January 1, 2009
Last night, also known in many circles as New Year’s Eve, we threw our first real party since moving here two Mays ago. Our house was warmed by an amazing, diverse, fascinating, and loving group of new island friends. As long as we’ve lived here we’ve not been able to get over just how terrific the people on this island are.
As midnight grew near, many of us stood in the kitchen, our feet warmed by its toasty, radiant heated slate floor. Like many Northwest homes, we’ve got a mostly shoes-off policy indoors and had encouraged revelers to arrive wearing their nice socks without the holes. All complied. I was impressed by some of the creative approaches to sock fashion, my favorite being the guest who came with a pair of foot “gloves,” sporting a separate opening for each toe.
With no television service and no clocks in the house, like casinos that maintain 24/7 timeless, windowless choronology-free environs, it dawned on us that the sole source of external confirmation that the year had indeed changed, would be the oven clock. Why humankind enjoys proof of an otherwise randomly determined calendar moment that will occur whether we observe it or not is a mystery to me, yet I participate in the folly with glee each year.
So there we were, a cadre of warm-footed, nicely socked, New Year’s Nerds, staring intently at the digital readout on my Thermador convection oven and cheering as the numbers clicked over. Anyone can watch a ball fall in Times Square, but few revelers can tell the tale of how they spent New Year’s in a kitchen watching an oven turn.
When we bought this lovely kitchen appliance, little did I know how socially valuable this particular feature would be. I remember commenting as I programmed the time, date, and yes, even the year into the electronic keypad, that if anyone actually needed an oven that told them what year it was, then they probably shouldn’t be operating an oven or any other potentially dangerous kitchen device, like, say, an egg beater.
So, let’s see what’s cooking for 2009. And do our best for a good recipe! Happy New Year, Happy 2009!