Twenty twenty-four has a certain ring to it, one that rolls easily off the tongue as we enter a new year. It sounds like a promise of a good, solid year. But life can be volatile and unpredictable. Let us hope for continued economic prosperity and democracy, a healthy planet, and a more just and peaceful world.
To celebrate the New Year, I hung out last week with family in our national Capitol, Washington, DC. My grandson, 19-months old, woke up each morning in the next room, chattering to himself. A sleeping cat occasionally shared the bed with me, but leaped out the second she heard food being prepared. As an older cat, she has been on a health and weight lost diet, and has no patience when it comes to waiting for breakfast. A second, younger cat, a more recent rescue, was mostly invisible, but she did start to warm up to me just a bit.
Each day brought laughter and joy, a by-product of being with a toddler. Playing with toys, especially toy trucks, is his major pastime, surpassing even the playground. Scooting along on a tiny tricycle is also a favorite, up and down alleyways and hallways.
A visit to Enchant Washington DC did much for lighting up the holiday season. Nationals’ Stadium was transformed into a winter delight. Lighted trees, fences, animals, sleds and more were all part of a maze on the main field. A circular ice rink was a big attraction. Vendors sold merchandise, food and drinks, the thousands of lights resembling a European night market.
We were joined on this excursion by my niece and her family, including my two little great nieces, ages 4 and 18 months. The children all were definitely enchanted, by the giant lighted animals in the maze, and delicious hot chocolate. A large, multi-colored checked platform provided a place to run and dance, with each square sounding a musical note. We did not cover all of the available activities and entertainment, but in all, it was a magical evening.
There was no snow during my visit, but it might be coming. The temperatures are dropping and there is precipitation in the air. I am now back home in California, a little sad to not have seen snow, and missing family. Perhaps a new visit to the East Coast is in order in the near future. But in the meantime, as always, it also is good to be home.
Wishing everyone a very good New Year.