Sometimes I can't remember where I put my glasses or my cell phone, or what I ate for breakfast. But I can remember this scene as vivid as if it was in fact yesterday. And yes, I know what all this means – I'm getting old.
I remember going to our neighbor's house for New Year's Eve. They were farmers too. There was me and my brother – and they had three daughters – two about our ages. But I was more interested in the shrimp they always fried up as a treat on New Year's Eve than anything else. After all, I was only 13 or 14, I can't remember which.
I remember getting ready to go home. Dad started up the old Ford car, and we stayed inside the cold farmhouse while the cold car warmed up above iceberg stage. It was supposed to go to 20 below for New Year's morning, and it surely was at zero or less then. There were several inches of snow on the ground. You had to be careful getting to the car; it was slick.
I remember heading to the car not long after midnight. The big ball dropped in New York, and now that we were all sure another year was coming, we could go home. After all, milking time in the morning was coming too. And man, would it be cold!
It was cold, and it was snowy. And there are other memories like that too. Yet here we are looking at unseasonably warm temperatures over the holidays – at least it was over Christmas. Has the weather changed, or do I just remember the years that were the worst in terms of snowy and cold?
Truth is it may be a little of both. Not every winter was like the one where New Year's morning dawned white and frigid cold. But that's the one I remember.
It's really pretty daring sharing these memories now, right before another New Year's Day. I kind of feel like I'm in a Farm Bureau Insurance commercial, "knocking on wood." And if you wonder why they stay with that theme, you're not alone. I've asked – it works – brand identify.
That's hard to argue with, and so is the fact that winter could turn around at any moment, if only for a moment. It may be a mild winter but I'm betting sooner or later, New Year's Eve or later, we will see some cold and snow.
Now where did I put my cell phone?