A Holiday Pet Feast
A Poem to Welcome 2016

New Year's Eve Eve 2015

If you have been here for previous New Year posts, today's will be repetitive. I don't do New Year' Eve, not in what is supposed to be the traditional way. I have not been out of the house on that evening in – oh, 30, maybe 40 years.

I don't like crowds, drunks, the sentiment, the forced cheer or the damned song. (Is there such a thing as a grinch for New Years?)

All that notwithstanding, I do believe in marking the passage of time and the arrival of a new year is among the better reasons.

My personal ritual is long established now. I cook an evening meal that I don't usually indulge in – something I love that is fattening, unhealthy, expensive or, sometimes, all three - a glass or two of nice wine and a good book I've been eager to read. I am usually asleep long before the fireworks.

This year on the menu are broiled loin lamb chops. In general, I don't eat meat but I make an exception three or four times a year for lamb. Garlicky mashed potatoes with a large mound of roasted broccoli, asparagus and carrot coins will round it out. Oh, and mint sauce, of course.

For two years in a row, my selected New Year's Eve book was by the brilliant British novelist, Kate Atkinson. I've chosen non-fiction this year, and an American, who is no less brilliant than Atkinson, Ta-Nehisi Coates.

I'm a long-time fan from about 2008 when he started writing regularly for The Atlantic online and in the print magazine; he is one of the smartest, most thoughtful people writing today about the black experience (and pretty much anything else).

Betweentheworldandme I have come think of Coates as the successor to and following in the footsteps of great black thinkers - James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hasberry, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Maya Angelou among others. So much so that when Between the World and Me was published last summer I bought it immediately, started reading and somehow it got set aside.

The book has since won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction and certainly must have figured in Coates' selection for a "genius grant" in 2015 from the John D. and Katehrine T. MacArthur Foundation.

So Between the World and Me is my carefully selected year-end/new year book this time.

And what about you? How will you spend the transition to 2016?

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE. I'm looking forward to sharing another wonderful year with the best bunch of readers/collaborators any blogger could have.


I'll be reading one of my favorite escape novelists, the Australian Liane Moriarty. She makes me laugh, care, and fall in love with her characters.
Wishing you a very healthy, safe and enjoyable 2016, Ronni, from your buds in NYC.

A happy and healthful New Year to you, Ronni, and much appreciation from me for TGB. My plans for New Year's Eve is similar to yours, a good dinner--salmon this time--a little tv watching in the company of my cat, and then delve into the last Ruth Rendell book. After the frenzy of Christmas, it sounds wonderful!

This year I've been invited to two NYE parties, which is two more than any year I remember. But I'll be a grinch too, and stay home -- hate the forced cheer, the drunk traffic, and perhaps most of all, a husband to kiss at Midnight. Not that I'll be sad; I won't. I'll read too -- so many on my Kindle I don't know which one it will be.

A wonderful 2016 to you, Ronni. I never miss your blog.

Currently reading "Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940" by Grace Elizabeth Hale, a book recently selected from the ridiculously large inventory that I've accrued from our local library used book sales (books are just a quarter!) this year. It is enthralling.

As far as New Year's Eve, I'll probably once again sit around reading or watching one of the DVD's I received for Christmas. My husband knows and indulges my tastes and interests well, and the programs I've watched so far, two Bill Moyers episodes on Rachel Carson and E. O. Wilson, were excellent. I picked up some stuffed pork chops produced by a little old neighborhood grocery/meat market . The stuffing includes their homemade sausage, and they've assured me it doesn't get any better than pork stuffed with pork ; we'll see. We will probably be asleep before the ball drops in Times Square and gunshots fill the air around here.

Thank you for another year of Time Goes By; the information, humor, music, crabbiness, illumination have all been welcome and appreciated. Wishing you and your readers health and peace in 2016, the year of the Red Fire Monkey.

I'm with you, Ronni. It has been many years since my life included wonderful, warm, potluck musical gatherings of my folkmusic community in one or the other's home on New Year's Eve. I loved those and they went on for 20 years or more, but since then I have been more than happy to enjoy my own company as you do, indulging in just what I want to eat (probably salmon),and a good book, with my favorite CD's playing and my precious kitty by my side. Thank you for your ongoing contribution to my life with your writing, and keep up the good work in 2016.

