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Posts Tagged ‘new year’

A morning sunrise in Tucumcari, New Mexico chases the darkness away. — Photo by Pat Bean

I recently read Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s New Year’s poem, which was written in 1850. It quickly struck me that he could have well written the poem as an ode to 2021.

“… Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go,
” wrote Tennyson.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind, for those that here we see no more. Ring out the feud of rich and poor … And ancient forms of party strife … Ring in the love of truth and right … Ring out old shapes of foul disease … Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace …Ring in the larger heart, the kindlier hand. Ring out the darkness of the land.”

In 1850, America was heading toward a Civil War that would pit families against their own families, even brother against brother. In China, the Qing and Han Dynasties were fighting each other, and India was beginning to revolt against Britain – just the bare surface of a world seemingly gone amok – sound familiar?

It’s as if history has taught us nothing.

 I kept thinking about this yesterday until I watched a show about the life of Rita Moreno, a Porta Rican actress who survived sexual abuse and discrimination to win an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy and a Tony. Her Mantra: “Damn the shadows, here’s to the light.”

  Hey Rita, here’s to you. And to the light. May we all find it in 2022.

 Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited) and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Happy holidays to all.

          It’s that time of year again. The time when I start thinking about resolutions for the New Year – even though I’ll probably break them before the first week of January has passed.

          The past two years, 2020 and 2021, haven’t been particularly great years for me because of Covid, but then that’s true for just about everybody. And being retired, 82 and with a small but adequate fixed income, I’ve fared far better than most. So, I’ll quit my whining and look for the silver linings.

          That’s harder this morning because the virus reared its ugly head and stared me straight in the face. My granddaughter and I had planned a road trip to Whitewater Draw two hours outside of Tucson to watch sandhill cranes. That was canceled because my granddaughter was with a friend who had been exposed to the virus. Since she loves me, she canceled our outing.

          Sh-ee-t! (I was raised in the South so this is how my favorite consternation word comes out sounding) I’ll be eating the picnic lunch that I had already prepared for the trip by myself today. Of course, there’s a silver lining with that. I won’t have to cook.

          Meanwhile, I love my own company and sharing that solitude with my canine companion Scamp – so I never feel lonely. That’s two more silver linings right there.

          But as a mother and working woman who once never had a moment to spare, I have now become the sole CEO of my own life. And while at my age, one has learned to let a lot of things go, I still want to make my days meaningful. Time, which passes so silently – and quickly – is very precious to me.

          That’s why I’ll be spending the next few days making a list of my New Year’s resolutions. I want to write more, learn more and be more. But I especially want to spread a message of kindness, which I believe the world is sadly in need of these days.

          Will you help?

          Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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It Is What It Is

I’m going to take more time to smell the flowers in 2021. How about you? — Art by Pat Bean

          “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you have been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” – Christine Caine

          The New Year is almost upon us. Most people I know are loudly exclaiming Thank Gawd!  And who wouldn’t be glad to leave Covid and malicious, undemocratic politics in the rear-view mirror. That’s not to say we will be free of both in upcoming months, but at least we’ve gotten down the road a bit.

          While I haven’t been affected as badly by Covid as most because I’m retired, and didn’t lose my job and income, I am in that vulnerable 80 plus age group that dies from the disease more often than others. So, fear and common sense has curtailed loving hugs, daily drop-ins from friends stopping by for a chat and perhaps a cup of coffee or a night cap, and my annual excursions to visit my scattered family or travel for pleasure.  

          I’ve mostly stayed home, ordering everything I need from Walmart or Amazon, which has left my wandering feet a bit claustrophobic – and foaming at the mouth over the daily political shenanigans that come with the morning news. It’s distressing enough to curdle my cream-laced coffee.

          Being a stay-at-home, however, has changed my life a bit. I’m reading more, have organized all my drawers and closet, and have spent at least 30 minutes a day journaling my thoughts, and finally restarted work on my memoir. I’ve also streamed a few more movies on my Kindle (I don’t own a TV) and I ‘ve communicated more via text, email, zoom or letters with family and friends.

          Patricia Summitt, women’s basketball coach who died in 2016, summed up an attitude that I now claim as my own. “It is what it is. But it will be what you make it.”

          And since research has shown that people who look at life with a positive respective live longer than pessimists, I’m going to continue believing that silver linings do exist.

That said, I’m looking forward to the New Year as a glass half full and not half empty.

          In 2019, my word for the new year was Kindness. To that in 2020, I added the word, Respect. I’m taking both of those words as mottos to live by with me into 2021, plus adding the exclamation: Dammit, Just Do It. Whether it be answering the writing muse immediately when it calls, making my bed when I first get up, or calling a friend when I think about her, there’s no reason for me to add it to an already too-long to-do list, I’m just going to do it.

          So, what’s your New Year’s Resolution?

  Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Hoppin’ John: A southern recipe — Wikimedia photo

“Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational – but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?” — Judith Viorst

Black-Eyed Peas and Hoppin’ John

I had my black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. My brother, who lives in a first-floor apartment beneath my third-floor apartment gave me some. They were good, and I am grateful. He cooked them with ham and onion. No telling how much bad luck I would have had if I hadn’t eaten them.

I’m not sure everyone knows what I’m talking about, but my southern readers almost certainly do. You eat black-eyed pea on New Year’s Day so you will have luck during the coming year. Why, you ask? Until I did a little bit of research yesterday, I would have probably answered: “Just because.”

Pepper. on right, and her best friend Dusty, enjoying a lazy day. It’s cold outside today in Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

But, thanks to the good ole Internet, here’s what I discovered.

“The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first, planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.”  — TripSavy

Wikipedia, which repeats but doubts the Sherman story, also suggests that black-eyed peas were a symbol of emancipation for African-Americans who had previously been enslaved, and who after the Civil War were officially freed on New Year’s Day.

My favorite black-eyed pea dish, which I also cook during the year and not just on New Year’s Day is Hoppin’ John. My version includes dried black-eyed peas cooked with ham hock, onion, and salt to taste, with rice added at the end as well as a goodly dousing of Worchester Sauce.

Bean Pat: The Value of One Chicken https://windbreakhouse.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/a-chicken-in-every-house/

Now available on Amazon

Common sense from one of my favorite writers.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion Pepper. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder and is always searching for life’s silver lining. Check out her book Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon, to learn more.

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            “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

An American sunrise starts the day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

An American sunrise starts the day. — Photo by Pat Bean

Perhaps my next 364 Days will be Better   

I started the New Year off being sick. That statement is followed by the 4-letter S word that I tend to shout out when the computer crashes or Pepper eats my favorite slipper. I have a slight fever and a throat that feels like Darth Vader is sucking it dry.

Dookie, Dookie, Dookie!

Who out there has seen the movie “Sordid Lives?”  A very funny movie but it can also be offensive to some people. I don’t offend easily so I loved it. I wonder if I can find it on Netflix. I need to get my mind off my body.

OK. My brain is not working either. I can’t write two connected sentences. So it’s time to sign off and hit the bed again. Oh but I have to walk Pepper first. S!

 Bean’s Pat: Alex Autin http://tinyurl.com/bk24vkb Fantastic, “out-of-this-world” blog by one of my favorite bloggers. She helped me forget for a while that I was sick.

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