Archive for January, 2015

27
Jan
15

1.27.15 … “Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.” – Marcus Borg

Marcus Borg (Liberal Scholar on Historical Jesus), obituary, NYTimes.com:  I do not agree with his conclusions. but I do believe his work was important.

Marcus J. Borg, a scholar who popularized a liberal intellectual approach to Christianity with his lectures and books about Jesus as a historical figure, died on Wednesday at his home in Powell Butte, Ore. He was 72.

His publisher, HarperOne, said the cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Professor Borg was among a group of scholars, known as the Jesus Seminar, who set off an uproar with its very public efforts to discern collectively which of Jesus’ acts and utterances could be confirmed as historically true, and which were probably myths.

His studies of the New Testament led him not toward atheism but toward a deep belief in the spiritual life and in Jesus as a teacher, healer and prophet. Professor Borg became, in essence, a leading evangelist of what is often called progressive Christianity.

“His own vision was not simply derived from opposing fundamentalist or literalist Christianity,” Mr. Crossan said. “It was a very positive vision. He could talk about Jesus and he could talk about Paul and the positive vision they had.”

In his last book, the memoir “Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most” (2014), Professor Borg wrote: “Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.”

via Marcus Borg, Liberal Scholar on Historical Jesus, Dies at 72 – NYTimes.com.

religion before the modern period, civilization,  Karen Armstrong,  Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps” – Salon.com.

First of all, there is the whole business about religion before the modern period never having been considered a separate activity but infusing and cohering with all other activities, including state-building, politics and warfare. Religion was part of state-building, and a lot of the violence of our world is the violence of the state. Without this violence we wouldn’t have civilization. Agrarian civilization depended upon a massive structural violence. In every single culture or pre-modern state, a small aristocracy expropriated the serfs and peasants and kept them at subsistence level.This massive, iniquitous system is responsible for our finest achievements, and historians tell us that without this iniquitous system we probably wouldn’t have progressed beyond subsistence level. Therefore, we are all implicated in this violence. No state, however peace-loving it claims to be, can afford to disband its army, so when people say religion has been the cause of all the major wars in history this is a massive oversimplification. Violence is at the heart of our lives, in some form or another

via Karen Armstrong on Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps” – Salon.com.

9 Things You Should Know About Vintage Christianity, OnFaith, lists:  Interesting list … something to think about.

“I am dedicated to unoriginality.” So said historical theologian Thomas Oden in his classic work, Classical Christianity. He goes on: “I plan to present nothing new or original in these pages . . . My aim is to present classical Christian teaching of God on its own terms, undiluted by modern posturing.”

I echo Oden. Because, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, this year is the year to go backwards in order to move forwards in our faith.

To regress, by rediscovering and retrieving the vintage Christian faith.

But what do I mean by vintage Christianity? Before we can explore it, let’s define it. And since everyone seems to be doing listicles these days, here are nine things you need to know about the vintage Christian faith …

via 9 Things You Should Know About Vintage Christianity | OnFaith.

Modern Farmer Ceases Publication, NYTimes.com:  I hate it when I miss something good.

Modern Farmer Combines Serious Coverage With LambCam, Hits Jackpot – Businessweek.

The magazine itself was part of an emerging genre of food-related publications like Lucky Peach and Cherry Bombe, which offer readers a media experience that is as much tactile as it is about content.

“It is part of a genre of very niche publications that say one thing we can do is create this beautifully designed artifact,” said the author and magazine veteran Kurt Andersen.

The problem, he said, may simply have been one of audience and execution.

“I don’t want to speak ill of the dying, but what is the plausible audience in such a magazine?” he asked. “It was too kind of nitty-gritty and old-fashioned, back-to-the-land hippie magazine for the food-farm porn market, and yet too ‘What about the dairy situation in the Philippines?’ for people who are really raising chickens for a living.”

via Modern Farmer Ceases Publication – NYTimes.com.

