Feeling the effects of cabin fever set in, I made reservations for New Year’s Eve dinner at Pangea, voted one of twelve best new restaurants in the St. Louis area. It was located in an area called “Newtown”.
The bright and contemporary restaurant was bustling with servers dressed in black, scurrying back and forth between table delivering cream-colored plates of aromatic delectables. The hostess seated us behind a half wall, far away from the brisk night air streaming in whenever the entrance door was opened.
The menu was set for the evening – Ricotta Knudi, Filet Mignon and Shrimp, Lemon Elderberry Cheesecake, and Ancho Chile Chocolate Mousse. Dinner and dessert were divine; I was left craving more of that par excellence flavor. My tall glass of sparkling Prosecco was a nice complement to the dinner.
After dinner, we motored homeward. Once inside, we turned on the TV searching for the Dave Clark New Year’s Eve Celebration channel. I suppose the food was too much excitement for me, as I fell asleep shortly after 10 p.m.
Hubby woke me up with a kiss at midnight, singing, “Happy New Year”.
For the last three years, I’ve started the tradition of a Grateful Jar (or a Blessings Jar). During the year, you pen all the things you’re grateful for, and drop the small bits of paper in the jar, to be opened on New Year’s Day, or shortly after.
Today, with the help of my sweet little Ireland kitty supervising, I read through the memories tucked away in the jar.
Here are the awesome people, places, and memories that made 2017 great.
This was posted by my friend Abby. (She must have snuck this into the Grateful Jar while we were on vacation)
“Blessed by the fur babies I kitty sit. Love all 4 of them so very much.” Abby
- Despite my friend Dave Reed going through cancer treatments, he and his wife Dena prepared a lovely January birthday dinner for me.
- August 23 – The view of the bees pollinating the purple and white cleomes outside my window. The cornflower blue Morning Glory wistfully twisting around the deck spindles.
- The artist, Craig Hosner, I met on Santa Rosa who constructed a beautiful American flag in the sand with all-natural materials — seashells, pine cones, and oyster shells.
- August 21 – The total solar eclipse visible in the Missouri sky over our house. The purple and red violet flares on the corona made me cry, it was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen in my life, almost spiritual in nature. The stillness of the event, the birds singing, the crickets chirping – stunning!
- Grateful for good friends to confide in.
- Writing a story on my friend Janet Jonas, of Gentle Touch Canine Massage, Sunset Beach. Hearing her inspirational story and her love for animals.
- My story on the Waterfront Seafood Shack being voted 1 of 5 top stories in South and North Brunswick Magazine in 2017 by the readers.
- Watching my niece and nephews grow taller, smarter and stronger.
- Thankful for a beautiful dinner and dessert with the hubster for Valentine’s Day.
- Thankful for a birthday outing with girlfriends Tina, Peggy, Janet and Abby.
- The Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.
- The dolphin excursion in Calabash, North Carolina, where I viewed more than 35 dolphins following a shrimp trawler.
- Great friends and fellowship.
- Being invited to Burbank in 2018 for a private taping of the Big Bang Theory by a special friend I met on Sunset Beach.
- My love of cooking and baking.
- Six fur babies that live with me and the hubster.
- Ephraim, Wisconsin, and sunsets with the dogs and hubby on the private dock with the Adirondack chairs.
- Unexpected double rainbows on August 20 (the day before the solar eclipse). God sure was working that week.
- Snow for Christmas!
- The majestic 100-year-old white-washed barn in the neighbor’s corn field.
- Spending Christmas eve with my crazy cousins!
- Enjoying all the wonderful coffeehouses in Nashville with my friend Pat on a girlfriend getaway.
- Winning 4 writing awards at the Show Me Writers Conference in April, and a free registration for 2018.
- Sneaking peaks at the cats and Bordeaux watch birds and wildlife outside the French doors and the storm door.
- The adrenalin rush leading up to hiking Twin Falls on the road to Hana, Maui. Crossing the raging stream with hubby, thinking we’re going to fall over the drop off. Finally reaching the falls. Hearing the rush of the water, the chilly feeling it left on my skin. Enjoying watching Russell swim behind the waterfall.
- Santa Rosa Beach sunsets, savory food, yummy coffee, the Red Bar, Eden Gardens, meeting Namon and Rebecca.
- Walks with the dogs to clear my head near the lake in Heritage Park.
- A sneak peek at the cover for my picture book with Pat Wahler, Midnight, The One-Eyed Cat.
- Watching Christine’s hen in Nashville lay 6 eggs in a row!
- Finding our friend Dave Reed is cancer free, for the second time in his life.
- Grateful for Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis!
- Dancing the polka with my cousin, Susie, around the tables at Das Bevo while listening to the Waterloo German Band.
- Have a publisher request my poetry collection manuscript. (Still patiently waiting for an answer)
- Being surprised with a sandwich from Jimmy John’s by my husband, delivered right to the front door.
- Listening to two jazz musician groups this year at Jazz at the Bistro.
- Touring Leiper’s Fork Distillery and learning how to sniff, swig and chew whiskey.
- Meeting David Hodges from Evanescence and Alicia Witt, the actress, at the Bluebird Café in Nashville.
Bluebird Cafe musicians
Actress, Alicia Witt
- The weird art exhibit museum event with longtime friend, Tina, where we were told by museum volunteers NOT to take pictures of the pictures!
- Walking to the Kindred Spirit Bench with Russell, Sandra, and the dogs in October before sunset. The sky was amazing!
- Little girls named Remy at Sunset Beach in October, and husbands flying kites.
- Touring the Bissinger Chocolate factory with friend Abby, and wearing hairnets and coats like Lucy and Ethel.
- Meeting tango dancers Elise and Marco on the beach at Sunset Beach in October in the midst of a pumpkin-hued sky.
- My love of photography and writing.
- Sharing my love of travel with my husband.
- The ability to vacation seven times this year.
- Grateful for my fur babies and their funny quirks.
- Grateful I’m able to comfort friends in difficult times.
What where some things you were grateful for in 2017?