Happy New Year Welcoming 2014 and saying goodbye to 2013

02 Jan

Good day folks and a very Happy New Year to you.  I don’t know what you did for New Years’ Eve. But I was fully engaged.  We (the extended neighborhood family) shared a meal, good times, teasing, laughing and card playing.  We also celebrated the retirement of one of the group.  It was a wonderful party.

I am so fortunate to have such good friends.  Such a diverse group, we have the deeply religious, and then we have the folks like me that teeter on the edge of hell LOL.  We have saints and sinners and we even have an asshole or two.  But we all have found ways to melt into a wonderful group of individuals that like each other, that can put up with other, and smile and laugh at the end of the evening. 

We hosted the event this year, and we served New York Strip Steaks for 11, baked potatoes, and a Caesar salad.  The salad was brought by one of the guests.  The guests also brought all manner of hors d’oeuvre and desserts. Beer, wine, (and some Whine), whisky, cider, and sparkly cider were served.  Normally I am an excellent cook on the grill, but last night I wasn’t at my best,  Half the folks wanted  med well or well done (what a way to screw up a NY Strip) the rest of us wanted them med rare.  Well I managed to cook them all med well or well done I am so ashamed.  But the quality of the meat made up for them being over cooked.

After dinner a community effort was made to clean the kitchen, and that community made short work of the task. 

After dinner the card games commenced.  The neighborhood family plays 31, we play so we can share insults, so we can banter, so we can abuse each other’s card playing and so we can BS.  Folks, there is a lot of BS going on at the table and proudly I can admit I lead the charge. The sheer number of folks involved led us to having 2 tables of 5 players each, with the only rule being that spouses could not sit next to each other. I played with Art, Wanda, little Steph and Laura. The other table was made up of Bob, MaryJo, Steph, Vernon and Chris.  My table was in the kitchen the other in the dining room. We could hear the laughter, the howling, and the fact that someone had lost their 31 virginity at the dining room table (trust me that was later questioned), at our table we were talking about each other to our faces, and mumbling other things under our breath (in a stage whisper), and spent the 2 hours laughing and giggling.  It was a great game and made more better because I won!  I believe that at the other table Vernon won (which was a first for him).  We took a break between games to enjoy more group fellowship and dessert.  This was a ton of fun because we shared the desserts brought and Steve’s retirement cake, coffee and other drinks were served. 

The second game of 31 was played with 7 of us at the dining room table, we had 3 individuals that wanted to spectate rather than participate, and one of those was giving me a running commentary on the Duke vs. Texas A&M game, which I appreciated greatly until the final score LOL. It was a shortened version of the game to accommodate the midnight hour.  The game was frantic at times, filled with more burbs, snide remarks, jabs, and laughs.  Eventually as we closed in on midnight, I once again came out the winner. Boy did I have a great night of cards.  I enjoyed the company of my friends, we shared a meal of fine food (though the steaks were over cooked), great appetizers, and wonderful desserts.  We laughed, we kidded, we chatted about millions of things, and had moments of quiet introspection.

When New Year’s came we shared a toast, and a kiss.  I had a quiet word with each of my friends, and we bid them Aude. What a wonderful way of ending one year and starting another.

My group of neighborhood friends reminds me of my online and blog friends.  We also have sinners and saints, we have an asshole among us (most likely me LOL), we have the deeply religious and those teetering on the edge of hell (again, most likely me), and all points in between. We have rights and lefts and middle of the roaders.  We are as diverse a group of folks as one could ever hope to encounter. We share among ourselves without reservation. We are painfully honest when we need to be.  There is nothing we won’t talk freely about, and there is nothing we won’t do for one another.  My evening would have been just as wonderful and just as entertaining and just as friendly had my home been filled with my online and blog buddies.  The stories would have been only slightly different.  Maybe the steaks wouldn’t have been as overcooked.  The card game would have just as much fun with just as much teasing and BSing.  The laughter and cackling would have been just as loud, the fellowship just as wonderful.

In a perfect world I could find a way to blend these wonderful groups. But the world isn’t perfect.  Yet I am so so thankful that I have such wonderful groups of friends. 

To all my friends’ blogger, follower, supporter group, viewer and neighbor, I hope that 2014 brings you nothing but joy. I hope you find both big and small ways to smile to be thankful yourself.  I know the joy you have brought me, I know the many smiles you have put on my lips, and how many times I have LMFAO because of something you said.  And I remember the tears we have shared. Thank you.  

