6-9.
People gathered around the burning pile of wood and tossed in pieces of paper with their grievances with the past year. As I reflected upon 2012, I could not come up with something that went terribly wrong in my life. I have friends enduring cancer treatments. Friends who lost parents or other loved ones. Friends suffering from injuries, surgeries and health ails. Friends who lost jobs. And two friends who lost their homes due to Hurricane Sandy.
My biggest grievance with the year was that I did not land one of the jobs I interviewed for in town. On New Year's Eve I was comforted by knowing I had a great freelance job that could lead to bigger and better adventures in the new year. On January 1, I learned the freelance opportunity was in the hospital on a respirator, with a slim chance of living. I didn't know that on the 31st.
The Hogmanay was a great chance to see friends. We bumped into the Dennis family as they were leaving, Pastor Katie, the Ballards, the Knabs, saw the Bohras, missed out on seeing the Davises, and I met Don's biking friend, Sylvia. I'm sure we knew a number of other friends at the event, but it was hard to see in the dark! I look forward to the return of Music in the Park next summer when I will continue to reconnect with friends at a fun event in Lawrenceville.