I am always reluctant to give up Christmas decorations until after the first of the new year, so tonight I set the dinner table around my Christmas centerpiece, and it looked so festive I couldn't resist posting a picture. The china is bordered with a red and green plaid, not quite the MacBain plaid of my clan but close enough to makeme happy.Tomorrow I'll serve Hoppin' John to Jordan, Christian, Jacob and neighbors Susan and Jay (who kindly supplied the ham). I was surprised Susan didn't know what Hoppin' John is--it's a stew of ham, black-eyed peas, Rotel tomatoes, etc. traditionally served over rice. I'll serve it over cheese grits. In the early years when I lived in Texas I wasn't as fond of black-eyed peas as I am now, so I served this rather than sliced ham and servings of peas. I quickly picked up on the tradition of ham and peas for luck and prosperity in the new year. Now, of course, I love the peas, especially mixed with mashed potatoes, a trick taught me by my Mississippi-born daughter-in-law Mel. But Hoppin' John is good, and the kids used to call it Hoppin' Uncle John in honor of my brother.Jacob and I are ringing in the New Year together, though I hope we'll both be sound asleep when it rolls around. Just now, at ten p.m., he told me he didn't want to close his eyes. I told him to try anyway. I fixed us a festive meal--a bison rib-eye steak and a baked potato, both of which we split, and buttered corn. He told me he wanted meat, not chicken nuggets, but didn't eat the meat. I thought it was wonderful. We both had a chocolate chip bar for dessert, a special treat.
Having Jacob overnight is a most fitting way to ring in the New Year. My grandchildren are quite likely the most important people in my life. But then I admit getting him to bed, even by ten when his mom recommended nine, was a struggle. And I'm tired. No writing, no work, nothing productive tonight. I am making a dent in my catch-up work (suitcase unpacked and laundry done) but have decided to send out a New Year's letter to friends I don't see often or hear from, and I have a manuscript to proof and index by January 22. Still seems a long way away but I know I have to get to it. Oh, and there are those Christmas decorations to take down. 2010 is starting out to be as busy as 2009!
May God bless you in 2010 with everything you wish for and bless all of us with peace and love. I think world peace is too much to hope for, but we can each make a small step by reaching out to others and showing our love.