Bringing in the New Year

by Lisa


The above will be  the first piece of art that I finish in the new year. I started it yesterday. That poor pumpkin has been sitting in my studio since before Halloween believe it or not, and I am just now getting around to drawing  it. That’s a butterfly sitting on the pumpkin. Imagine how he feels. In case you ‘re wondering, that funny looking thing (that I forgot to move before taking the picture) that’s in front of the drawing, is an upside-down pot on a light stand. That is my very clever invention for resting my arm as I draw.  The arm with the new rotator cuff injury, that is. Little tennis issue from Lisa pretending she’s still 15.

Today is New Year’s Eve. Every year at my house we do a ball-drop where my husband and my son erect a tall pole in our front yard, and  hoist a ball rigged with Christmas lights that flash and twinkle. At the bottom of the pole, is the New Year’s sign that’s rigged to light up when the ball reaches its mark at the stroke of midnight and Auld Lang Syne begins to wail over the loud speaker. Every year the entire neighborhood shows up for the event at ten minutes before midnight and leaves five minutes after. There is no getting out of it now if we wanted to. It gets bigger every year, and one of these days we expect a news crew to show up.

The first year we did this was in Nashville, for the changing of the millennium. We wanted to do something really different to commemorate the special event and  the idea for the ball-drop began there.  We went all out.  There were balloons in slings hanging from our big maple trees overhead.  We had a PA system for the music, party favors to pass out, hats and champagne and everyone we knew was invited with their families.  It was a huge gyrating party with lots of  children running everywhere jacked up on sugar.  The little ones grew delirious with the need to sleep, as the evening progressed.  There were lots of them.  Running everywhere.

At the stroke of midnight it was my job to pull the rip cord and release the balloons on the celebratory crowd. Dylan was on Auld Lang Syne detail.  My husband manned the ball switch guarding it like a red phone in the White House. Then came the final 10 seconds.  All eyes beheld the flashing ball as the countdown began, with anticipation of the start of the new millennium. I was ready with my rip cord.  Dylan was ready with the music.  The crowd was counting louder and louder, and the children were ready to combust with delirium tinged excitement and as the ball neared its mark, we all held our collective breath for the moment before the ball lights and the new millennium would ignite.  But, when the ball hit the mark, absolutely nothing happened. It did not light.  Dylan’s music did not begin.  I did not pull the balloon cord.  The crowd waited patiently for about 2 seconds.  Then, instead of a big cheer emanating  from the crowd, there was a collective GROAN. That was when we realized that one of the sleep-deprived rug-rats who had been told not to go behind the sign had tripped over the cord and yanked it out of its socket disconnecting us from our moment of glory.   We recovered the error fairly quickly, and plugged the sign in, but it was just a tad anti-climactic, I’m here to tell ya.

I hope no one was scarred for life by the delayed start of the new millennium.  Those who were superstitious, or had built bunkers in their basements for the Y2K doomsday predictions might have had a problem with the symbolism of it all.  Hey, I figured they could create their own little leap year compensations if worse came to worse.

Personally…I thought it was hilarious.  Good for material! Hey, maybe I’ll sabotage it again tonight. Just for kicks.  Kidding. You’re all invited!

Happy New Year!!!!

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12 Responses to Bringing in the New Year

  1. Davis says:

    Wish I could be there for your NYE ball-drop. It sounds like a blast, even if it only lasts a short while. Are you sure you’d rather have your neighbors hanging around all evening? Anyway, thanks for the great post, and have a happy new year

  2. Here’s wishing you and Bill and all of us a great 2009!

  3. It really sounds like great fun….
    However…. I have this eerie vision of thousands of people walking mindlessly toward a pole with a ball on it… Kind of zombie like or like the scene from the book “Cell” (Stephen King) where all of the mindless people seem to move toward an unknown signal.
    Whatever…. It really does sound like a nice tradition. HAVE A WONDERFUL, PROSPEROUS AND INTERESTING 2009!!

    What’s up with your teaching??? Do you ever do demos for art club meetings???

  4. Great story! Also I plan to adopt the cup on a stand to rest my weary arm when painting. Happy new year to you.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Great story and you must really be people friendly to invite your whole neighborhood.
    Happy New Year!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the Funny story, Lisa!!! How so, especially as so many good ones end with “it was kinda anti-climactic” !!!
    It’s 3:44 am here and we just got home from an annual bash at a friend’s house in town. I thought I would end the night reading your blog!
    Oh, and Happy New Year!

  7. Lori says:

    Happy New Year! I loved your story, it sounds like a perfect way to usher in the new year. The painting looks like its off to a great start, nice little warty pumpkin you have there.

  8. lbtowers says:

    Happy New Year to all of you as well. Believe it or not, the same thing happened at out ball drop last night. The ball was not only late getting to the switch (which leaves two seconds of groaning going on), but it was not lowered all the way and the 2009 did not go off. I had nothing to do with it I swear.

    Rebecca – I’m honored!

    Marian – I tried to quit teaching but, worried about Buddy at the Art Institute, I agreed to stay on a while longer (long story). I do demos for art club meetings if a cocked revolver is jammed into my rib cage and forcing me to the stage.

  9. Rebecca says:

    ha ha ha ha. lqtm. ps. are you sure that isn’t a painting? It looks quite surreal with it’s 19th Century Paris undertones.

  10. kevmoore says:

    I always thought The undertones were an Irish group from the punk era of the mid-70’s. If this is true, how come they were hanging around 19th century Paris, and why isn’t your pumpkin orange? We should be told.

  11. Lisa B. says:

    2009 didn’t go off? Does this mean I have to do 2008 all over again?

  12. lbtowers says:

    Watch yourself Mr. Music Trivia–we are beginning to estimate your age. Of course, even if I were from that era (*wink wink*) you know how uncool I am about all that is cool in the music world. Also Kev, you’d be a pale orange pumpkin too if you’d been sitting around my studio for three months. Not to mention growing warts.

    Now Lisa, it went off, just late. We are not THAT inept. Or have you been watching “Ground Hog’s Day?”

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