A walk across the street for a quiet drink with another couple, a toast to the New Year (a must), and a quick text or call to a few beloved people in my life—that'a about the sum of it. No TV to watch the dropping of the ball, no fireworks, no navigating busy dangerous streets to meet friends, just me and my husband having a quiet, reflective time. Happy New Year to you, Ronnie, and thank you for a year of wonderful reading of your blog!

Happy to have a Buddhist meditation community nearby. We'll spend a few hours meditating together , listening to a short talk, and sharing reflections about impermanence and our lives. I'll go home when the potluck starts at 9:15 so there is minimal traffic to deal with. Husband has his own gathering to attend, a group he meets with monthly to talk about Life at This Stage. Nice people, but the quiet meditation is nicer.

Ronnie and all, thank you so much for this blog community that talks about the real experiences of aging. Happy New Year.

We will stay at home, do nothing special, eat a normal dinner, watch a little TV of shows we have DVR'd, and be in bed before midnight. New Year's Day is our wedding anniversary--22 years!

Thanks, Ronni, for another year of informative and interesting posts. I look forward to them each time. You help keep me sane in this increasing crazy time.

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, a book of short stories, will likely be my reading on the big evening, and I'll 'celebrate' with the east coast timezone (I live on the west coast).

Yes, it was fun in younger years to play and party to welcome the new year in.

Now? a phone call or two to close friends and a good book are the rewards I give myself for making it through another year.

Thank you for your e-column, Ronni. It is one I look forward to every time it arrives.

Your celebration sounds just right. Like you, I decided long ago to forego the party scene in favor of a safe and cozy evening at home. Your menu is mouth watering as I also enjoy lamb but very rarely get to eat it.

I'm in need of a book so I'll check out your brilliant Kate Atkinson during my search. Thanks for the hint.

Your blog and the intelligent, articulate, insightful comments by so many readers is an imprtant part of my day. Thank you. May the New Year be kind to us all and may a certain vulgar demagogue soon be gone from the scene.

Now I've got to start thinking about taxes.

Thank you Ronni for your wonderful blog! Like you, I too favor spending the evening at home with my two sweet dogs, a delicious meal I rarely eat (probably some lobster), some champagne, a book, (a re-visit with Stegner's "The Angle of Repose,")watching some silliness on the tube around midnight if I'm still awake, and much contemplation.
I've never liked new year celebrations...in my youth it seemed I was always breaking up or making up with someone...too much drama for a day that's kind of arbitrary anyway, when you consider that the human race is believed to have come into existence 200,000 years ago, and civilization around 6,000...maybe we should celebrate the man who created the calendar?!?
I echo you and the other contributors' wish for the New Year!

The last time I stayed up to welcome a new year was 12/31/2000- to welcome the new millennium. I marked the occasion by making snow angels at front and back doors. I am always awakened at midnight, anyway, by the fireworks of younger (adult) neighbors.

May 2016 treat us all kindly!

I'm another stay-at-home for New Year's Eve gal. Warm home, good food, my cat curled up in my chair beside me and my loving Lab asleep on the floor at my feet. My book will probably be an Agatha Christy or similar English mystery.

The new year is one I am entering for the 80th time as I "yeared myself again today" as they say in West Virginia. The previous 79 have often been exciting, wild, turbulent, and magical and I hope to keep up the tradition for another few.

Have a wonderful 2016, Ronni. Your blogs brighten my days.

Yes, your blogs brighten my day, and I thank you.

We also stay home on "amateur night," as AA friends call it. Tortilla Soup is on the menu, and I've three books that need finishing: Mrs. Appleyard and I by Louise Andrews Kent (her autobiography), The Perpetual Curate by Mrs. Oliphant, and Ladies of the Canyon by Lesley Poling Kempes "A league of extraordinary women and their adventures in the American Southwest."

We will have a little champagne, and I know will be long asleep by midnight. It has been some years since my husband was performing somewhere or another and we were up until 2am -- Thank Goodness!

Much peace, and good health to you and all your readers.

It is interesting to read how most of us now prefer our own company rather than partying at galas on New Year's Eve. I always dreaded shopping for the right dress, thinking I had to make a smashing entrance on my arrival. Really? How things change. Now I don't even own a dress being the minimalist that I am.

Another thing I will not miss again is how at the stroke of midnight everyone felt they had to kiss everyone near them. Sometimes, I just went and stayed in the bathroom so I would not have to endure what for me was worse than going to the dentist. I've always been very selective in this personal interchange.

This year I will be with my daughter and granddaughter and we will have a moviethon and maybe or maybe not watch the ball drop.

