Just before midnight, we walked over to the church office building and climbed up to the roof and then up more stairs to the air conditioning box to watch fireworks all over the valley. We could see about 180 degrees. It was unbelievable and hard to put in words. Joe says it was like the bombing of Bagdad, constant and noisy.
Even going to the Oakland Temple to get a view of the whole Bay Area was a treat, but, even then, the fireworks were in pockets, here, there, over there. But our view New Year’s Eve was one spectacular show. The whole sky was exploding as far as we could see. New Year’s Day we had Belgian waffles with strawberries, bananas and whip cream, watched the Rose Parade, Joe went for a bike ride while Diane just scrapbooked and watched football.
Joe wrote this poem for the New Year we want to share:
Goodbye Old Friend – Hello New Friend
By Joseph Cheney – January 1, 2016
Three hundred and sixty-five days ago the old year quietly died
And a new year like the ocean deep, rolled in like the thundering tide.
We can reflect and remember the good and the bad the year we just laid to rest
And now we must build and strengthen again, this new “friend” with which we’ve been blessed
We may not know what lies up ahead, or of things which we may be afraid,
But the old friend to whom we just said goodbye, if we listen, can still give us aid.
He would tell us, “be strong, have courage and faith, remember you came through just fine.
The new year and friend you have just welcomed in will help you become more refined."
Be kind and be patient, love and forgive, just as you’ve done in the past,
And when this year ends and closes its eyes, this truth you'll see you have grasped:
A year is just a blink of an eye, especially the older we get,
And someday we’ll know and understand well these words on our own epithet:
“It mattered not the years that he lived, most important to him he said,
Are relationships built on respect and trust and strengthened in family and friends.
So this new year, full of wishes and dreams, written goals to which we devote,
The thing that will last through every New Year are those that give us most hope.
And the one that to me will matter the most, that strikes the most sure chord
Is to love and to trust and give of my life to Him who is Savior and Lord.