2014 started off slow and easy– just the way I like it. We drove down to the lake on Tuesday afternoon and set up our gear (and a heater) on the boat and then drove on to Charlotte for a nice Italian dinner.
We ordered calamari as an appetizer. Neither Harper Lee nor Isaac had ever had calamari. Harper Lee took a tentative bite but was just too skeptical to go any further. Isaac devoured it. Even after we told them what it was, which was pretty hard to hide since there were– count them– TWO WHOLE fried squid on our plate. Man. Even I had a hard time with that one. It’s one thing to eat the little faux onion ring thingies and know, technically, that they are tentacles. However, it is a whole other ball of wax to see the entire animal, complete with little stringy legs, deep fried and served up on a platter with dipping sauce.
Harper Lee actually cried.
I ate around the two unfortunates. And Isaac? Well, he picked each of them up and ate them with such gusto, I thought his sister might actually go into a fit of hysteria. He was absolutely non-plussed and could not figure out what all the fuss was about.
Eventually, he leaned into the role of little brother and used this scenario to his advantage. There were a lot of “something squirming in my belly” jokes, which were not a big hit with his sister.
This is the inside of our boat. I have never been a huge fan of sailing (though I would love to say that I am just because Rob loves it SOOOOO much), and I wasn’t sure that spending New Year’s Eve on a boat in the middle of winter sounded like a ton of fun, but it turned out to be pretty awesome. A step (or two) above tent camping. It was a bit cramped but in a fun, “snuggle in with the family” kind of way. We watched Percy Jackson, read, talked and laughed, watched and waited for the ball to drop in Times Square and stayed pretty toasty. That little heater did a super fine job of keeping me (who despises the cold) nice and warm all night long.
And at midnight, there were fireworks over the water. You know those times when you think, “Yeah. This is where I’m meant to be. Right here. With these people. Thank you, God”? That was one of those moments. The first moments of 2014, everything stood still, only for a few moments, and I felt the completeness of it all.
The sun came so much earlier than usual.
Bed-headed and rumpled, we made our way to the dock-side diner in the morning and ordered large plates of eggs and hash browns and pancakes. And several cups of coffee. And I stepped into a whole new year with these funny, crazy people that I love so, so much.
New years bring so many hopes and aspirations, dreams and inspired goals, but as I sat with them that morning, I knew that, no matter what, I can go anywhere and do anything as long as I have them with me.