Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - 2010

Yes, it has been far too long since we've posted anything, so let's get this New Year started off just right!!

Of course, today is New Year's Day...and it is a beautiful day in Monterrey, México. We have 42º this morning and we're looking for a high of 62º. That doesn't sound too bad, but taking into account that the houses here don't have heat or insulation...well, we'll just keep our jackets on today--inside and out! ha, ha.

Last night, we continued our Herrin tradition of an intensive movie night! We made goodies all afternoon--merengítas, magic-bars, mallow-cups, dips for chips, and the like. Then, around 6:30pm, we filled-up our plates with goodies and settled in front of the tele for an evening of DVD action--a couple of movies, some TV series. We enjoy doing this because it allows us to stay awake until midnight, to welcome the New Year. And, it was a good thing we did, because it all broke loose at midnight!!

Last year, we spent a quiet and uneventful night in San Jemo...and this year it seems that Santa Catarina was definitely the place to be! The fireworks began in earnest around 11:45pm...and it sounded like a war zone for the next 30-40 minutes. I'm not talking about "officially sanctioned" fireworks displays--I'm talking about everyone, in every house for miles around with their own bottle rockets and firecrackers! It was amazing! We settled for some sparklers...but here the sparklers are about 2ft. long...and burn bright and big! ha,ha. But, the fireworks weren't even the best part of the New Year celebration.

Best of all, everyone in all the houses poured out into the streets to greet the New Year...and all their neighbors. We weren't sure how it was going to be since this was our first New Year in Sta. Catarina...but just after we left our front door, our neighbors started coming over with hugs and kisses for all, wishing us "¡Feliz Año!" (Happy New Year!) After greeting our immediate neighbors, we decided to take a walk around the block to see what was happening on the streets around us...and we found even MORE fireworks, but also happy people wishing any and all a Happy New Year. We were hugged and kissed all along the way as we welcomed 2010.

Around 12:50am we finally got back to our house, and happily crawled into our beds to sleep. As I was falling asleep, I couldn't help but think about the joy and hope we saw in the people around us. Here are folks who work so hard just to make the barest ends meet. Here are people who are facing such an uncertain future--with economic difficulties, illnesses, and all the "normal" problems of human life. Yet, as the New Year arrived, they face it with all the hope, all the confidence. That is a very Christian way to enter the New Year...and we who are Christians have every reason to enter the New Year this way--we have a faith and a hope, bound up in a love from God and for God.

The New Year is a time of new possibilities. It's a time of "second chances"--a time to do things differently, better. Year 2009 was a good year--with good times and hard times. And, now we have 2010--and I believe it's going to be the best year yet!! May God bless you in every way, may you dream big and hope with all fullness as we move into this New Year!