Old Acquaintance


The house still decorated with red bows and green garland. The mistletoe still hangs above the door frame between the living and dining rooms. We always catch someone to kiss. The Nativity scene is still set up on the table in front of the fish tank. The center piece on the dining room table has red taper candles in the four corners and a white one in the middle, surrounded by plastic red poinsettias and pine-cones glittered green and red. Gran’s candle choir boys are neatly lined on the stain glass window sill in the hallway. I’m fond of the black choir boy and often pick him up to inspect.

The house is abuzz with excitement. My sister and I neatly tuck our gifts under the Christmas tree. The old metal Christmas bell ornament, we fought to hang, ring when the tree shakes. Gran has the stinking Chitterlings cooking. The kale, peas and rice are bubbling on the stove. Gran has me chop onions, green peppers, celery and sweet pickles to be mixed with the diced hard-boiled eggs and potatoes for the best potatoes salad known to mankind. Spare ribs glazed in homemade bar-b-que sauce. Sometimes we have pig feet too. These are our traditions and they have their purpose, the rice and peas are for luck, the greens (kale) are for prosperity. Despite us all inherited high blood pressure in our family, the pork is for luck. The potato salad just goes with the meal.

Gran brings out the hats, horns and noise makers we use the same ones year after year. My sister and I will bicker over our favorites. We spend the final hours of the old year blowing up balloons. Gran would hang some from the chandler’s. My sister, brothers and I would rub them on our head and make them stick on the walls. My oldest brother’s wooly hair always has the most static. Gran covers the iron board with a Christmas table-cloth and it becomes a well stocked bar, a black plastic ice bucket and all.

Dick Clark kicks the party in high gear around ten o’clock with his “Rocking Eve” New Years Eve Party. Oh we are excited. Everyone is at the house and no telling who will show up. Aunt Thelma and uncle Vernon are definitely there. Sometimes Marsha, Clifford, Verna, and Lawrence are there, teenagers you never know. Sissy, Yvette, Danny, Evelyn and Joey may show up. It won’t be a party without Betty, Leroy, Jeanette and the Lucas. Everyone’s friends are welcome. The food is plentiful. We snack on chips and dip in the old crystal serving dish. Peanuts, pickles and olives are in the wooden party dish. Homemade eggnog is in the crystal punch bowl and it’s the only time we get to sip from the cute little dainty cups. The adults sip their cocktails and tell us kids to calm down but after while they became louder than us.

Minutes to midnight the TV is turned up and we see the crowd in Time Square become massive. The countdown begins ten, nine . . . The Times Square Ball with its hundred thousands of lights slowly makes it descent . . . three, two, one Happy New year we shout! We blow the horns, shake and rattle the noise makers rattling. We run around popping balloons each of us trying to pop the most. My brothers hit pots together outside in front of the house. Then everything quiets down, we toast the year with sips of Cold Duck. Old Lane Syne by Guy Lombardo is playing we go around to kiss one and other.

I didn’t know what the words meant back then or why the adults were crying. But today I do, as I remember old acquaintances with every off beat note I sing and through each tear that rolls down my cheek.

Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year to everyone!



Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind ?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and old lang syne ?


For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne,

we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !

and surely I’ll buy mine !

And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,

and picked the daisies fine ;

But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,

since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,

from morning sun till dine† ;

But seas between us broad have roared

since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend !

And give me a hand o’ thine !

And we’ll take a right good-will draught,

for auld lang syne.


10 thoughts on “Old Acquaintance

  1. I remember back as a kid when auld lang syne would touch my heart. I never really knew why – but – now I do too. I just didn’t quite understand it back then.
    Happy 2014 & beyond dear Kim!

  2. A beautiful post 🙂 Very hopeful & positive.

    I wish you a magnificent new year – peace, joy, health. Cheers!

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