Each issue of Modern Farmer, the stylish agrarian quarterly, has an austere portrait of an animal on the cover. So far, there have been six. The animals look remote and self-satisfied, as if nothing you said could matter to them, just like human models. The first cover had a rooster with an eye resembling a tiny dark paperweight. The second had a goat looking haughtily askance. The third was of a sheep whose gaze is so penetrating that she seems to be trying to hypnotize you. The fourth was of a pig in profile whose ears flop forward like a visor; according to a note by the photographer, a pig’s flopped ears trap smells as it searches for food. The fifth had a hulking farm dog with a ruff like a headdress, and the sixth has a serene-looking cow with a black face and a white forehead and nose. Ann Marie Gardner, the magazine’s founder and editor, says that she always thought she would have animals on the cover. The art director, Sarah Gephart, says, however, that she had nearly finished designing the magazine when Gardner told her that the cover would have animals. “We thought it would be people,” Gephart said.

Modern Farmer appeared in the spring of 2013. After three issues, it won a National Magazine Award; no other magazine had ever won so quickly. According to Gardner, though, Modern Farmer is less a magazine than an emblem of “an international life-style brand.” This is the life style of people who want to “eat food with a better backstory”—from slaughterhouses that follow humane practices, and from farmers who farm clean and treat their workers decently. Also, food cultists who like obscure foods and believe that fruits and vegetables taste different depending on where they are grown. Also, aspirational farmers, hobby farmers, intern farmers, student farmers, WWOOFers—people who take part in programs sponsored by the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms movement—and people who stay at hotels on farms where they eat things grown by the owners. Plus idlers in cubicles searching for cheap farmland and chicken fences and what kind of goats give the best milk. Such people “have a foot in each world, rural and urban,” Gardner says. She calls them Rurbanistas, a term she started using after hearing the Spanish word rurbanismo, which describes the migration from the city to the countryside. Rurbanistas typify the Modern Farmer audience.

via Modern Farmer Plows Ahead – The New Yorker.

Ann Clark, CMS, Davidson alumni:

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Veteran Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administrator Ann Clark was named superintendent Tuesday while the school board searches for a long-term leader – but Clark will not be considered for that job.

Instead, Clark said she plans to retire from the district in 2016 when a new superintendent is selected and ready to take office.

Clark’s new position will cap a three-decade career rising through the CMS ranks. Her selection also fills the void left by former Superintendent Heath Morrison, who resigned in November after an investigation into claims that he bullied staff members. The months since then have been marked by uncertainty among the district’s 18,000 employees and the Charlotte community.

“Ann will provide the stability and direction we need,” school board Chairwoman Mary McCray said.

Clark, who had been the deputy superintendent, said it was her decision not to be considered for the position long term. She said she had planned to file the paperwork Dec. 1 to retire this spring, but after Morrison’s departure she decided it would be in the district’s best interest for her to stay.

via Ann Clark to serve as CMS superintendent until 2016 | CharlotteObserver.com.

2015 NBA All-Star Game starters,  ESPN, Steph Curry: On a more cheerful note …

The star of the NBA-leading Warriors, Curry ended up with more than 1.5 million votes, more than 42,000 ahead of James, who had a 13,285-vote lead over the sharpshooter at the previous update. James was the leading vote-getter last year, preceded by Kobe Bryant in 2013. Curry, who just two years ago was an All-Star snub, becomes the first Warriors player elected to consecutive starts since Chris Mullin in 1991-92.

via 2015 NBA All-Star Game starters announced – ESPN.

9 Mystery Books , lists, Downton Abbey:

There’s a reason more than 10 million people tuned in Downton Abbey’s fifth season premiere — and it’s not because of the pretty costumes! From dark family secrets to untimely deaths to salacious gossip, Downton Abbey delivers an unparalleled level of mystery and drama week after week.

We rounded up nine mysteries set in the Edwardian period and beyond that promise all of the drama Downton Abbey fans have come to know and love! Check out the full list below, complete with publishers’ descriptions and reviews

via 9 Mystery Books to Read If You Like Downton Abbey.

C.S. Lewis, BBC Broadcasts During WWII:

During the second world war, people in Britian were facing life and death issues every day.  The director of religious programming, at the BBC, asked C.S. Lewis to give some “Broadcast Talks” about faith.

At first, Lewis was unsure – he liked neither the radio nor traveling to London.  He finally relented, because he thought it was his duty.  His first talks were so successful that the BBC wanted him to do more – and he agreed.

via C.S. Lewis – BBC Broadcasts During WWII.

Milton Friedman, macroeconomics:  Interesting.

