New Year’s eve is traditionally spent at lavish parties with friends, or at home watching Dick Clark with your families. It doesn’t always work itself out to be that way. On December 31, 2008 I found myself at home with no heat and no electricity. It was 10 degrees out and the house was dark and cold but believe it or not, this New Year’s Eve stands out as one of my favorites ever.
The weather had been bad all week with temperatures into the teens. The windchill made it seem like it was well below zero.. The wind was picking up and it seemed like we were in for a rough night. I was at home with my mother and aunt and we had decided to stay inn for the night and spend the evening watching movies and snacking on popcorn and pizza. We had just popped in the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation DVD. The Griswold’s had just picked out their perfect Christmas tree when it happened. The lights flickered and then when out.
After scrambling to find candles and flashlights we realized that we were stuck. At 9pm it was too risky to drive anyplace. The weather was bad the the drunk drivers would be out by now. It was safest to stay put. With no heat the temperature would quickly drop so we put on out coats, hats, and gloves. We had been cooking a fresh pizza in the oven but the dough was still raw so we couldn’t eat it. Instead we opened a couple of cans of spaghetti’Os and ate them cold. Eating cold spaghettiO’s brought back memories from when I was a child and I was too young to use the stove. I ate my spaghettiO’s cold, and surprisingly I still enjoyed it.
My mom thought up a fun game for us to play. She found some old coloring books and crayons and we tried to color in the dark. We couldn’t tell what colors we were using, and the lines were barely visible. We had a lot of fun comparing our terrible looking artwork. I had colored a green cat, a blue firetruck, and a green and yellow American flag. It was the most fun I’d had in quite a while. We also played cards in the dark with flashlights and my aunt told me funny stories about the elaborate forts her and my mom would make as kids if the power went out in their house. They used all the chairs and blankets in the house and made a fun maze.
Eventually we got some more batteries and a radio that could play TV. We listened to Dick Clark with Ryan Seacrest. We imagined what ugly looking outfit Seacrest was wearing and we made fun of the annoucner’s over excited voice. Because we wanted to see a real ball drop at midnight I grabbed my on of my dog’s tennis balls and dropped it exactly at midnight.
It might not have been the ideal New Years Eve but we certainly welcomed 2009 in a fun, and unique way. To this day I share this funny story with the other members of my family. It’s one New Year’s I will never forget.