Thank you, Ronnie for the great reads and insight you give us regarding our advanced age. It's great to be able to share our thoughts with others. I feel it helps us make this a great time in our lives!

I add my thanks for your blog Ronni. I too prefer a quiet evening at home--maybe with a friend, watching a movie. If she's not available--I'll enjoy my own company with a bit of TV and a book--whatever I decide to read after finishing The Transit of Venus, Shirley Hazzard, which I love and will hate to finish. I've already read it twice over the years, and it just gets better.

I often berate myself (an old habit) for not being more social, then I read these comments and find it's just about getting older -- and more content with my own company.

Happy New Year everybody!

Lovely reading today's column AND all the great comments! I'll be with all of you staying cozy at home. In my case, I have The Children©--my big darling dog and adorable (not to say entitled) cat--and I'll be doing some practicing on the piano, then a little TV, if I can find something without commercials (and I include those maddening pledge breaks). At the moment I have a copy of the Beatty/Keaton film Reds, so I may watch that. As for bedtime reading--heh--I'm catching up on my New York Review of Books reading. :-)

I add my wishes for a happy new year to you, Ronni, with thanks for your ongoing work, and to all your readers.

Mmmmm your menu sounds delicious. I too will be spending a very quiet evening.
Thanks so much for spending the time and energy putting your very informative blog together. It's really appreciated.
Best Wishes for 2016.

Ronni, I appreciate your blog very much. I have learned so much about getting older even tho I am pushing into 89. It is the medical updates that are so interesting. Happy New Year and enjoy that lamb chop. Yumm!

I am so grateful for a year and of TGB. You enrich our lives with every post. I am happy you will have the celebration you want. I declined an invitation, as well, in favor of staying home with a much anticipated book. We know how to gave a good time.

Our 4 and 6 year old grandchildren will be us on New Year's Eve, the first of a lifetime. No special plans, though, as I am not one to plan elaborate celebrations. We will need to be up very early New year's morning to take the children home to their parents, three hours away. We will turn right around and head home as there are tasks here to accomplish after the holidays. I feel fortunate to have one more week off before returning to school activities.

Your other readers sound much the same, a quiet evening at home. Guess that's why we all like each other so well, we think alike!

Borrowing an expression I recently came across, "I barely made it through Christmas" .....(long story) and now it looks like there are more celebrations ahead !!

I enjoy New Year's at home, doing nothing special, but each year, it's like a breath of fresh air for me. It reminds me of Easter, spring-like and a fresh start. Yes, I make resolutions,
I break resolutions, but I am beyond the duty to be merry or jolly.
Readers, have a good one !!

Like most folks here I intend to spend a quiet evening at home out of harm's way with my cat, a book and perhaps a glass of bubbly. My daughter and I no longer call at midnight knowing we might be getting some precious sleep...wishes will come in the daytime.

Like everyone else I want to add my thanks to you for keeping us informed as we weather time going by. I wish you a new year blessed with good health and good cheer.

Happy 2016 to all!

On NYE, Mister GPS and I will be sitting on the dock of the bay outside our rental condo on the St. Lucie River, Florida.

Yachts tied up all around, decorated with coloured lights.

We will be all tucked in for the evening, after a half day on Jensen Beach.

Our Canadian friends are heading north from Florida tomorrow and will stop by our place.

We chose a nearby seafood resto.

I never enjoyed the fakery of NYE parties but strangely recall being enthusiastically greeted one time by a strange set of blubbery lips.

Thank goodness it was just the dog greeting me at the door.

I dodged a bullet that time.

Happy New Year to you and Ollie, Ronni.

Happy New Year to everyone on Ronni's blog.

I love checking in every day, reading the comments.

Sending you some virtual fireworks to celebrate.

It's all good.

Happy New Year to you! I'm another stay-at-home person, and usually fall asleep long before fireworks go off somewhere in the neighborhood (though supposedly illegal in the city!)

Marge, I'm with you on Ruth Rendell! So sad about her passing; nothing like her twisty crime/mystery novels! Tonight, however, I will start watching Season 3 of "The Following" on Netflix, wondering if it can match the previous two seasons.

Happy New Year & thank you for the time & effort you put into your blog. I look forward to each & every post!

@ copcar and doctafill: I too last stayed up on 12/31/1999 and it was at St. Lucie, FL . We were at anchor on our sailing catamaran (live aboards) watching the fireworks ashore and scoffing at the fears generated by the media, mostly, about the imminent demise of western civiization.... well, its internet anyway. I have relatives who took it seriously and had provisions stashed in their basement just in case.

