Tuesday, December 31, 2013

(To Quote a Barry Manilow Song) It's Just Another New Year's Eve

Okay when it comes to being sentimental- I run hot & cold. I don’t know if that’s good or bad- but it is what it is.

When I was younger, I would spend New Year’s Eve with my in-laws. Kind, loving people and before my father in law passed away, it was what WE did. Spend New Year’s Eve with them.  My mother in law, Gloria, would cook for days, well, it seemed like days when you would take a look at the spread displayed  on the table in their home.

<hmmmm, side note: Whenever Boberts & I have people over, I feel I have to have  a huge spread - (of food, heh heh) to make sure our “family”, aka invited guests, have enough choices…just in case they are picky or hungry (or both)…I learned that from Gloria- make everyone happy>

...anyhoo- as I was (ah)sayin'…..

I was always amazed at how much food there was, but she was a pro at cooking & doing everything quickly, so maybe it was just a day.  They would have friends & neighbors stop by for tamales and good cheer. Well, really, can you have anything else but good cheer? We’re talking homemade tamales - - homemade rice & beans, a dish that she called “stuffado”, which was shredded roast beef, made into small beef patties held together with egg & I don’t know what else in a tomato based sauce…it was really good(that’s saying a lot because I am not a fan of beef), roasted green chili peppers- it may have been jalapenos- it’s been so long, sometimes she’d have fried chicken and, oh yeah, Posole - ever have posole?
It's a soup made with pork, and hominy & broth. She'd also have Menudo - ever have menudo? Um... I’d tell you what the ingredients are, but it would make ME sick! I will say it takes hours to cook (or the main ingredient  is really- did I say really, I mean  extremely tough and *in my opinion* really, REALLY gross), the ingredients are, well, okay, I  have no words to describe what it is- excuse me while I hurl)….needless to say - although I find  myself doing exactly that – saying that I AM NOT A FAN OF MENUDO- (heh, I knew this guy - I won’t embarrass him by telling you his name, because we are still friends – yes, friends since West High school days- would call it “menoodles”…he was so cute, goofy but cute!)


Gloria, my mother in-law, would also have desserts of all kinds, and liquor!

LOTS of liquor. That was before I appreciated a good wine - -

or vodka. (Have I told you vodka is my friend? 'tis true)

During the New Year’s Eve festivities,  Gloria would mingle with each and every guest and at some point in the evening (one of my most favorite memories), Gloria & my father-in-law, Bill Aguilar (who was pretty famous in his own right here in the valley, as he was the one that started broadcasting live sports events in Español) would dance. They danced beautifully together. Everyone would stop and watch as they slid effortlessly on the make shift dance floor.

< OOOH- yet another side note- Adderall hasn’t kicked in yet- I can’t help it- just go with it- okay?....Wanna hear about what a small world in which we live? YAY- I’m telling you anyway - - Bill Aguilar, (Bob’s dad) actually knew my family BEFORE Bob & I were specks of anything in our respective parents lives.  Bill Aguilar danced with my family, yes, yes, shocker & extremely difficult to believe, but  I come from a family of dancers, in fact, my grandma & aunt opened the Orpheum Theatre when it opened the first time back  1929.>

So, as I was  saying, watching Bill & Gloria dance was a sight to see. They were so very much in love and when they danced, you could see just how much love they shared….dancing, after all, is the universal language of the love. (I just made that up... I don’t know what it is, but dancing is a way and has a way of expression, so let’s just go with that).

Throughout the evening, everyone was happy & laughing and eating and dancing and visiting and just, really enjoying each other.  As we prepared to say good bye to the year and celebrate the coming of a New Year, Gloria would pass out individual bowls of 12 red grapes WITH seeds. Part of the tradition - and I haven’t seen this anywhere else, well, it’s not like I travel, but I haven’t heard about this anywhere else – is to....exactly at midnight, eat all 12 grapes , one grape for each month, within 60 seconds. This should bring you good luck for the New Year.  It was fun watching everyone struggle –well,  I can only imagine that everyone else was struggling. There were giggles & down right wonderful guffaws.   In my mind, as I was struggling to move the seeds around my mouth using my tongue, I would think everyone else was having difficulty too, and THAT would make me  laugh, causing me to lose the contents in my mouth, which was okay because the  crunch of the grape skin would give me osco*….but I dunno… some peeps may be better tongue movers than others.

*osco: a word from my childhood meaning yucky, sick, gross..etc..

I think as I get older, I appreciate more & more the experiences I was fortunate to experience.
Bill Aguilar passed away in 1987.  Gloria has lived without her husband, the love of her life, for longer than she was married to him.  They married on November 20, the same anniversary that Boberts & I have.  At the time, we thought that it would be a compliment (as such) to share a wedding anniversary with them. Every year that passes now, since my father in law passed away, I feel sadness for Gloria. Sadness because it's just another reminder of how she lives on - without her hubby... and guilty because Bob & I still have each other to celebrate another year of wedded bliss (REALLY! WE ARE HAPPY!! lol).  I am grateful that I got to know Mr. Aguilar, his time on this earth was way too short.  I feel for my mother in law and honestly… I think about how strong she was to continue to wake up every day, knowing Bill isn’t going to come through the door with some silly joke to make her laugh (something - although I tease - Bob does the same thing and truth be told, it’s funny that he is so goofy).

Wow this turned out to be not at all what I intended- I guess  just go with the flow type thang….huh?


New beginning…another day to start getting busy with what we want our lives to be.
We have choices…let’s make a choice to be kind, be loving and be all we are suppose to be.

Happy New Year and May 2014 Be YOUR Year. Your Year for kindness, abundance, good health & happiness.

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