Welcome 2012! The local neighborhood party fireworks, set off early, around 7:30 PM, allowed families with kids to share the fun.
Dressing up for this party means warm clothes, arctic boots, good mittens and gloves, and an international selection of warm hats.
It also means neighbors, friends and strangers gathering around the bonfire, faces upturned, oooing, aaahing, cheering and applauding. A few chairs brought out into the cold to accommodate older folks, a little girl with a sled looking for a little hill or bump of snow to slide on, a family sitting in a warm car watching the fireworks like we watched drive-in movies… some folks arriving on snowmobiles, cabin dwellers coming out of the woods.
Before the fireworks some gathered in the garage – cleaned up and decorated yooper style – picnic tables with poinsettas, wreaths on the garage door. Food served off of workbenches cleared of tools and projects for the night. The snowmobile repair lift thing-a-ma-jig covered in plastic sheeting, held in place with dandy duct tape was the main serving table, overflowing with shrimp, chips, dips, veggies, hot meatballs, lasagna, cookies ~ you name it. Hot dogs cooked on the grill, fresh salmon steaks baked at the edge of the bonfire.
The fireworks set up had to be relocated – the wind had shifted from east to north. No problem for the pyrotechnical genius – adapting to the wind for safety.
After the fireworks – eat, drink, games, laughter, stories, and more laughter. (More about Yooper games another day…)
I love the creativity of up north living. Is it fancy and elegant? Not particularly. Simple, practical and unusually creative, with some few of us wearing a touch of elegance covered up by layers of winter clothes. No high heeled sneakers here, no open toed sandals. A friend remarked – “I have so many layers on, if I fall I can’t get up!” Others comparing and sharing the bonuses of and patterns on knitted, fleece lined, Andes Mountain caps, known as Chullos, while laughing with a baby wearing a knitted bear hat…
Fire. Light. Warmth. Inside, a fire fed by wood in a double barreled wood burner – another creative endeavor. Outside – a bonfire, started, re-lit, re-lit again, until the blaze took off. Outside – Firelight and fireworks. A neighborhood brought together by one man’s vision of giving and bringing diverse people of all ages and backgrounds together for an evening of fire, light, and warmth, good food and laughter. Thank You, Jeff Ross, Mayor of a little no-place called Pine Stump Junction, part our home in the woods.
I came home chilly, tired, happy ~ Happy to have been able to witness and participate in the welcoming in of another New Year with people, friends and neighbors, some of whom I like, some of whom I love, some with whom I have had less than wonderful relationships. I met new people and hugged old friends and strangers. (More at the last post.
Are the pictures perfect? No, not really. Some are bright and beautiful. Some are clearer than others. Some are very blurry. Some have interesting light and are blurry. Some pictures of people and laughing kids came out not at all, except in my memory. No matter, this time. I went as a neighbor and friend, not the photographer. I took snapshots and awoke early on January 1st a happy woman with a very warm heart.
Happy New Year! Welcome 2012! It is going to be a year filled with Miracles and love, and so it is, already.
Namaste ~ Star Bear