Santa’s suit is at the cleaners and the elves are taking a very long nap. The reindeer lost a bit of weight on that nightly trek and children are coming off a present high and sugar overload. The recycle bin is a little fuller this week. All of that time spent shopping and wrapping is over in less than a couple of hours. That stack of gifts looks much smaller once they are opened. The bows are piled high and boxes collapsed. All of that wonderful food was either eaten or became cherished leftovers. Sales in stores are starting. Stores hoping to recuperate their losses. Yes, that one time of the year has come and gone. What now? Diet? Self improvement? Organized? Fuller life? Financial success? Travel? Health?
What will the new year hold for me? What about you? Never have I made a resolution. With all the surprises life brings, it seems nonsensical to make changes by mere resolution. Those pounds I put on over the holidays will be great if a famine strikes. I work on improving myself every day so with that in place, I can just move on doing the same. Also, I could promise to live life to the fullest, but, again, I feel that I do that with great gusto. I would like to be healthier this year. Last year was a little frayed around the edges. Some like to get more organized in the coming year, but I find comfort in chaos. Maybe I should work on improving my financial status. Perhaps I will play the lottery. I would like to travel more. Going back to Neff Road seems to be a pretty good resolution. I think I can keep that one.
We go through a great deal of activity over Christmas and New Years. Laughter seems to be more plentiful, and, by the same token, with little, overzealous ones, the tempers can be tried. We leave the old enjoying the new. Those dreams of sugarplums turn into hope for a peaceful future. For a couple of days, we embrace one another and enjoy blessings we are given. Then a few days later we are wondering what 2018 has in store.
On Neff Road, we played in the snow oblivious to the year ahead. The crops depended on good weather and the market. The year of planting, hoeing, reaping would tell if a few more presents would be beneath the tree in December. The days in the tobacco shed were over and thoughts turned to seedlings and the big steam engine that would rumble down Neff Road when the weather warmed. Crops would own our lives when spring came, so for awhile, we hibernated and enjoyed the winter.
Yes, we have ended the festivities of Christmas but hold the memories of moments near and dear. That is what the new year is all about, resolving to love more deeply, to be kinder, to keep hope alive and to embrace those who need our help. We are the new year.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.