For the first time in this process I got my mind really blown, nostalgically. These “holiday specials” I thought up at random really have a surprising effect. I have read and transcribed three years of New Year’s Eves and Days. I don’t know why this didn’t happen over the Christmas and Wigilia entries, but I saw her evolving. I’ve always been on the fence about whether people are capable of changing, but now I believe it. She goes from one Christmas refusing to kiss Johnny because she “doesn’t believe in it” to kissing Harland as a matter of “procedure.” There is more to this story, I know it. Filling in the blanks will be an exciting procedure, I’m sure.
I asked Babu if she had any New Year’s Resolutions. She mentioned she hasn’t made them in years. Then she said “Not to fall.” As good of a resolution as I’ve ever heard! It is neither sad nor cheerful to think how she goes from this girl staying up until 5 the next morning and skating by moonlight to a woman who doesn’t even make resolutions, or plans, for the New Year. She no longer even stays up to watch the ball drop! Her skating by moonlight days are over.
In fact, I thought I’d have many more sad in the gut feelings over this process. So she doesn’t skate anymore. It is simple fact that she is different now that she is older. Much of it is beautiful. She gets to stay in her house with people who give her all the help she needs but allow her to be independent. She has people around who keep things bright, tell stories, laugh. She gets to see her great grandkids who she adores. She gets to read about a life that seems almost like fiction to her, something to distract. Yes, there are losses I cannot imagine. No more movies or even tv for her due to her sight and hearing. Her friends and great loves are gone. But this is now, this is life. I think she still feels like she’s living, happy. She still views the world with wonder. Wonder, that is the most amazing thing.
Tuesday, December 31, 1935
Had lunch at Forbes today with Norma, Harry, and Roberta Stafford. Finished reading “Freckles,” by Porter today. Both Norma and Roberta like fun but they don’t get silly. I like to listen to them talk of college. They both went for one year.
Wednesday, January 1, 1936
Went skating this afternoon down to Bemis Pond with Zosh. We have to share my skates between us. Jamie was there. He’s a lousy skater. Chico and Vincent were there, too. My cousins from Holyoke were up to0, (at home, I mean.) We went back to the pond at 8 o’clock. There were two girls and only boys. It’s perfect skating by the light of the moon and stars.
December 31, 1936
What a way to start a new year and end an old, only in reverse order. Junior and Ernie, Francis, Nelson, Harlan, and Robert and Frank came for me but we didn’t get started till after 10 and they took the whole box of chocolates with them. We drove around and lost each other all around at least three times. Finally Frank, Nelson, and Franny went to the movies and the rest of us went to “The Butterfly.” Robert left early so only Harlan and I and Junior and Ernie were left we had a “slick” time blowing horns, dancing, etc. Then we went to Ernie’s and ate and they all except Robert came up here. They stayed a few minutes and left about 5 o’clock 1937.
Vermont Friday, January 1, 1937
Went to Grafton with the crowd. We put our hats from yesterday’s dance on and blew our horns. Had people watching us all along. Harlan got out through the car window and performed on the running board. Later in the evening Ernie and Jed and Harlan and I went riding. Meant to go to the dance but didn’t get there. Harlan drove one-handed most of the way. We left Junior and Ernie in the car to talk things over and we spent most of the night on the couch half-asleep. Got to bed and Ernie, Franny, and I slept together.
Friday, December 31, 1937
Got through the day somehow. The four of us had lunch together. The boys brought me home after work. Didn’t go formal tonight. Danced at The Butterfly until four. Ernie and Jeb set out blankets, in the rumble and we danced over to Bray’s. Had breakfast at 5 o’clock there. Then home. Harlan came out with me and kissed me good night, lightly. Just a natural procedure. Never easier. So to bed at 6:00 A.M.