Friedman’s negative income tax proposed that we eliminate poverty with one fell swoop by providing everyone with a livable income, no matter what their employment status is.

Wow, right?

Before we move forward, let’s acknowledge that there’s something not quite perfect about an old white guy coming in to save the “helpless poor people” (see The White Savior Industrial Complex). But Friedman’s idea of a negative income tax is worth discussing not because he’s such a nice guy; it’s worth discussing because it’s a valuable policy idea.

A variation of Friedman’s plan is often referred to as a guaranteed basic income.

via An Interviewer Doesn’t Know How To Handle His Guest Because He Got Something Quite Unexpected.

25
Jan
15

1.25.15 … Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!! …

SkyMall, bankruptcy, WSJ:  Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!!

The company behind the in-flight catalog SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection, a victim of evolving rules and technology that now lets airline passengers keep their smartphones and tablets powered up during flight.

After 25 years selling quirky products like a Darth Vader toaster or a paper towel holder with USB ports, SkyMall LLC is seeking a court supervised sale of its assets, according to papers filed Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix.

“We are extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic ‘SkyMall’ brand find a home to continue to operate,” acting Chief Executive Scott Wiley said in a statement Friday.

The company, which started in 1989, fully suspended its retail catalog operation Jan. 16, and also laid off 47 of its 137 employees, according to court papers. SkyMall’s parent company Xhibit Corp. , which acquired the business in 2013, is also seeking Chapter 11 protection.

via SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy – WSJ.

And I’ve mentioned Skymall before … more than once …  5.5.14 … SkyMall: A Tour Of The American Psyche … We hurt … We don’t want to look fat … We love our home and our pets … we don’t know where to store our shoes … We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue or a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

and …

travel, random:  OK, I admit it … while John does the Sudoku puzzles in the magazines, I look through SkyMall to see what ridiculous think I want this trip … and the winner this month is … one or two?

via 6.22.2010 … summer … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

labyrinth, Lauren Artress:

“The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together on this fragile island home, and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to meet the challenges of the 21st century.” – Lauren Artress

Jean-Claude Baker (‘Son’ of Josephine Baker), obituaries, NYTimes.com: “irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life” … I had to think about that one.

He told a few friends last week that he had finished his will, an impressive gesture even for the famously unbridled Jean-Claude Baker, irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life.

Over the nearly three decades since wresting his bustling night spot Chez Josephine from the X-rated morass of West 42nd Street, Mr. Baker — who had been mothered as a destitute teenager in France by the fading erotic stage sensation Josephine Baker — had delivered exhausting bonhomie to celebrity-rich audiences of pre- and post-theater diners.

But at 71 he was finding it increasingly wearisome.

“I’ve been a little bit under the blue weather lately,” he emailed me in late November, on why he had proposed lunch and then gone missing. Last summer, he wrote, “It’s becoming very difficult to keep the dream alive” and “my brain is tired.”

Still, it seemed easy to discount his mood swings.

“He’d been saying for 25 years, ‘I can’t go on, I’m going to kill myself,’ ” said Richard Hunnings, one of Mr. Baker’s oldest friends and general manager of Manhattan Plaza, the artist-friendly rental complex across 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue.

Yet there he was, night after night, in his Shanghai Tang silks, red mandarin outfits and black soutane, embracing patrons, dispensing gigs to needy musicians and leaking juicy self-promotional tidbits to the gossip columns.

Last Thursday morning, he was found dead in his Mercedes that had been running in the enclosed garage of his East Hampton, N.Y., home.

via Jean-Claude Baker, ‘Son’ of Josephine Baker, Is Remembered – NYTimes.com.

Krista Tippett, Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being: Christmas is troubling in a secular world with family members who have beliefs all over the spectrum.  So I like her conclusion: “As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.”

Here’s what I take seriously. There is something audacious and mysterious and reality-affirming in the assertion that has stayed alive for two thousand years that God took on eyes and ears and hands and feet, hunger and tears and laughter and the flu, joy and pain and gratitude and our terrible, redemptive human need for each other. It’s not provable, but it’s profoundly humanizing and concretely and spiritually exacting. And it’s no less rational — no more crazy — than economic and political myths to which we routinely deliver over our fates in this culture, to our individual and collective detriment.

