Saturday, December 31, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

I have decided--unflinchingly so--that it is time for a new blog post.  Not because I particularly feel like writing one this new years eve, but because the previous entry depresses me.  Utterly depresses me.  You will undoubtedly be cheerful to learn that I finished grading my student portfolios on time, early even, and was promptly whisked, wait, no, shuttled rather--whisked sounds far to graceful for red eye air travel--to the east coast where I have been enjoying some truly delightful family time and unseasonably warm weather.

I keep conspicuously bracing myself for the cold that never comes.  I trudge around in thick wool socks and bulky infinity scarfs while this 40 degree weather keeps rendering me ridiculous; I look even more the part of the privileged SoCal wimp than I already do.  It's tragic.  But that's not to say that there hasn't been any chilly weather.  We have had one or two minor snow falls since I've been here, one of which was on Christmas eve.  The afternoon light was such a shade of pale golden loveliness that I decided that I absolutely had to walk in it.  So my youngest brother Isaiah and I took a winter stroll along the pond and through the woods by our parents house.

We played in the life guard chair (we're a daring pair, well, Isaiah is anyways):

Isaiah did his best to befriend some geese (alas, they didn't seem too keen on the idea):

This is the certain slant of light that Emily Dickinson wrote about:

Despite some wardrobe malfunctions--the snap on Isaiah's snow pants broke when he was leaping over an icy stream on the way back and they proceeded to sink down to his ankles about every 10 feet--it was a charming outing and my mom made hot chocolate the old fashioned way (on the stove, like she did when I was a child) to warm us up when we arrived home.

There have been many other noteworthy experiences since I've been back in Ithaca and if I wasn't saddled with the fatigue of this cold (courtesy of my typhoid brothers) I would happily prattle on about them.  Perhaps when my vigor is restored, I will revisit these adventures in precise and stirring detail.  For now, I will leave you with some thoughts for the new year.

I have never been a strong advocate--or any kind of advocate at all--for new year's resolutions.  I steadfastly believe in self-betterment but resolutions always seemed so shamefully contrived to me.  But recently, I have been contemplating a lot about the future, more specifically, the thrill and uncertainty that this particular new year ushers in.  This is the first year of my twenty-seven years where I cannot say with certitude where I will be living and what I will be doing this time next year and that is at once inspiring and terrifying.  Yet, for all its precariousness, I do know this, as pitifully corny or trite as this may be: whatever or wherever this new year brings me, I will embrace it with humility and gratitude because I know that it's the love of my family and friends that truly anchors me.  So I raise the cup of kindness to all of you.  Cheers to you and all you have done for me this past year and all these past years.

A Happy (Belated) Christmas and a Merry New Year from the Kozak Family (minus Isaiah who refused to be photographed):

Just kidding that was the test shot that we weren't quite ready for (although Mom and Uncle Henry look good).  Here's the real one:

And from the Kozak-Wilks':

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