Well, tomorrow is 2015 Eve. Or, if you wish, you might think of today as New Year’s Adam (after all, as someone told me just the other day when talking about New Year’s Eve, that the day before must be New Year’s Adam since he was made just before Eve!) Yeah, I know, bad joke…but hey!!!
The New Year is always pictured as a newborn baby – full of energy, noise, unexpected surprises (not all pleasant – just like with a real baby!), new possibilities and discoveries to be made. Perhaps we should, therefore, think of the passing year as an old man…one worn by weather and time, ready to pass from the scene into rest.
At Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CA, I found a water fountain in an outdoor garden that had this face on it. When I took the picture, I wasn’t thinking about the turning of the year, but somehow when I was looking for a picture to share today, it just seemed appropriate. This face has the heaviness of world as he looks downward, worn by his past exertions.
For most of you, I don’t know what your 2014 was like, but I know this: I do wish you the best year of your life to date in 2015! Thanks for sharing this past year with me!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: A reminder that freedom always comes with a price:
On this day in 1803, Francis Lewis, signer of the Declaration of Independence, died in New York City, at the age of 90.
Lewis was born in Llandaff, Wales, and educated at the prestigious Westminster School in London before immigrating to the North American colonies at 22 years old. Lewis founded businesses in New York and Philadelphia, winning lucrative contracts to provision the British army in America.
During the Seven Years’ War, Lewis served General Hugh Mercer as an aide. Traveling with Mercer, Lewis was captured in Oswego and taken as a prisoner of war to France. For his service, the New York government granted him 5,000 acres upon his return to the colony.
In 1765, Lewis served as a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress and retired from his mercantile career to settle in Whitestone, Long Island, becoming active in revolutionary politics, including the Sons of Liberty. In 1775 alone, he participated in the provincial convention, the Continental Congress and the Committee of One Hundred. In 1776, he continued to serve the first two bodies and signed the Declaration of Independence. He continued as a member of the Continental Congress until 1779, when he assumed the position of commissioner of the Board of Admiralty.
Lewis’ patriotism came at a high cost. The British army destroyed his Long Island estate and took his wife prisoner in 1776. She remained a prisoner, reportedly without a bed or change of clothes, for many months because the Continental Army had no women of similar status in captivity for whom George Washington could orchestrate an exchange. Neither Mrs. Lewis’ health nor the couple’s fortune ever recovered from the attack.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Yellowstone covers 63 air miles (101 km) north to south and 54 air miles (84 km) east to west and is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.