So here’s what I’m thinking about this Christmas. Recently I followed up on a promise I’ve been making myself for years: to wash and sort and give away all the good clothing my kids have outgrown as they’ve left childhood behind. It’s embarrassing that I never took the time to do this all along. In the course of digging around for where to donate, I stumbled on the site of a charity that works with homeless teenagers. It turns out that they’re not asking in the first instance for all these Levis and good-as-new, cool t-shirts. They’re asking for donations of socks and coats. They’re asking for newly purchased underwear, noting that most of us take for granted our ever-renewable supplies of clean underwear that fits.

I’m not going to buy any presents this year. We will go shopping as a family for these homeless teenagers, and I’ll try to be honest about the equivalent I would spend on my own children on the commercial holy days if I believed in them. I report this in some hope of feeding a little rebellion I sense many of us are quietly tending. But I also make it public to be sure I follow through.

As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.

via Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being.

 

24
Jan
15

1.24.15 … Glorious day. And a great day to be a Wildcat …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Labyrinth Walks, Davidson College Labyrinth and Peace Garden/Hobart Park:

After delightful breakfast and Target run with Molly, I ventured over to the college’s labyrinth.

I was struck by what a perfect day it was. It is January 24, bright and sunny, and 45°. You could not ask for a more perfect winter day.

As I drove up near the labyrinth, I noticed the big construction crane in front of me. This crane is needed for the college’s new learning community. The first phase will incorporate a new expanded science building.

As I walked down to the labyrinth, I noticed two students sitting on the bench at the side. As I approached, I asked them if they had ever walked the labyrinth. They didn’t know that it was something you could walk.

I introduced myself and gave the students a brief history lesson. They had no idea what a labyrinth was.

It’s a really lovely location, but it amazed me that they never took the time to read the information board.

I probably bored them with too much information, but I really enjoyed telling the story of the labyrinth and its history.

Glorious day. And a great day to be a Wildcat.
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23
Jan
15

1.23.15 … I’ve never been North … bucket list …

labyrinths, beach labyrinth, kith/kin:  In 2013, I built a beach labyrinth.  It was a very fun day with an old friend.  I wish I had seen this video.  I could have done it quicker and enjoyed it longer.

Denny Dyke creates labyrinths in sand and other media. This video shows him creating one of his sand labyrinths at the Oregon Coast at Bandon. It shows Denny’s process, the use and the demise of one of his beautiful, fleeting works of art.

via Circles in the Sand on Vimeo.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! For several years I have contemplated creating a labyrinth on the beach. And to my great dismay, I have discovered that there are only a few people in this world who would even consider creating a beach labyrinth with me.

via 8.1.13

Minnesota, North, bucket list:  I think we would all like to define ourselves!!

“North” has a special meaning in Minnesota these days, and it is gradually gaining a stronger following. Though most Americans consider the state part of the Midwest, a number of local influencers are proposing to redefine Minnesota as a region that the U.S., officially at least, currently lacks: the North. They want their region to be recognized for its innovative, sturdy character, honed by long, cold winters.

Supporters of “North” say that being lumped in with the Midwest causes people to lose sight of their region’s special nature. “We don’t behave like the rest of the Midwest,” says Andrew Blauvelt, senior curator of design, research and publishing at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which recently hosted a standing-room-only symposium on Minnesota’s regional identity.

via Minnesota’s New Cool Image as ‘the North’ – WSJ.

parody, New England Patriots: Cialis Inflate-a-Ball helps the Patriots avoid hefty fines and loss of draft picks by giving their balls that extra pump for the big game.

Parody of the Cialis commercials featuring the New England Patriots. You’re headed to the Super Bowl, but your game still feels a little bit flat. Cialis Inflate-a-Ball helps the Patriots avoid hefty fines and loss of draft picks by giving their balls that extra pump for the big game.

▶ New England Patriots Cialis Commercial Parody (For Deflated-Balls) [Benstonium.com] – YouTube.

Another … I do believe the social media thinks the patriots are guilty.

The New England Patriots’ march to Super Bowl XLIX got a bit slippery yesterday, when the NFL announced an investigation into the deflation of 11 easier-to-catch Pats game balls during their 45-7 win in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. This isn’t the first time that the Patriots have been accused of cheating — and it probably won’t be the last time they appear on the box of the cereal aisle’s most notorious product.

via Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s New Cereal Endorsement | Mad Magazine.

