Hail & Farewell

Alas, the holiday season is drawing to a close.

wrapped in light: Deborah with a string of Christmas lights

Soon, the colored lights and glitter will be taken and stored away. Thoughts become wistful as the last few hours of a year slips away. At the same time, an excitement begins to build. A new year will soon begin. New adventures, new hopes, new discoveries, new memories lay ahead.

One longstanding military tradition is to bid “hail and farewell” whenever someone leaves for another assignment, or leaves service. Friends gather to offer cheers, often at a favorite restaurant. The gathering is often a gregarious one, filled with smiles and much laughter. Celebrating the arrival of a new year is not much different.

Traditionally, we welcome the new year between 9-10 pm with a champagne toast and something chocolate. When the girls were younger, it was sparkling grape juice instead. After waving sparklers in the backyard and sharing a few kisses, the house begins to quiet.

In the quiet of the moment, we note the year that is drawing to a close was a good year. Whatever the heartache or testing challenge may have been, it made us stronger and better for having experienced it. The coming year, it will be a better one.

May the new year be a good one, and the one for good memories.

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