2013 went out quietly for me. I planned to go to Clipper Magazine Stadium to see 20 bands perform on New Year’s Eve, but I started celebrating early and I fell asleep in my recliner long before the ball dropped.
I woke up at midnight when the fireworks display started in the center of town., and I went right back to celebrating. Couldn’t let all that champagne go to waste.
I had a lot to celebrate, too. Finding a nice apartment in Lancaster was near the top of the list. I also managed to complete my third screenplay just before 2013 ended. So, after 4 year of being “almost done,” Miles To Go Before I Sleep is now finished. (Well, the first draft, at least.) That was an ending I looked forward to for a long, long time.
2013 took away some of my friends and relatives, and I know that friends like Cheryl Goldberg can never be replaced, but as I get older I realize that I am lucky to have whatever time I spend with my friends, no matter how short it seems.
I did spend a lot of time with many of my friends in 2013. I made a dozen trips to New York since venturing out to Lancaster in August. I also made my first trip to Las Vegas with my friends Marianne, Maria, Sabrina, and Geralyn.
Geralyn also helped me ring in the New Year. She stopped off at my place on her way back from a New Year’s celebration in nearby Harrisburg. She enjoyed the quaint town of Lancaster even though almost every place we went to was closed as they were recuperating from the previous night’s festivities. I know she’s gonna love this town when she returns for another visit and it’s open.
I’m already recruiting visitors for 2014. I only live 2 blocks from the minor league baseball stadium and everyone is invited to go see the Lancaster Barnstormers play, especially when they play the 2013 Champions, The Long Island Ducks. I’ll even spring for the tickets. At $7.50 for field box seats right behind the dugout, I can afford to be generous. The Barnstormers might not be as good as the Yankees, but the beers are just as good, and the hot dogs might even be better. They even have an all-you-can-eat buffet at the ballpark. Take that, Yankees!!!
I already bought a baseball package that includes 10 tickets to any 10 games and gives me the privilege of throwing out the first ball at one of the games. Don’t forget to bring your cowbell to that game. The cowbell is the official noisemaker of the Barnstormers. And we all know that there is always room for more cowbell.
Sports isn’t all I’ll be enjoying in 2014. The Arts flourish in Lancaster, too. I’ve got an orchestra ticket to see Arsenic and Old Lace at the Fulton Theatre in February. I won’t tell you how little that cost, or you might cry the next time you shell out a small fortune for a Broadway show.
The highlight of the year, though, should be the Bar-B-Q I’m planning in the back yard this summer. The landlord put down patio blocks where the small lawn used to be, and the roses he planted should be in bloom by then. (That is if the Polar Vortex didn’t kill them.) I’m hoping that a lot of you will show up for that. I’ll even throw in tickets to the ballgame, so you can eat their hot dogs if you prefer them to mine.
Year’s ago I used to go to the annual Bar-B-Q that my friends Tom and Regina threw before The Mets Opening Day game. I don’t think I can top that event, but I’ll certainly give it a try. Back then, they chartered a bus to take us to the game. Maybe I can get some of the local Amish to run a “shuttle-buggy” to the ballfield. I just have to find one who is willing to allow a keg in the buggy.
Yes, I love it here in Lancaster, but I still plan to make a lot of trips to New York in 2014. We’ve got a lot of things here, but we don’t have a beach. My friends John and Margaret in Long Beach are only two blocks from the ocean. It’s a little difficult thinking about the ocean now, while the temperature is minus something, but I’m sure gonna enjoy Long Beach in the summertime.
I’ll have to go to New York for Country Dancing, too. Nothing compares to the monthly dances at the Polish Hall in Port Washington. Heck, it’s worth the trip to New York, just for the fun I have in the car ride to “The Port” with my friends Joan and Tilda (pictured above).
I’m also looking forward to going to New York for an engagement party in 2014 for my nephew DJ and his high-school-sweetheart, now fiancé, Stacey. I just hope I don’t get in trouble with Brother X for using their real names here. He doesn’t like posting anything about his life on the Internet, but I can’t very well say I am going to the engagement party of Nephew X and fiancé X. That would sound stupid.
New York isn’t the only place I’ll be visiting to see friends, either. My friends Barbara and Jim in New Jersey are always up for a party. My relatives in Johnstown, PA and Ohio are always fun to visit. I also have a wedding to go to in State College, PA this year. Plus, those of us who made the Vegas trip and spent hours delayed in the Houston Airport, have got big fat airline vouchers burning holes in our pockets waiting to take us on another adventure.
So, good-bye 2013. Hello 2014, and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year to everyone.
Peace & Love, and all of the above,