"...we'll be busy, we'll be busy, as soon as we are able."
The folks at the commune were quite relieved when, two days after Christmas, the sign across the street, the one about the 'War on Christmas', disappeared.
"I wonder what's going to replace it?" Sal asked.
"I don't know, but I don't trust them," Luna said. "I fear that they're plotting something."
"How can you say that?" Cat grinned. "Yeah, that's what I'm worried about, too."
"It's just too quiet right now," Nancy said.
It was very quiet at the commune. With the holidays over, bakery sales went way down. The stuff in the EcoGreenhouse wasn't quite ready to pick. The Christmas guests were all gone and Ken, Marge, Viv, and Dan were still away. It was just Luna and Cat and Sal and Nancy at the house and there wasn't a lot for any of them to do.
"Do you know when the cookbook is going to come out?" asked Nancy.
"Some time in the new year is all that I've heard," said Luna.
"Well, I'm going to make a pie anyway," said Nancy. "I don't care if we sell it or not, I just need something to do."
Cat went into the kitchen to help her. Sal and Luna decided to inspect the EcoGreenhouse, to see how the crops were doing and just to make sure that everything was running okay. They looked and they looked, but there wasn't any problems to find.
The four of them did dinner that night by candlelight, just for a change of pace. Everyone oohed and ahhed over Nancy's Zucchini-Rhubarb Pie and Cat's Winter Wonderland Cupcakes.
"Who will be staying up to see the new year in?" asked Luna.
"I will," said Nancy.
"I will," said Cat.
"I hope you all won't mind, but I'm planning to go to bed early," said Sal. "I always go to bed early on New Year."
"That's right," said Nancy. "She does."
"Well," said Luna, "we'll have to find some way to make the evening special, even if it's just the three of us."
"Well," said Cat, "there's always special cupcakes."
"And I have a special New Year's Pie," said Nancy.
"I hope there's leftovers on New Year's morning," said Sal.
"Doo doo doo doo doo doo, come on, commune folks,
"Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo,
"The story of Luna Lagoon..."
By eleven-thirty on New Year's eve, Luna, Cat, and Nancy were all getting just a little bit tired. Sal, after numerous well wishes, retired at around ten (which was actually later than she was usually up and later than she had planned for the evening).
The three remaining communards were telling each other stories from their childhoods, mostly, but not exclusively about New Years.
"My parents always said I could stay up for New Years Eve," said Cat, "and I always tried, but then I always fell asleep before it came."
"How old were you before you saw the New Year in?" asked Luna.
"I think it was my third year of high school. I was such a wimp."
"My parents never let me stay up," said Nancy. "One year I defied them and hid behind the couch. I think I was ten. I heard them popping corks and yelling 'Happy New Year' at midnight, so I jumped up and yelled 'Surprise!'." She giggled. "I was grounded for a week."
"No one in my family stayed up to see the new year," said Luna. "We were a farm family and up early every morning, so we went to bed early every night." She blushed. "Actually, this is my first time doing this."
"Well, great," Nancy said. "All the more reason to celebrate."
"That pie looks awesome," Cat said.
"As do those cupcakes," said Nancy.
"Now I'm getting hungry," Luna said.
"Well, you'll just have to wait," said Nancy. "If Sal couldn't have early pie, neither can you."
It was now ten minutes to midnight. They each had a glass of a special cider that they had gotten from Peter, which had been sitting there, waiting for them to do a toast.
"I wonder what the new year will bring," Nancy mused.
"I hope it will bring lots of good crops," said Luna. "And I hope it will bring Dan back. Soon."
"Maybe it will bring some new people to us," Cat said.
"Let's see," said Nancy.
"I wonder what the commune will look like in a few years," Luna said.
"I hope we're all still part of it," Cat said. "I'm enjoying this."
"I hope we have new neighbors across the road by then," Nancy said.
"Yes!" Cat and Luna yelled together.
Midnight was now fast approaching. Nancy held up her watch so they could see the seconds ticking off. Finally they started counting down together: