03 January, 2014

A Rising With The Sun

"Rise and Shine"

Oh, no! Say it isn't so.
It can't be time to get up.

Wednesday was the infamous Day After the Night Before, and in this case, the particular night before was, of course, New Year's Eve.

There have been only a few times in my life when I have really tied one on and rung in the New Year on a high note, so to speak. Many folks, however, do have the time of their lives at one of those iconic balloon-dropping dancing-to-dawn hat-wearing noisemaker-tooting champagne-fountain-spewing celebrations. I don't know whether to feel happy or sad for those folks - happy that they had such a wonderful time or sad they are probably going to own one monstrous hangover.

Most of my New Year's midnights have been home-based family affairs - filled with fun, games, good food and drink, and surrounded by love. Nothing to complain about except that the party ends at midnight, and often that is what we are waiting for. In other words, we are all just sort of hanging in there until midnight so we can go home. It seems to me if one is really going to celebrate, you need to be somewhere where midnight's passing is just one entry on the evening's list of events, and it has to be in the middle of that list, not the end of it. Then you have reason to continue celebrating the New Year.

So were you able to Rise and Shine on New Year's Day? I'm told that was a favorite expression of mine not long after I was able to say it. Two, three, and four years of age - the first few years of the 1950s. I'm also told I was a happy toddler, and you could count on me to wake up smiling and proceed to tell everyone it was time to Rise and Shine.

They hated it - just as all of you who manage to revel and ring in the New Year would have hated it if I called you at 7:00 am and said Rise and Shine. As soon as the sun was up, I was up, and I guess I had a way of saying it that - if I weren't so damn cute - would make you want to smack me the way most people do their snooze alarms.

My father, who was a naval officer, evidently took advantage of some World War II surplus supplies which were easily obtained in the early years after the war. He purchased black out shades, the kind used in the US but more typically in England to hide the lights within homes, stores, and offices from German bombers making night time raids. The Germans needed the lights to identify where they were and when to drop their bombs.

My family needed the shades to protect them from me. If I didn't know the sun was up, I would sleep later, and more importantly, everyone else could sleep later. I guess it worked.

I don't know what you did for New Year's Eve, but I bet you're glad I didn't call you the next morning to say ...