Do you know the lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne”? I wasn’t perfectly sure. In fact, I didn’t actually know what “auld lang syne” meant or why we traditionally sing it at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Auld Lang Syne is an old Scottish poem attributed to Robert Burns from 1788, although when Burns gave a copy to the Scots Musical Museum, he explained that the song was not original with him, but that he had learned the ancient tune from an old man. “Auld lang syne” means literally “Old long since,” probably referring to “Times long past,” and the sentiment is to remember those we’ve loved from long ago and share kindness with them or in their honor. I think it was in that spirit that Stephen and Joel decided to organize a party for some of their very closest Grand Rapids buddies before they had to leave home last night for another semester of graduate school.One thing I’ll say for homeschooling…all my kids are great cooks! Stephen and Joel shopped for everything they needed and then set to work preparing a special night of Asian delights! They brought together a unique blend of their closest friends from both church and college days, as well as their brother Daniel (altho Brianna was too sick to come), and—even more amazing—they invited Alan and me to join in the fun of dinner with everyone! They had a truly unique blend of both friends and food, since the cuisine was a mix of both Japanese and Korean dishes, which were—of course—outstanding…and then dessert was hot chocolate with some of Joel’s pretty much perfect chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. They also stayed up way too late watching a Japanese anime video, hiking through the woods and around the lake, laughing, talking, and burning the midnight oil. I believe they made many happy memories to treasure in the years to come. At any rate, the kids are gone again, and I’m nostalgically remembering all the“good, old days” when Alan and I were their age and just starting out. All our siblings were getting married and starting families…and we were thinking about it, although our first attempt at raising babies were just two lost robins, “Woodstock” and “Little One.”Well, I will leave you with one version of Auld Lang Syne and hope that you find encouragement and a desire to share kindness with all the friends you have known down through the years! “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mine? Should old acquaintance be forgot and the days of auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, We’ll take a cup of kindness yet for days of auld lang syne. “Is thy sweet heart now grown so cold that loving breast of thine; That thou canst never once reflect on auld lang syne?” And here’s a hand my trusty friend, and keep a hand of mine. We’ll take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne.”
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