Just four more days and 2013 will be another entry in the history books. On New Year's Eve some will say good riddance while others will reflect on the many good things that were accomplished during yet another 365-day period in which God blessed us in so many ways.
Next to Thanksgiving, New Year's has always been one of my favorite holidays. Following the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and other holiday-related activities, New Year's is usually a quite day for reflecting on what has happened and what will likely happen in the not-so-distant future.
I never was a big college football bowl game TV addict unless the Razorbacks were involved. Mom usually served up the traditional New Year's Day meal that consisted of ham and black-eyed peas. Mom and our next-door extended family usually would journey 16 miles north to Blytheville to view a holiday movie at The Ritz.
Most of the time I stayed home. Primarily, it was just another day off from school. I was always glad that New Year's fell late in the week because school wouldn't start back up until the following Monday. If the holiday fell at the beginning of the week it was back to school the following day and I spent most of the day dreading the end of the Christmas vacation.
My family and I never took New Year's resolutions very seriously. Everyone would claim they were going to lay off the candy and junk food at least until the next Christmas season. Of course, that resolution usually didn't last very long into the following year.
Staying up until midnight on New Year's Eve was a big deal. When I was growing up bedtime time arrived along with the 10 o'clock news. During grade school years it was even earlier that that. I still recall talking Mom and Dad into letting me stay up late enough to watch Sea Hunt at 9:30 on Thursday nights. I thought I had joined the land of the grownups.
On this one night of the year, we would all stay up and watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Since the program aired from the East Coast, New Year's was celebrated an hour earlier. The Osceola New Year's tradition was the fire department sounded its alarm at the stroke of midnight.
Over the years the traditions evolved. Our church would have a party at one of the member's homes. Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve replaced the Tonight Show as the program to watch to welcome in the new year. A good luck kiss from the wife got the year off on the right foot.
The past few years Joyce and I have quietly retired for the night well before the midnight hour. When my hearing was a little better, I was well aware of when the new year arrived by the sound of exploding firecrackers throughout the neighborhood.
Page 2 of 2 - Having been in the newspaper business the better part of three decades, part of the job includes rummaging back through the pages of the previous year's papers to compose a year in review. Until you look back on the events of the year, it is often difficult to realize how many major events take place during the course of any given 12-month period. A year whizzes by so quickly.
Plenty of good things happened in 2013. There were also some events we probably wish had never occurred but we simply cannot change what happened. The best New Year's gift we receive each January 1 is the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start anew.