Yes that is a line from the U2 song. Good job recognizing it! I already used “All is Quiet on NY’s Day” as a post heading last year.

And you can all be happy that I was busy on Thursday, because I was going to do a look-back-on-09 post, and you would have been bored stiff. I was thankful for my blog, though, because in retrospect the year seemed better than I remember it feeling at the time.

We said goodbye to 2009 in the most uneventful way possible—by pretending to Donn that we had all gone to sleep. We have friends from Portland who are traveling in Africa and who had a 12 hour layover in Casa on the 1st, and we were planning to rise at 5 in order to be presentable and in the Mohamed V airport by 7:30, by which point they would presumably have made it through passport control and collected the two suitcases (!!!) they were bringing us (!!!). Donn was going to do the driving through the predawn darkness, since we realized years ago that I can drive between midnight and 3 a.m. but not after that until at least, oh, 9 or 10. I’m not a morning person.

So Donn, who is old now, wanted everyone to go to bed about 10:30 or so. The family was resistant. New Year’s Eve! A new decade! We’re not that old/young! Donn was adamant. He wouldn’t sleep if we were up partying. How could we party without him? etc. We were very persuasive, but in our hearts we knew he wouldn’t sleep if we were up. The place just isn’t that big. So, as a loving family should, we were compliant (cough!) but slow, so that although no one was actually up toasting each other at midnight, no one was actually asleep either. It was a beautiful compromise, 4 of us felt.

Elliot got us all up at 5. If I was 14 and my parents wanted me up that early, it wouldn’t occur to me to set my alarm clock—I’d figure that was their problem. Not so with my Foundling Child. (I’ve often wondered how I got such a punctual child and what the fairies did with mine) I resisted until 5:15, the time I had actually set my alarm clock. Yeah, so I got an extra 15 minutes in bed. I paid for it by being 3rd in the shower.

We were on the road by 6:20 a.m., travel mugs in hand. We made good time and it was pretty fun to glimpse some familiar faces as the doors slid open for a minute. Once everyone was through, we headed over to the hotel for breakfast. Royal Air Maroc may fly some pretty impossible hours, but they will put you in a hotel for these long layovers. Our friends caught the shuttle, which came right away (my last time it took 2 hours), and we followed them over to the hotel. We breakfasted together, hung out in a waiting area. Gradually they all drifted back to their rooms to sleep, and we said goodbye.

We drove home, where we were all casual and mature and had tea and everything before opening the two suitcases. Or not. Inside were Christmas presents that we’d ordered each other online, plus gifts from our friends. Also one of the cases was stuff we left in Portland when we came to Morocco, including some books. I also got some things I won online from “Go Red for Women,” including a pre-printed shopping list with many helpful suggestions not available in Rabat (whole wheat pasta, low sodium chicken broth), and a little notepad with the website at the top. ( I’ve put it next to the phone, so every time I’m chatting I can look down and read “gored for women” and try to think of a witty comeback. Something about bullfighters maybe?

Presents are so fun! I got cozy new shirts and a sweater, and new running shoes—no more shin splints!—and coffee, and chocolate chips. We got root beer extract, which is pretty cool. You mix ½ tablespoon with 8 T of sugar and add it to a litre of water and you have root beer! It tastes pretty good, and is creamy and sweet, and the kids are beside themselves with joy. Root beer! Did you know you can only get root beer in America, and that it is my children’s favorite soft drink? It’ll be even better once we get fizzy water! We have enough to make something like 60 gallons, which you have to admit would be a pretty wild party.

So all in all, it was an auspicious start to the new year/decade. Here’s hoping it only gets better in ways that matter most.

How was yours? What did you do?