My New Year’s Eve to remember was almost tragic

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By LEE SCOTT

Many people have a New Year’s Eve that is memorable for them. Maybe it was the day they got engaged or met that certain someone.

Maybe it was just lying in bed with a new spouse or new baby watching the ball drop in New York’s Time Square.

I too have some wonderful New Year’s Eve memories, but there is one New Year’s Eve, I will never forget. It was the night I almost killed my younger sister.

Here is what happened. It was New Year’s Eve 1966, getting ready for 1967. I had just turned 13 and was babysitting for my four younger brothers and sisters. My three older siblings were out, and my parents were at a party at our next-door neighbors.

I had the ultimate privilege of spending the entire evening in front of our color television set without having nine other people in the room with me. I was in heaven sitting there eating my graham crackers and milk and having total control of which show, from one of our four stations, to choose.

The house we lived in was an old Victorian with a den/TV room off the living room. Like many old houses, it creaked and groaned. On top of that, we had old steam radiators for heat that would kick in occasionally.

As I sat there enjoying my solitude, I suddenly heard a strange noise. I got up and turned the sound of the television down. Nothing. And then came another sound from the adjoining living room.

My imagination kicked in as I pictured my four siblings being abducted. I knew I had to get up and check on them.

I grabbed my handy dandy “babysitting” knife which my parents did not know I kept with me while babysitting. It was one of those large sharp knives Dad used for carving.

Very quietly, I left the den and proceeded around the large stone fireplace in the living room. Suddenly, I heard someone quietly say “Boo.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs and dropped the knife. It was my 10-year-old sister, Allison. I grabbed her tightly and screamed “I could have killed you!”

She did not hear me because she was laughing so hard. We both stood there shaking, me from fright and her from laughter. Surprisingly the three siblings left upstairs never woke up and my parents, next door, had missed my screams of terror.

And so, despite her near-death experience, my sister Allison climbed into the chair with me and together we shared my graham crackers and milk as we watched the ball drop in Times Square.

To this day, that is my most memorable New Year’s Eve. What’s yours?

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.