And here it is: 2020. The years, they fly by. They seem to go faster every year. The first new year after I was born, I don’t remember because my birthday is in July. I was just a babe that December of 1937.

In fact, the first holiday I remember was spent with my kid sister, Donna, tucked under fur coats at our cousins’ home in Loves Park, Ill.

The grown-ups played cards. Then, near the new year, our dad played his banjo and everyone sang. Probably not in key, but who cared. Those were our favorite New Year’s Eves. Safe and warm under all those coats and not a care in the world.

Then our folks bought a neighborhood tavern in Rockford. We didn’t spend New Year’s Eve with them anymore. It was the days when parents called the kids at midnight saying, “Happy New Year! Love you. Now go to bed. “

We never did. We had a sitter who would play games with us until two in the morning.

We were growing up. Our house was the place where there were innocent parties in the basement family room. The worst we did was share a beer or two at midnight.

Maybe the reason we never got into trouble was that most of us married so young — 18 and 19.

We celebrated with getting a sitter, dinner out and being home with our kids before the ball dropped in Times Square.

The past years have seen us at Deb’s with a special meal of fillet, lobster, scampi, king crab. Delicious.

Try as I may, I rarely see that old ball drop. I don’t need to. I know it is the New Year.

Have you made New Year’s resolutions? (I think about it every year.)

So much good food during the holidays. My favorites are appetizers.

Apricot Smokies

Ingredients: 1/2 cup apricot preserves,1 T mustard, 1 pound little smokies

Directions: Heat apricot sauce and mustard in saucepan or small crockpot, add smokies and heat until bubbly. serve with toothpicks and water crackers.

Enjoy.

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