Looking Ahead

Well, here we are. It’s 2021, the year we have been waiting for since March. We can all agree that 2020 is the year that will go down in infamy, just like December 7, 1941. We (and when I saw we, I mean the entire world) are all happy to see the back end of 2020. A friend of mine commented on my Facebook page that she hopes that on December 31, 2020, I remembered to open the door to let the old year out and the new year in. I didn’t know there was such a thing. If I had, you can guess that I would have given 2020 a big boot in the ass out the door.

We never know what the new year will bring. Heaven knows on January 4, 2020, I certainly didn’t expect that in a few short weeks I would be limiting toilet paper usage to a few squares each time and hoarding Ramen noodles. I have a good feeling about 2021, however. Let’s face it, after the year we’ve had, there is only one direction for our lives to go, and that’s up. Better days lie ahead.

As we drove to my sister Bec’s house on New Year’s Day, Jen asked if I remembered to bring the black-eyed peas that I make every year. Yep, I didn’t forget them. As you know, black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck to everyone who eats them. Even my niece Josey has a bite despite a loathing for legumes.

“They didn’t do us a whole lot of good last year,” I said to Jen and Bill as we made our way to Bec’s. Jen reminded me that out of our entire family who gathered together on January 1, 2020, only one person got COVID in 2020, and that was Maggie, who had a mild case. “You aren’t responsible for good luck for the entire world,” Jen pointed out. “Only for our family.”

Whew. That’s a relief for what I felt was an unbearable burden. My Hoppin’ John had done its trick.

The truth is, I was long asleep at midnight on this and nearly every other New Year’s Eve of the past 15 years. I’m not even sure a ball dropped in Times Square, and if it did, Ryan Seacrest was undoubtedly nearly by himself. I did awaken at midnight when a very loud boom went off that sounded like it came from my back yard. The Valley of the Sun is very big on fireworks for New Years Eve. I’m blaming it on the fact that the Fourth of July is so hot here that the fireworks could spontaneously combust. Better to leave them for cooler weather.

The houses in our neighborhood are very close together. Sometime after dark, our neighbors — who have a little girl — began lighting fireworks. They weren’t scary big, but the fountains were large enough that we could enjoy them over the fence, and did. The next day, Kevin apologized. “We didn’t know they were going to be that big,” he said.

I told him that there was no reason to apologize and that we had enjoyed their show. No reason we can’t start off this year with kindness. Perhaps kindness will get me by until the vaccine brings me home.

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