At the end of the evening, I said a little something to each of my friends as they left.  I offered a warm smile and a gentle word, a hand to shake, and an embrace.  To you my online and blogger friends I offer you the same in a cyber-way.  Please take care, and be safe during 2014.  – Again Thank You — Bill                                                              


Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Observations, Ramblings


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18 responses to “Happy New Year Welcoming 2014 and saying goodbye to 2013

  1. Chatter Master

    January 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    What an incredible evening, and post, Bill. I got a good view of what an evening with you and your wife would be and it sounds heavenly. I hope the same good tidings to you friend. 🙂

  2. kanzensakura

    January 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Happy new year to you and all of those you hold dear. Blessings to you my friend. And, what is 31?

    • FlaHam

      January 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Kanzen, Thank you for your sweet reply, I hope your New Year’s Eve was enjoyable. 31 is a card game, each player is dealt 3 cards, the object is to get as close to a total count of 31 in a single suit (ie: hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds), the game is played by drawing to your hand and discarding until someone knocks, then each players gets an additional draw, back the person who knocked. The person with the lowest total count in a suit pays the pot (only the lowest count pays). (we play 50 cents a hand with each individual having enough to lose 5 hands). Once you lose your five hands you are allowed to continue playing (on your looks) until you lose again. The last person with money (or looks) on the table wins all the rest of the money. If you never played a card game in your life you could learn this in 2 hands. It a great game for entertainment, and you don’t have to pay real close attention. And even if you lose your only out $2.50. It calls for and allows a lot of BS and teasing. It’s a great game, we get together about once a month to play. Take care, Bill

  3. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    January 2, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    We’re fortunate to have you, Bill. Happy New Year to you and yours. Hugs from your friend, Paulette

  4. benzeknees

    January 3, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Happy New Year my new friend Bill! Sounds like a great way to bring in the New Year! Hope 2014 is very good to you & your family!

    • FlaHam

      January 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Benze, The party was a success on anyone’s scale of measurements. I hope 2014 brings joy to you in large and small ways, and from unexpected places. Please take care my friend, remember soon will be discussing the health issues we both face. Bill

  5. huntmode

    January 3, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Dear Bill, what a night you and your neighborhood family had! Sorry about the steaks… happens when you’re having a good time, listening and talking instead of keeping an eye on those steaks. Grin. You’ve expressed what I feel towards my own. Thank you. A wonderful new year for you and yours. Best ~ HuntMode

    • FlaHam

      January 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Hunt, My friend, I truly look forward to 2014 and learning more about you, and I look forward to getting caught up and staying current. I am indeed fortunate, thank you for being one of my very dear friends. Take care, Bill — all the very best to you for 2014.

  6. gpcox

    January 3, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Here’s a toast for both us having many more posts to share in 2014!! A hearty handshake indeed!

    • FlaHam

      January 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Gpcox, I welcome your toast, and hearty handshake. I hope that 2014 is a wonderful year for you filled with all manner of joy. Look forward to your many posts. Take care, Bill

  7. jmgoyder

    January 3, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Bill, I would like to thank you so much for being such a tonic for me (not as good as gin but nearly!) The fact that you reach out to others so generously, when you are going through the hell of your illness, and recent hearbreak, is like a shout of triumph and you inspire me so much. Love to you and yours – Juliexxx

    • FlaHam

      January 3, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Julie, It is a great pleasure to serve you anyway I can including a mixer LOL. Since day one Julie we have found ways to inspire each other. I truly believe you have more will and strength than I could ever possess. Even before Ming’s accident your plate was full, and you have taken on all the trials and tribulations of Ants situation, Ming’s issues with his back and the accident, and raised Gutsy to boot. My dear your special and I am so grateful to have you has a friend. We will be members of the mutual admiration society. Please take care, Bill

  8. Wanda

    January 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Bill, my steak was perfect, as was the rest of the evening. Plus you’ve given a very clear description of how to play 31. The only problem is–if it only takes 2 hands to learn it, how come some of us need a refresher course each time we play??

    • FlaHam

      January 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Wanda, Thank you, you must have gotten the only med rare steak I cooked LOL LOL. Though your right the meal was perfect, not to much, not to little. No left overs to speak. Your meal balls were damn good, and I noticed they got wolfed down quickly. LMAO — about 31, it really only takes two hands to learn, the reasons for the refresher course is as diverse as the group. I figure, it’s like being a doctor. You have the skills (hopefully) and you know what your doing (hopefully), the refresher just allows you to hone and sharpen those skills again. Like turning a butter knife into a filleting knife. Cause some of the knives at the table are pretty dull. LOL Take care, thank you so much for being part of our New Years Celebration. Take care, Bill


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