As noted Monday, our guests and we rang in the new year with the residents of King Edward Point (all 30 or so of them, not counting seals and penguins). We had no doubt it would be an epic celebration.
Here in Indiana, meanwhile, 10 adults and 6 children gathered in our house to share fondue (a veggie broth and chicken broth fondue to cook steak, chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms; a cheese fondue to smother anything and everything in Gruyere-and-Emmenthaler goodness; and a chocolate fondue for marshmallows, cake balls, and anything else that got in its way), Mesir Wat (Ethiopian lentils) with pita bread, salad, brownies, and homemade ice cream (our friends made honey-cinnamon and chocolate ice creams). We had a wide variety of drinks, including make-your-own Italian soda (and make your own whatever else you wanted--it's not like we have a bartender on staff!).
Things were going smashingly well until I started making the chocolate fondue for the dessert course, when the lights went out. I'm presuming there's no causal link there, despite the darkness of the chocolate. Fortunately, the gas stove kept melting chocolate and we were able to locate our camping lantern and a bunch of candles (and, of course, it's 2013-going-on-2014, so everyone has a phone or two that can double as a flashlight).
So the fun continued with chocolate fondue and ice cream cones, and even if we couldn't pull up the video countdown that Lauren spent roughly three hours yesterday tracking down and selecting, that was okay. One of our friends brought a variety of noisemakers to distribute among the children and adults, and I myself grabbed a suitable pot and an equally suitable wooden spoon to do my share of the annual making of the noise.
It brought to mind the years in high school when a friend of mine would have a massive New Year's Eve party, and as midnight approached we would line up from oldest to youngest and then spill out into the neighborhood banging pots and pans to ring in the new year and scare away the old.
After "midnight," which our neighbors might have referred to as "t-minus three hours and counting," our guests filtered out and left us to our dark house. Since our upstairs is underheated in the best of times (even with electric heaters up there), we made arrangements to sleep downstairs.
Starting with about five minutes after we lay down, when the lights came on. We had turned off a number of the lights in the house, but--of course--not the overhead light in the room where we were "sleeping." After a bit of running around the house turning off lights, I turned in for the night.
The night that will always be "the New Year's Eve the lights went out."