Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The New Year's Eve Conga Line

Happy New Year to you!

I rang in the New Year with my friends and neighbors, Miss Ellie and her husband, at the local VFW which is a club for US veterans of foreign wars.  I had every intention of watching the ball drop at home at home in my jammies with Ozzy and Pierre, my Pug and Maine Coon, and ended up doing the conga line in a LONG line of New Year's Eve conga dancers!  Don't you just love when stuff like that happens?!

Around 3 that afternoon, I remembered that Miss Ellie (I'm known as the Other Ellie on the street since I moved in) had told me about this event a few weeks back.  Why not?  They'd kindly invited me and I'd forgotten!  My father was a vet and so was my ex-husband of 25 years, his father and brother, as well.  I had connections!  Not to mention, plenty of potential conversation starters with vets and their wives as a former Army brat and an ex Army wife.  This could be a fun night and Miss Ellie and her husband are a fun couple!  He's a former Marine and one of the youngest Vietnam vets at the VFW.  A quiet, unassuming guy whose body tells his Vietnam experience with dozens of amazingly amazing tattoos. Why sit alone on New Year's Eve when I could dance the night away with friends, right?

Around 4 pm, I texted Miss Ellie who immediately texted back, "Don't eat dinner and get your butt down here!  LOL!!"  Done!  I jumped in the shower and pondered about what to wear.  What do you wear to a VFW shindig in West Virginia, I wondered.  Sequins, a cocktail dress or jeans?  Since I don't own a single sequin anything, I decided on a shiny black top, my tailored black blazer, black heels and jeans.  Kinda festive, but not New Year's Eve attire to me, so I added great pair of faux diamond hoop earrings.  Done!
The VFW is literally behind my house, so I walked over in my heels, wishing I'd worn flat boots as I gingerly sidestepped the icy patches on the sidewalk. At least I knew I'd be walked home and no one would have to drive!

I pressed the buzzer at the imposing front door and was buzzed in. A private club?  Exclusive to be sure!  The huge bar was decorated with streamers and Christmas lights and several men and a few couples sat on bar stools, nursing drinks.  Mostly men over 60 who smiled when I walked up to the bar, asking for Miss Ellie.  Potential dance partners?!  The friendly bartender (turns out she was a Navy brat) informed me that Miss Ellie was in the kitchen, helping out and that if I decided to stay on to dance, there would be a five dollar cover charge.  Done!  

I wasn't surprised to see Miss Ellie behind the grill as she is a superb chef. As our steaks sizzled on the grill, her husband joined us.  Our evening began with a fantastic New York strip steak, a baked potato with everything on it and a salad in the VFW "diner".  Super dinner!  I'm a red wine devotee and when I was informed that they didn't carry red wine, I opted for scotch and water.  Hadn't had one in over 20 years and the good scotch went down easy :)  With the huge dinner, I knew I wasn't in danger of getting overly tipsy that evening, but I did need to dance off those calories!

And, dance we did!  The DJ was awesome and my hips can you the story of how I danced for about...five hours!  In heels!  I danced with Miss E and her hubby, with two vets and Miss E's hubby, with other women in circles and lines, and in a conga line that went through the VFW, out the door, spilled onto the sidewalk and back into the VFW!  I conga'd with new neighbors in my new town and made new friends.  

It was after the conga line that I remembered my traditional Puerto Rican custom - the glass of water!  I got a glass of water from the bartender and sat it at my table.  At 11:30, we donned shiny cardboard hats and tiaras, got lei'd, and were each given a cardboard horn to blow.  We danced to a couple more songs and at midnight, I ran to throw out my water.  All the negative of 2012 was thrown out the door of my local VFW onto the sidewalk!  Gone!

When I got back to my table, my daughter was calling :)  I could barely hear her over the music, horns and laughter, but we managed by yelling!  I was really glad to hear her voice and she, of course, had thrown out her water!  Good girl!  I texted my son, my sister and friends who began to text back.  It was so much fun!

We left the VFW at 12:20 and I was home in my jammies at 12:30!  The following morning, the first of 2013, I got a call to come over in my jammies and share a huge country breakfast at Miss Ellie's :)  I ran over with an empty coffee cup as I'd forgotten to buy half and half!  

I rested all day yesterday and wondered how many calories I'd burned only to consume much more at breakfast!  Who cares?!  I had a great NYE and a wonderful New Year's Day.  I hope you did, too :)

Oh, and my January 2013 horoscope by Susan Miller predicts that I'll be busy this month with a new creative project that will keep me busy all year!  Yay!  My novel!  And, that I'll find love.  Who knows, right?  Apparently, my stars and planets have been in retrograde for years in the love department and this January, I have five important planets around my sun sign.  Girl, I could have told Susan that!

Peace and love to you,


  1. What a wonderful New Year's celebration!!! I'm glad you painted the town red and since I had "watching the ball drop in pj's" covered you could dance the night away worry free. I live in a neighborhood, where the stroke of midnight is celebrated with gun fire, so I decided not to step outside to dispose of my glass of water. Wishing you the most amazing year ever. Love - Jasmine

  2. Thank you, Jasmine! It was very different from NYE celebrations in the past and I enjoyed myself :) Glad you were watching the fort while I was gone, so cute! I danced for the both of us! LOL! Girl, I thought WV had the guns covered, glad you didn't step out, too. Be well and all the best to you! Love, me :)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time, Ellie. I bet you were the belle of the ball! What a way to ring in the New Year. Here's wishing you a blessed 2013!

  4. Hey, L! We had a great time! I don't know about the belle of the ball and all that, but I sure gained a lot of new friends and weight this Holiday season! LOL! Time to detox the ol' bod and exercise! Thank you! I wish you a blessed 2013, as well! xx

  5. Ellie, I'm so glad you had such a splendid time!! That's how NYE parties should be! I hope everyday feels like a party for you in 2013. May it bring you all your wishes and dreams! xoxo