That’s how my New Year began. Last night our surrounding neighborhood decided to put on a firework display that was way more spectacular than the one they put on last year, or even for the 4th of July. Fireworks lit up the sky. It was quite pretty. The dogs — Brandy and Poptart, were not impressed. Brandy has gotten less freaked out about these things over the years, she doesn’t try to run and hide anymore, just sits, shakes, and pants… but Poptart was trying to dig a hole and hide… like, in everything. We finally put him in the cat carrier and covered it with a blanket — he’s a Chihuahua, he fit quite nicely there. I figured if he was trying to dig a hole and hide, well the cat carrier gave him a small, dark space to hide in. It must have worked because he calmed down after a while.
So anyway, we all finally got some sleep. The fireworks didn’t last forever — they started sporadically at about 7pm and lasted until midnight-thirty. I was halfway afraid they would continue until 2am, but no, they stopped at a decent hour, and all was well with the world. I let Poptart out of the kennel in the wee hours of the morning when I heard him scratching to be let out, so he didn’t spend the whole night in there.
Luckily, the morning started normally enough until about 9am. Then bam! What the hell? More fireworks? Nope, gunfire… bam! bam! bam! I’m pretty sucky at guessing how far away something is coming from, but I could tell that it was coming from behind my house. Now, I could be wrong, and it might have been some kind of fireworks, but I lived behind a rifle range for quite a while when growing up on a military base… Not to mention some of the shady neighborhoods I’ve lived in over the years. I recognize gunfire when I hear it. So this went on for almost a minute. Cue scared and shaking dogs again. I myself was a little shaken up because it sounded close and there’s pretty much nothing behind me but my neighbor’s house (they have five acres) and, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’m always kinda waiting for someone to snap and just off their family in a maniacal shooting spree. And then, of course, come gunning for me and mine, because why not? People do that when they snap, right? Logic has no say in this! So yeah, gunfire makes me nervous, especially when there’s a lot of it like there was this morning.
But there was no yelling that I could hear, no screaming, nothing to indicate that anything of a sort was going on. Just gunfire. I figured (after a bit) that someone was doing target practice. And, since shooting guns isn’t exactly illegal out here, well, I let it be. I still locked my door and closed all of my curtains because… yeah! And, two hours later (as I’m writing this), the dogs are no longer shaking. They’re still gathered close around me, but they’re no longer shaking. Douglas, of course, slept through it all. I love my husband, but I wasn’t lying when I said he would sleep through the house burning down around him. Update, three hours later, and I finally opened the door and the curtains. I figured if someone were going to come gunning for me and mine, they’da done it by now. 🙂 The dogs still don’t want to go outside unescorted, but what can you do? As soon as they hear/see something interesting out there (like a car in the cul-de-sac), it will be back to business as usual.
And, to start the New Year off right, I have a cold… I woke up with it this morning. My head is stuffed, my voice is gone, I cough every time I move, and I can’t seem to get warm. I’m sitting in front of a heater with a blanket over me and I’m still cold. I wonder if that’s why the call it “a cold”? I feel like I’m breathing in ice water. My coffee is hot, I know because I just brewed it, but it feels tepid. I don’t have the chills, I’m not shaking… but I’m cold. I couldn’t get warm all night even with four blankets and the furbabies. If this is day one, I’m so not looking forward to the upcoming days. Blah. The only thing I really worry about when it comes to colds is my lungs. If it settles in my lungs and I can’t breathe, then we have a problem because it could easily turn into bronchitis or pneumonia. Both of which I’ve had several times in the past, and they’re nasty. Still, a cold is a cold and there isn’t much to do but wait it out.
Just to be clear, I don’t think that this bodes ill for the coming year. New Year’s day is a social construct like any other day. The Western New Year falls on a different day than say, the Chinese New Year which this year (2018) falls on February 16th. Of course, China knows that we have a different calendar and does business dealings according to our calendar, but their calendar was built around their society. I mean, we had a completely different calendar too once upon a time and our current, Gregorian calendar (which, of course replaced the Julian calendar) is based around the Catholic holidays. I wonder how many people know that? But my point is that up to this point there have been at least three different calendars in the Western world (the Julian calendar replaced the Roman calendar which is why December, which used to be the tenth month dec = ten was moved to the twelfth spot, to add July and August.) At least that’s what I’ve always been taught. Wikipedia says differently. Oh well.
Anyway, my point is that January 1 did not always mark the new year, though it has for a very long time — since Caesar. However, just because it’s been this way for a long time does not make it true. I mean the Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, I would think *that* makes a better beginning of the year than some arbitrary day on the calendar, but that’s just my humble opinion. Still, I celebrate the New Year with everyone else because why not? It doesn’t hurt anything to “ring in the new year” with my friends and family and wish everyone a better year than they had before. Just because I believe that time is a continuity — I’m always in the now — doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate.
That being said, Happy New Year, y’all! I, sincerely, hope that this coming year brings you peace and joy and good luck.