Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

I don't know what I have done in New Years past, I can't really remember much detail, but 2009 will stick in my memory for a long time. We were at the Association Clubhouse for the midnight festivities, which started at 7 PM. We walked in the door knowing Kathy and Dave:
and left with a whole slew of new friends. Notice Kathy's wristies and scarf. It was COOOOOOLLD in the Association Lakehouse-temperature wise. But the friends and food were warm and fun. At 12:01 we booked outta there, all heading for home and toasty pellet and woodburning stoves. We agreed to meet in the morning and take up where we had left off. Kathy had reminded us of a Polar Plunge at 11 AM on New Year's Day, and we decided that was the first activity of the New Year. We got to Vrooman's Hotel (not a room to be had, but originally it was a hotel so hence the name) which is now a happening bar in the center of Caroga. Happening is a relative term, but it was quite crowded in the parking lot. Cars and snowmobiles. They were serving up bloody mary's and irish courage for the plungers. We all then re-grouped at the marina (newly purchased and moved into just two days before by a couple from North Hills. North Hills LONG ISLAND! Like, North Hills next to Glen Cove? Can you believe it?) Anyway, they sold their business 18 months ago and have been searching for a small marina to buy since then. They found it in Caroga lake and moved in December 30th. Imagine hosting 100 or so of the local crazies just two days after moving into a strange town? That is what they did. I love these people already. The fire department was there to cut a hole in the ice for the bathers, and after much cheering, whistling and laughter from us, the mostly sober peanut gallery, the seven or eight nuts went into the lake at about 12:30. They were out seconds later. Shivering, laughing and swearing it "wasn't so bad'. Maybe next year. Maybe Jerry. Maybe not. I can't remember the last time I spent the entire day in a bar. Maybe never. But this was fun. We all went back to Vrooman's Hotel and toasted the swimmers - "to frozen nuts, hard nipples and beer!-Wooo Hooo" It was quite a festive occasion. We met up with a number of friends from our church (which is why I love that place too) and we all had a spectacular good time. We got to meet the new neighbors from North Hills, Karl and Carol, and continued the New Year celebration with all the people who are part of the Caroga Lake Association where the summer cottage is. We had spent the previous night partying with all of them. Getting to know people takes time. I am looking forward to this summer now that I know who our neighbors are. It was great fun, good food such a wonderful way to celebrate our new community. Our friend Pat, who is the publisher of the local paper the Leader Herald, and also sits behind us in Church, told me that I must come out of my shell and meet some people. She was feeling bad for us (ha ha). I looked around and realized how true her sarcasm really was. We were standing in the middle of a large group of good friends and I feel as if we've been here forever. It is a fantastic and optimistic way to feel on New Years' Day of our first year here. We were able to tell the new people "you'll do fine, it's a fun community that has alot of great people, (most of whom are here in the bar"), and that is what they saw yesterday. It's kind of fun to realize that we aren't the new people anymore. Someone else has picked up that title. We're now "old timers" here in Caroga. We sat around and talked about our families, our dreams, our plans and our futures. Here are a few shots of us old timers celebrating:

Any last minute sign ups?: No thanks!

And they're in!

And they're out!
Back at the marina: Back at Vrooman's Hotel for a really classy toast:
Relaxed, well fed and enjoying day one of 2009. We're off to a good start:
Happy New Year friends. Old and New.

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