Elementary: I’ll be watching for the bartender!!

Watch Elementary tonight at 10 on CBS. My nephew Roe is the bartender !

Oodles of noodles force closure of Interstate 95 in North Carolina – The Washington Post:

The ramen carnage, however, was extensive.

At least it didn’t rain, said two people sitting near this reporter.

All the jokes!

via Oodles of noodles force closure of Interstate 95 in North Carolina – The Washington Post.

portmanteaux, vocabulary:

Motel, brunch, and sitcom are obvious. But these portmanteaux are undercover.

1. Apart from giving us the word portmanteau to describe these things, you can also thank Lewis Carroll for chortle, a combination of snort and chuckle, first used in 1871’s Through the Looking-Glass.

via 10 Words You Might Not Know Are Portmanteaux | Mental Floss.

American Sniper:  I’m still digesting this movie …

American Sniper may be quickly stealing the title of the most politically controversial film this Oscar season, but screenwriter Jason Hall maintains he just penned a portrait of a beleaguered soldier — not a political statement. The biopic of Chris Kyle, who the Navy credits with the most kills in American military history, broke January records with a whopping $90.2 million at the box office over the weekend in spite of — or perhaps because of — critics who say the film glorifies a murderer, not to mention a war America never had any business fighting in the first place.

“People see the movie poster, and it’s got a guy and the American flag, and they know Clint Eastwood — the Dirty Harry guy and the Republican convention guy — directed it,” says screenwriter Jason Hall. “So they think it’s some jingoistic thing. I would challenge that in a big way. Chris was a man who believed in something and who therefore was useful to a government that needed him to go to war. It cost him his physical health, his mental health and almost cost him his family — but Chris probably would have paid the price over and over again if he’d been asked, which is both patriotic and totally tragic.”

via American Sniper Screenwriter Jason Hall: ‘I Bled for This Thing’ | TIME.

Musée Nissim de Camondo, The Hare With Amber Eyes: After visiting this museum and telling several people about it, every one told me I had to read The Hare With Amber Eyes. The Museum enhances the book and the book enhances the museum.

One of my favorite museums is the Musée Nissim de Camondo. The collection of 18th century furniture and art objects on display in what was once a private mansion always make me feel as if I’ve stepped back in time. When you visit, be sure to get an audioguide to hear the tragic story of the de Camondo family. For more information, there’s a link for a blog post in the comment section. #tbt #museum #art #Paris #France #decorativearts — at Musée Nissim de Camondo.

01
Jan
15

1.1.15 … Happy New Year! … Blessings on your pilgrimage in 2015!

Pilgrimage, Devotional:  i wrote the devotional for PW at my church.  I think it pulls together  much of what I experienced in 2014.
What is a Pilgrimage?
Back in 2013 Kirk Hall preached on the Transfiguration. His sermon was entitled,  “A Glimpse of Glory.”  From that day I was also quite struck by the Affirmation of Faith …
“We believe Christ gives us and demands of us lives in pilgrimage toward God’s kingdom. Like Christ we may enjoy on our journey all that sustains life and makes it pleasant and beautiful. No more than Christ are we spared the darkness, ambiguity, and threat of life in the world. We are in the world, but not of the world. Our confidence and hope for ourselves and other people do not rest in the powers and achievements of this world, but in the coming and hidden presence of God’s kingdom. Christ calls each of us to a life appropriate to that kingdom: to serve as he has served us; to take up our cross, risking the consequences of faithful discipleship; to walk by faith, not by sight, to hope for what we have not seen. (Declaration of Faith, 9.5)” (Source: http://www.firstpres-charlotte.org/bulletins/bulletin.pdf)
 
