Posts Tagged ‘new year’

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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