Love this blog. Great to discover connections to my fellow commenters. Thanx, you two, for generating that fun memory.

Want to add my Thanks to you Ronni - this blog is a gift to all of us.

And thanks to all for the book suggestions! I feel in such good company with sharing the same plans for NYE - good food, wine, and a book - currently reading Growing Up in Old Age by Peggy Freydberg. She passed away this past spring at 107 yrs. so I guess she knew what she was talking about!

Happy New Year all...

I plan to eat Indian takeout food and continue reading (rather listening to on CDs) Being Mortal in the comfort of my home.

Wishing you Ronni and all who participate here a Happy New Year!

Thanks for the book recommendation -- it's going on my 2016 list. We're heading over for the 3:35 p.m. showing of "The Big Short" then home for dinner and bedtime.

Thanks for all the great posts. Last time I stayed up was 1999. The world didn't end so off to bed. My sleep buddy, Starlight just died a few days ago. Kidney failure which usually gets most cats. I thought he'd die this summer but he held on till now.
Thanks Ronnie for a wonderful blog. May 2016 be better then 2015.

What I've been doing is trying to survive – it's currently around 40 degrees (that's 104 in American money). The A.M. and I had sushi and a crisp cold chardonnay for lunch and I'm going to ignore everything from now on.

Happy 2016 to all. Like many TGB readers, my husband and I will be spending a quiet evening at home on NY Eve. Who needs to over-imbibe when we've already forgotten what we're thinking anyway?! He and I got married on New Year's Day 1978, so if we make it to 2018, it'll be 40 years. We might stay awake until midnight but certainly not much past.

Debi, so sorry about Starlight. We lost our much-loved Tippi (a beautiful, fluffy Maine Coon 13-1/2 Y/O girl) in September to an undiagnosed breathing problem. We adopted a new kitty to keep our surviving boy company, but we still miss her. To make things more interesting, New Kitty and Old Kitty have NOT learned to get along yet.

Many thanks for TGB Ronni . . . it, and the comments, have become a morning ritual. Happy New Year to all of you, too!
Also not a party girl and will be home asleep when the ruckus starts. Hope everyone has a healthy and happy 2016.

Since I go to bed around 9:30 PM here in my Central Time Zone, I have been celebrating New Years Eve a number of years now by proxy with Nuuk, Greenland and Sao Paolo, Brazil since their ushering in of the New Year in their Atlantic Ocean Time Zone corresponds to my bedtime. It is my sincere hope that one New Years I may be able to stay up until midnight and once again celebrate with my fellow Americans. Until then....

Happy New Year to you Ronni along with all your readers!

I'll be attending a party, of sorts, here at the ALF.
The party begins at 2:30 PM, and is over by 4:30 (that's when the early-bird diners have their dinner). There will be no alcohol, but there will be hor d'oeuvres. This is all OK with me. I have sowed my oats, done my drinking, awoken in places I did not know and had my share of forced merriment. I'm content to shake hands with my male friends and kiss the ladies on the cheek, go back to my room, turn on my ROKU and watch some R rated movies on Netflix.
And before I forget. My best regards to you all. May the new year give you peace.

Everyone else has said it
Thank you for the blog
And Happy New Year to all

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm a longtime NYE homebody also - will begin reading Franzen's "Purity" to end this year and begin 2016, which includes taking the first week for renewal, extensive outdoor hiking/walking for reflections and seeking out new directions for the coming year.

And thanks to you, Ronni, and all readers and writers for this invaluable place to gather and share, learn and laugh.

As many have said, I'd like to thank you, Ronnie, for another year of fascinating thoughts and articles. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2016!

I so appreciate your blog! It's the best! Happy New Year to all!

It's already 5:30 p.m. here on the West Coast. As a dedicated night owl, I rarely go to bed before 3 a.m.---except on New Year's Eve, a night on which I nearly always begin falling asleep well before midnight. Maybe it's a form of denial. Anyway, I will be attempting to stay awake by watching a series of "Thin Man" films on TCM. No special dinners since I've had my one meal (a burrito) for the day already. I'll probably make some festive Ritz Cracker and peanut butter snacks. Maybe I'll have a glass of red wine, or maybe I'll make do with a diet coke straight from the bottle. Happy New Year everyone and thanks, Ronni for bonding this disparate group of aged ones with your blog.

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