Happy New Year -- 01/02/05
A new year dawns -- about half an hour before sunrise on New Year's Day.

We had a quiet New Year's Eve -- Nancy's mother came over for dinner with Nancy's sister Janet and her husband Tom and their two daughters (one is in college, the other in high school). We munched on veggies and dip and chips and salsa and bruschetta (I sliced up a whole wheat baguette, added basil and olive oil and some crushed finely chopped garlic, plus chopped up pepper and onion and tomato, and a tiny amount of Parmesan cheese -- then toasted it in the oven) and some cantaloupe slices wrapped in prosciutto. Then, having held off starvation for an hour or so, we had dinner: lasagna (two kinds -- with and without spinach) and salad and bread (crusty Italian peasant bread). Fortunately Nancy had made a Boston cream pie and a huge applesauce cake so there need be no worries about anyone not having enough to eat (*grin*). We then dragged ourselves into the living room and watched a DVD of Wimbledon (which, by the way, we all enjoyed -- it's not a heavy movie, just a small romantic comedy, but very nicely presented).

The evening did not continue (as has become our custom) through to a champagne toast as the ball drops at midnight because Janet and Tom and the girls had to get up early in the morning to make a trip over to New York state (for a family holiday get-together with Tom's family that had been postponed due to the December 26th snow storm). Nancy and I were reading and forgot to turn the tv on to watch Times Square and didn't even realize midnight had come until my brother phoned a few minutes past twelve to wish us a Happy New Year.

Ah, life in the fast lane...

Thumping footsteps woke me about quarter to five -- it turns out both kids were to blame. Jill and Eli had gone to a New Year's Eve party and she had just stopped home to change clothes to go to work (she had to be at work at six a.m.) and Jeremy was just getting ready for bed. He had been working since early in the afternoon and things had really gotten busy after midnight because by then the place he worked was the only pizza place open -- they put the last pizza in the oven at 2:30 a.m. -- so he was a bit tired. I couldn't get back to sleep so I had breakfast and read for a while (and took the picture at the top of this page) and then made a big mistake a little before nine -- I decided to lie down and rest "just for a few minutes" and suddenly woke up at 10:15 -- and leaped out of bed in a rush. I had to be at the Narraganset Town Beach for a 5k race that would start at 11.

I got there just in time -- I was pinning my race number on my shirt as I walked to the starting line -- and we were off, running along the beach. It was almost high tide so sometimes runners had to zig-zag around waves that were washing higher up the sand -- or just splash through the encroaching water. (It is extremely difficult to run on loose sand, so you want to run on the hard-packed sand at the water's edge.) Since a 5k race is a bit longer than three miles, it's not that easy to fit it on even a long beach -- we ran along the beach away from town until we came to a marked turn-around point, made a u-turn and headed back toward town, past the starting line, almost to the town end of the beach, make another u-turn, run back past the starting-line again, back to the first turn-around, make a final u-turn, passing the starting point again, finishing about a hundred yards or so past the start. The finish line was about where the annual plunge into the bay would take place and by the time we were finishing the race a rather large crowd had gathered (hundreds of people).
It was a pleasant day -- extremely mild for January 1st -- the air temperature was in the low to mid fifties -- I ran the race in shorts and a long-sleeved t-shirt (the one from the 2003 event). The water temperature, however, was much colder (the ocean temperature does not fluctuate the way air temperature does). I've no pictures to show you (Jill was working, Jeremy was sleeping, and Nancy was not interested) but here's one from 01/01/03 -- rather similar except it was quite a bit colder that year.

This beach is very shallow and it takes a long time to get past knee deep -- I can remember how in 2003 my feet and legs were numb by the time I got out where those waves are breaking and could do a surface dive to get fully underwater (I wasn't wearing glasses into the water -- Nancy had held them and gave them to me after I came out of the water) -- last year I just remember being cold -- this year the cold water produced such a stinging sensation that my feet felt as if they were on fire. (I did wear glasses this year -- an old pair of bifocals so I wasn't worried about losing them.)
New Year's Day swim from two years ago

So... that was how I started my new year.

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