Terry and I hosted a New Year's Day party to celebrate AADW's third anniversary and to ring in the New Year with friends. We shopped for hot dogs and hamburgers the day before along with beers champagne and orange juice. On the morning of New Year's day, I went to Panera to pick up a large order of bagels and pastries that Terry had called in the week before. Panera's was packed. Everyone seemed to want bagels that morning. There was a separate line for pick up orders but no one was at that counter. The place was understaffed and chaotic. A twelve year old girl in line in front of me held a puppy she must have been given for the holidays. The woman next to me said, "I'm just waiting for that pup to pee. That's what they do. There's a sign on the door that says no pets. My mother would be having a fit right now." I laughed wondering if the puppy would prance around on the pastries when the girl got to the counter.
The cashier didn't know about my order. One woman searched, but came up empty handed. They waited for the manager who was at a register. We waited. He finally looked in the same place as the other woman and pulled out the large bag. The next stop was Publix for some lox and cream cheese. At home everything was spread out on the dining room table. Candles and the Christmas tree were lit. The invitation was for noon till midnight. Since no one had arrived yet, I started writing a blog post. Half way into the post, the doorbell rang. Our first guest was from Terry's writing group and Terry immediately put him to work cutting tomatoes and an assortment of last minute preparations.
All through the day people arrived at various times. In the evening, Kelly DeWayne Richards stopped by with his portable piano. Terry was the first to sing. She sang, "Soon or a Later." I was outside scrambling to get burgers and hot dogs on the grill. Amanda Chadwick got up to sing "Somewhere out There." I don't know how this tradition started, but I always get called up to sing with her. I will spare you the audio. Amanda then called Matt Simantov in Seattle via Skype. She had me hold the cell phone while she sang to him. Britt Daley sat behind the keyboard and began singing "Anything But", one of her original songs. Everyone stopped to listen. There was magic in that moment. What an amazing way to start the New Year, with authors, artists and musicians. So much talent in one place made my heart warm.
Then Terry insisted I sing "Hold On" by Michael Buble. I hid in the kitchen. Though Terry couldn't see me, Amanda could. She shouted at me to "Get in there and sing!" I don't know the lyrics and when I perform, I like to know I'm well rehearsed. I messed up the lyrics several times and couldn't find my way back to the refrain. Luckily no one was in the room but Terry and poor Kelly at the piano. She was seated on the couch in her wedding dress, listening intently. She had changed her outfits five times that day to everyone's delight. After the song, she knelt down in front of me and said, "Marry me." We had already renewed our vows on our 20th wedding anniversary. People shouted out, "Again?" The writers looking in from outside found the image of Terry kneeling in front of me suggestive. When I realized why they were laughing, my face flushed red.