It was day one of 2014 and I was utterly exhausted and had done more on that day than I did all last year. The festivities began with Mr. Brickhouse and I attending a crazy New Year’s Eve Party with a Beatles theme, a strawberry vodka killer-punch, a ball drop and a spectacular fireworks show.
After making it to midnight, I was feeling simultaneously hyper and relaxed. Relaxed thanks to the punch and hyper because it was the beginning of a brand-spanking-new (albeit frigid) year! And, I was actually awake to welcome it. But by 1:30 am, the champagne had gotten warm and tasted more like stale racoon pee rather than bubbly happiness. It was time to go home.
One of us was sober enough to drive (we won’t mention names) while the other, was feeling no pain. That is, until the…
New Year’s Day Pain of Passion
You see, Mr. Brickhouse and I have a tradition of “christening” each new year with an abundance of passion. It was 2:00 am and we could not break tradition. It was time to start the year off with a BANG (why not start the new year giving my readers TMI too?) Needless to say, my recently turned 50-year-old arthritic body was once again victim to the New Year’s Day Pain of Passion (NYDPP).
I’m getting too old for this.
After dragging my aching body out of bed and taking the additional dosage of Prednisone (steroids) – saved specifically for the NYDPP, I resumed my New Year’s Day activities. Shhh, don’t tell Mr. Brickhouse but what we did next was by far my favorite part of the new day.
Being married to an avid birder, we were privied to “on the lowdown” type information that a Snowy Owl was spotted in an agricultural field a half hour away. Why did we care and why should you care? Because the invasion of Snowy Owls flying south from the arctic for food is being described as the Invasion of the Century and a Tsunami of Snowy Owls.
Apparently, the population of lemmings (small rodents) in the arctic is lower than in previous years so the adult owls shoo off their young to fend for themselves since there is not enough food for all. Thus, these young Harry Potter birds are showing up everywhere and as far south as California, Texas & Florida. They are typically seen on the coast but are now being spotted inland. Unlike their relatives, Snowy Owls hunt during the day time making them one of the “most wanted” birds on a birder’s wish list.
We successfully spotted the owl perched on a fence post. It was shielding itself from the biting -100 winds and familiar arctic conditions. Not exactly my favorite time to be out and about or on a frozen cow field – but Mr. Brickhouse’s passion for wildlife was contagious. It was a bit far away from the road but we could see its beauty from our telescope. It was an awesome feeling to watch it as it hunted from the post.
In spite of the many other spectators who apparently also got the memo, showing up to get a view, it did not fly away.
As passionate as I felt looking at this lovely creature, it too was causing me PAIN on this New Year’s Day. There it was, my #2 Pain of Passion! The wind was so brutally strong and the temperature so frigid that even my spleen was hurting – and I don’t even have a spleen.
I would also like to add that I almost caused pain to another human being by being tempted to throw the $5,000 telescope at her. This lady had decided to bring and walk her TWO dogs (with sweaters on) right near the owl! I love dogs, but WHAT?? Brilliant! Let us bring dogs to a rare sighting of a bird, why don’t we? The fact that it is a new year and I am supposed to be kinder to people, saved her and her dog’s life.
My New Year’s Day ended with some more pain. After making my little family some hot chicken soup to warm up their souls (and their little behinds), I decided to deep fry some green plantains (tostones) to go with the soup. Because, of course everybody wants to deep fry on New Year’s Day, duh.
My kids love tostones with… you guessed it, a passion so — frying I did. Pain of Passion #3: scalding frying oil landing on my arm as it splattered all over the kitchen. The tostones were worth it (said my family), but I could have done without the pain.
My New Year’s resolution: To have a more passionate and less painful year ahead.
Did you suffer from any NYDPP? Particularly of the love kind?