It was a dark and stormy windy night. Such nights are often met with power outages here in my little corner of Media, and this one was no exception. We held our breath in the afternoon when the power went out for about 30 seconds, disrupting our party preparations temporarily. However, things were going well, and our guests began to arrive at 8:30 as planned.
At 8:45, we lost power.
Frantically, my brother pulled out the flashlights, and while I searched the candle cabinet for anything that had a wick / could be set on fire, our friends started dialing people who were still on the way to bring lanterns or batteries or candles.
And then we continued partying. You’ll note the beer bottle candle holder in the picture above. I’ll take credit for that – I know, incredibly intelligent (or resourceful). The stick candles were actually best at lighting up the space, and we had a limited number of candlesticks, so we made do in a pinch.
We also lit the gas fireplaces, which helped to keep the house warm. My little brother combined parties with us this year, and his friends were mostly hanging down our basement – the fireplace was definitely necessary down there. It took a quick phone conference with my father and the help of my little brother’s friend to get it going (the pilot light had gone out) but it worked.
Our yearly treats (stromboli and little hot-dogs) were cooked on the grill outside, and a guest with an atomic clock on his iPhone counted us down to midnight instead of Dick Clark (who, I heard, is looking worse each year). We all toasted the new year by candlelight, sang “Auld Lang Syne” – or, at least, attempted to – and generally commenced in a lot of merriment.
And then, twenty minutes after midnight, the lights went back on. I’m not sure which was louder, our cheers at midnight or our cheers when the lights returned.
2008 was a good year. I got quite a bit of photography business, and I think I grew a lot in my photography. I had my first client that was not a friend; I got my first photograph “published” (more about that later). I re-started this blog, created a (better) website for myself and for my church players, and continued development of the website for my dance studio. I saw friends get engaged, get married, get pregnant (not the same group!). I visited my best friend in Cambridge and toured Venice and Florence with her, crashed a formal dinner that she was at and met Bill Gates Sr, and got pleasantly drunk off port while playing Risk with a group of Cambridge Scholars in the student retiring room after high dinner.
I worked on some fantastically awesome projects for the Admissions Office at Saint Joseph’s, and went to Puerto Rico for a business trip (yeah, what?!). Then I applied for and got a new job in the middle of the year, and absolutely love what I do now with the Center for Food Marketing.
I dropped a graduate school program and started a new one, online, through my work – ah, the benefits of working in higher education. It took three turns, but I think I’ve finally found a program that fits me!
Continued dance lessons, started voice lessons, and landed my first (minor) role in our Summer Theatre program. I also, more recently, was cast in my first LEAD role in my parish players.
Overall, it was a year of many changes, some good, some bad. I was blessed to bring in the new year with some very dear friends, and to know that I will see many more dear friends soon.
Here’s to 2009 (and being 25!) – bring it on!