Thursday, January 1, 2009

Memorable New Year's Eves

Tanya and I had a champagne dinner by candle light last night and watched Musical Extravaganza Variety shows until midnight. The love affair of Russians and Ukrainians with music and variety shows is worth its own blog someday. Last year we were enroute home from Canada on a train from Kyiv trying to get to Roman's in Dnipropetrovsk before midnight. We made it, just. The year before we were at a party of Ex-Pat Russians and Ukrainians in Regina.

Staying up to midnight has lost some of its charm as I get older but I guess I better get used to it with Tanya. I like my guests to go home about 10 or 11 so I can go to bed, roll over at midnight and kiss my wife Happy New Year and go back to sleep. One time about 20 odd years ago we invited friends over for New Year's Eve, expecting them about 8:00. They arrived at 11:00 and we couldn't get rid of them until 2:30 am.

When we were stationed in Cumberland House (a Metis and First Nations community in northern Saskatchewan) we learned that in lieu of fireworks they shoot off their rifles and shotguns at midnight. Our guests from Saskatoon were a bit shocked and the wife spent 30 minutes hiding behind my armchair.

The worst New Year's Eve ever, I put the kids to bed (we had only two at the time) and gave them my mother's line "Well, that is the last kiss you get from me this year". I guess 3 years old and 1 year old kids were a bit too young for that joke. They were unconsolable and it took two hours to get them calmed down and back to sleep. I was never forgiven for that one either.

The funniest ever was the year we kids had scrimped enough money to buy Mom and Dad a Cuckoo Clock. It was very cheap and sounded very un-cuckoo-ey. At the stoke of midnight New Years Eve, my little brother, who had got a dart rifle for Christmas, blew the cuckoo away. Dad laughed so hard; packaged the whole thing up; put some more money with it and bought a good one which is still in the house.


  1. I frickin' hate that clock to this day. I love that one of your brother's shot the first one though. Too funny.

  2. Your Uncle Stan was deadly with that dart rifle. He could shoot backwards over his shoulder using a mirror to aim and pick flies off the wall across the kitchen in our old house.


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