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Bapaume woodsInstead of calling it New Year’s Eve, the Dutch call the shift from one year to the other “Oud en Nieuw” in their colloquial chats with one another.

Literally meaning “Old and New,” it’s really about the TWO days of the year change. The last day of the Old, and the first day of the New.

I like that. I like that it’s more than just looking forward… that it’s also recognizing and valuing where you have been. Where you came from.

Dutch 'croquetten' and French wine

Dutch ‘croquetten’ and French wine

It calls on you to not just party and jump into the future, but also reflect, ponder, and consider.

To learn from the past as you head into the future.

To make Dutch croquettes stuffed with beef to be nostalgic of where you came from, and pair it with a wine from your new world in France.

This was my year of Change. I can’t even remember for sure where I was last year with with Oud en Nieuw!

And NO.. not because of too much champagne!

But man, am a I grateful for the sparkling stars that were above my head when the antique clock struck midnight back inside the house.

Last sunrise of 2013

Last sunrise of 2013

Grateful that there was lots of light and peacefulness as I reflected on a year that has been pretty darn hard… and that’s coming from someone who thought she knew what hard times was all about!

Ha! Dickens needs to do a re-write!

So…. welcome 2014! And Happy New Year to you! May your year be filled with Peace, Love and Harmony!

Last Sunset of 2013 - one filled with beauty, love, and hope

Last Sunset of 2013 – one filled with beauty, love, and hope (Taken through the front door window of our new spot in the world)