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Greetings for a New Year and a New Decade

January 1, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I am not sad to see 2009 come to an end. I won’t say it was “the worst of times,” but I am not going to describe the year as “the best of times,” either.

In fact, I happily move into 2010 with no regrets about emotionally abandoning the whole last decade.

Certainly, there were things that occurred between 2000-2009 that I feel added to all our lives. Love my iPod and my iPhone! Love the technological advances! But that’s about it.

This last decade has been disappointing on many levels. Most of us lost money; many of us lost work; and we all lost civil liberties, whether we wish to acknowledge that or not.

I doubt there were many amongst us who didn’t realize on some level that life would never be the same here in the USA after 9/11. What we didn’t anticipate was the greed of the decade, the stifling federal debt (and taxes to follow), and the outright fraudulent acts that would be committed–and which have cost us all, and will continue to cost us, long into the future.

That alone would make this last decade easy to abandon without expending much sentimentality toward examining that we survived as a people and as a nation. And no wonder: we have spent the bulk of the decade engaged in a seemingly impossible war, which surely is not what most of us had envisioned on January 1, 2000.

Hope really does spring eternal, though, and the human spirit seeks to believe in better tomorrows. After all, our individual destinies may be tied in part to the nation’s destiny, but how we seek to meet the challenges is on each of our shoulders. Perhaps that pioneer spirit of our ancestors will be resurrected in the coming decade, spurring us towards innovation, both in our own homes and families and in our communities, as well.

So it is with that pioneer spirit that I choose to greet the New Year.

Like my ancestors who settled this part of NC in the early 1700s, we will eat our black-eyed peas for dinner this evening (for good luck).  We will serve  those collard greens (for wealth) and we will make the cornbread, (for good health).

I am told the tradition of including fatback or hog jowls in this meal is based on the hog’s natural foraging instinct. Thus, using pork represents “motivation.”  At my house, some bacon will have to suffice as I rarely use fatback and I sure don’t have any hog jowls on the premises these days like great grandmother did.

And we will pray for prosperity, good health and good fortune in the coming days.

Happy New Year, 2010!

For photo and some other terrific recipes:

http://champaign-taste.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html

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