I have never celebrated New Years eve. The ball comes down in New York at 6 pm our time. I watch that and go to bed at my regular time so I am usually sound asleep when the magic hour of midnight comes. The year changed without all the hoopla the world goes through.
One year was different though. That one was when we changed from 1940 to 1941. It was announced by my dad that I was old enough to stay up and go to the New Years eve service at our church. I was excited about that, probably not because of the service, but because of the cookies that would be served after the service! My brother and sister were already asleep at home.
About half way through the service the fire house bell started ringing and as soon as that started, the Catholic and our bell started ringing too. I hoped it was only one of those training things we were getting used to after the December 7th attack on the United States but they never happened at nearly midnight. The men quickly turned off the lights in the church. We all sat quietly, nobody moved. Then Daddy started praying for our country. Soon the firetruck came by the church with a man yelling through a bullhorn, “This is is a test. Keep your lights off for five minutes more.”
You could almost feel the relief people felt after that. I don’t know what Japanese planes would be doing coming to bomb this little Minnesota town but we honestly thought that test was real! Our cookies, coffee and punch was a real celebration that night.
We didn’t have far to walk home, our house was the parsonage sitting right next to the church, but as we trudged through the snow, Daddy was preaching about taking these tests seriously because it could be a bombing mission. “It’s always good to follow orders,” he said.
I imagine some of you are smiling at a bomb test in rural Minnesota but today Issis could be anywhere. We read that they are in every state and we are getting nervous hearing about all the attacks going on in our country. It’s a trying time these days and we should all be praying that 2016 will be a good year for all of us. That is my wish for all of you and our America too.