Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolve to make one person happy....

Sydney Smith
Resolve to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.


 This is a special time for me, and many in my family.  When I was growing up in Flushing, NY, actually East Elmhurst,  News Years Eve was a special day and night.

                              It was my grandparent's anniversary.

Every year on new Years Eve the family went  to my grandparents house.  Actually it was my great grandmother's house, and until I was 7 years old, it was right next door.  Later on, we moved to LI and made the trip into East Elmhurst every week for Sunday dinner.  But New Years Eve was a party.

There was a big dinner, at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and then at about 5 or 6pm until midnight, the table was filled again with food, and homemade pies, and we were allowed to stay up late.  And again, there was food just before, and at midnight, cold cuts and snacks, and all sorts of appetizers, and finger foods.  There were relatives and friends, some who traveled from other states to be there, and some just stopping by, came to wish them a happy anniversary, and neighbors stopped in just to say hello, and sometimes drop off more food, and stay for a bite.

Every year it was different people, depending on whether anyone had other plans, except for the core of the family, of course.

When we were very young, we thought the WHOLE world was celebrating with them.  And when we were older we continued to laugh at that.....knowing by then what that day was, for most of the world.  But for us it was special, in a different way.

My "Irish twin" sister (we are 11 months and 3 weeks apart, and actually there is nothing Irish about us.  But Italian, on my father's side, and German/English on my mother's side), and my brother, for as long as he could stand, and eventually our baby sister, and whatever cousins were there that night, would sit in my grandmothers bedroom upstairs in the old Victorian house, with the radio, and listen to the years music count down with Cousin Brucie.  And Sing.....It was such a carefree time.

Later on, after my great grandmother died in 1963, my grandparents moved out to a little house in Smithtown.   We still made the trip from Levittown, every Sunday for dinner, and of course, spend New Years Eve with them.  But the party was smaller, friends and relatives were older, and could not always make that long trip.  Some had moved away, children and cousins were teens, and often had their own plans, but our family still went to be with them..and listened to the music count down, and watch the ball drop, and have cold cuts before midnight, and eat homemade pies.  And wish them a happy Anniversary, along with the rest of the world.

My grandparents, of course, are not here any more, but New Years Eve continues to be, for me, their Anniversary, above all else...and now, instead of parties, I find it a time to reflect.... and plan...and make an effort to live life more consciously in the coming year...hopefully, improving as years go by....and hopefully, make someone happy everyday.

Oh, and I still Sing on New Years Eve...

What do you do on new Years Eve?

No matter what you are doing, have a safe weekend everybody...

See you later,


  1. That sounds wonderful!!!! We tend to keep quiet here at my home with our three little ideal night would be to order a pizza and rent some movies :) Xoxoxo

  2. LOL...Us too! If we can make it, we watch the ball drop. I never went to a New Years Eve party outside of my grandparents Anniversary....haha!

    Have a safe weekend...

  3. Happy New Year, Janie! And thank you so much for visiting Kitchen Retro, I'm glad to have found you. My mom grew up in Queens and I had/have lots of family out on the Island, so I have memories of driving out almost every weekend when I was a kid -

    Look forward to reading you in 2011 :)

  4. Hi Lidian,

    Thanks, and I Love your site and those memories...