So, what is a Pilgrimage?
Our Church is orchestrating a 2016 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  According to the brochure it is an opportunity whereby “Each traveler will connect to a different facet of the Holy Lands whether it’s the feel of the land, the antiquity of the place or the history come to life. Evenings will include devotions and a time for reflection.”  And it is necessary to prepare for the encounter and experience by studying scripture, researching archeology, learning biblical history, and gaining an understanding of all these through a review of contemporary issues.
So how can you experience a life in pilgrimage towards God’s kingdom?   Find a practice that promotes your movement toward God.  It can be a dedicated Bible study, centered prayer, meditation, or even going on a dedicated travel opportunity such as the Church’s Holy Land Pilgrimage.  It does not have to expensive, but it does need to be intentional and dedicated toward gaining a glimpse of God’s glory.
I personally have found pilgrimage through the practice of walking labyrinths. A labyrinth is a uni-circular pathway.
 “In some cultures, the circling pathway simulates the movement of planets in the solar system. The spiritual journey is the main focus of the Labyrinth experience. Walking and resting simulate the believer’s movement through life. In Medieval times, Christians who wanted to journey to the Holy Land would approximate that pilgrimage in a local labyrinth walk and with Bible stories as a guide. Some believers pray the labyrinth journey to become clear on the direction for life and walk with a prayer phrase such as the mantra, “Show me the way, I will follow.” This may lead to surrendering and allowing the Spirit to lead the way.” Source: http://rockhilloratory.blogspot.com/2009/04/oratory-labyrinth-prayer-garden.html
 
For years, my favorite passage has been Psalm 46:10 which states, “Be still and know that I am God.”  One interpretation for “be still” is “surrender.”
Pilgrimage is surrendering and that can be done in many ways, but ultimately all pilgrimages lead the believer to know God in all his glory. 
Blessings on your pilgrimage in 2015!
December 19, 2014

Kith/kin, memories, Atlanta, Thomasville GA, Louisville KY, :

Memories of New Year’s Celebrations …

As a child I remember my parents would host a small party. Everyone would arrive by 7 and they would have dinner and then they would go to a movie. While they were out, my sister, my brother and I would decorate the house, and then when the adults came back, we would listen to the “adults” cheer in the New Year.

And then there was the year that my dad went down to Rich’s and bought a color tv, our first. There was one condition, it had to be delivered by 5 pm on New Year’s Eve. It was, and we watched the Rose Bowl Parade and whatever bowl game Alabama was playing in “in living color.”

As a high school and college student, I would go downtown in Atlanta to the neon Coke sign which was later moved. I remember one year, we were taking Champagne with us and my mother gave me an antique monogrammed linen Champagne “napkin” which was lost in the celebration My mother was not too pleased with me.

One year I was in Louisville for the New Year, and my always industrious now brother in law Bito and his friends decided they needed some money, so they cooked the traditional NYD southern good luck meal and sold them to family and friends.

In the married but before kids period, John and I were visiting Julie and Doug in Thomasville GA. We were going to stay at the “farm” for the night. Julie’s family’s housekeeper had fixed a picnic dinner. It was one of the best meals I ever ate. I know it included quail. The good life.

And then there was San Francisco … Mike and Diane got married in SF on New Year’s Eve. Black tie, etc. … but Diane had kids from her first marriage so there was this wonderful element of whimsy. She had a balloon artist making balloon hats, etc. Happy Anniversary, Mike and Diane!!

After kids, while my parents were in Pineview, I arrived after driving 16+ hours right before midnight (after being pulled for weaving on the last 12 mile stretch from Hawkinsville … cop told me my old clunker van with Illinois plates was suspicious because of all the drug trade) and put the kids to bed. My mom and I went out and watched one of the most beautiful meteor showers I have ever seen.

Another New Year’s Eve during that era, I was driving back from Georgia and the weather was very bad. My friends Ruth Ann and Tim demanded that I stop in Louisville for the night. I yielded to their better judgement. We went sledding at midnight and it was glorious. My kids had not been sledding like that in years since snow was iffy in NC and Chicago is basically flat. The next morning we went to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, a funky Louisville restaurant where folks went in their pajamas on New year’s Day, and Jack, probably 11, asked if he could have lobster with his eggs. Sure … and he loved it!

Other than that I am usually in bed by 11 … watching the tv and keeping an eye out for 3 kids … and that era is almost over.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s good luck foods: I’m cooking black-eyed peas, turnips and ham.

To dig a little deeper, I chose four popular regional American good luck foods of the new year—the pork and sauerkraut of the Midwest, the greens and black-eyed peas of the South, the pickled herring of Scandinavian immigrants, and the lentils of Italian-Americans—on a quest for the facts behind the fortune.

via The True Story of Traditional New Year’s Lucky Foods | Serious Eats.




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