I’ve always loved getting in the car with my husband and just wandering around for a little while. Sometimes it turns into a big adventure, other times we just grab a coffee or make a quick trip to the grocery store while taking our time to get there. It’s sort of a way to unwind, connect in conversation, and take in scenery other than the interior walls of our house. Our kids enjoy these rides as much as we do, especially when we let them select their own favorite music for everyone to listen to while we’re driving. Fortunately, we’ve done well as parents and taught them the value of good music and most of the time they make choices we’re more than happy to oblige. We have many theme songs for our family. My older daughter seems to really love the classic 80’s rock song “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. Did you know that the version you probably are hearing in your head right now after reading that song title isn’t the original? The song was first written with the phrase: “Like a hobo I was born to walk alone.” Really? Hobo? As in a homeless person aimlessly wandering about? I prefer taking the time to navigate to the remastered version when we listen. A drifter walking alone paints a better picture, at least in my mind.
Last week our Christmas decorations came down and the kids keep commenting on how “empty” our living room seems now. I feel you kiddos, it’s festive and magical having everything adorned for the holidays. This year we enjoyed a somewhat slower and quieter holiday season. I still went overboard with cooking and baking (who doesn’t love a variety of Christmas cookies?), but with half of our extended family many miles away we found we weren’t rushing to more than one celebration. By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around I was feeling like we’d mastered the art of lazy, impromptu festivities. Even though it was bitterly cold here in Minnesota, we all bundled up and took a walk on our frozen lake enjoying the bright moonlight and a neighbor’s celebratory fireworks. It’s customary to sing “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve, and it makes sense why it became tradition. As I stood there looking at the sky I felt excited for the many things to come in the new year, but also grateful for the experiences of the previous year, even though many had not been exactly uplifting. The song is also a poem, while it doesn’t exactly translate into English, the title and key phrase “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long since” and essentially means “days gone by”.