2014 Arrives with a BANG ….. as in slamming pot lids to pan bottoms in the ally James

What can I say —- we are country folk —- not exactly red necks but not high fa-lute-ten folk either. The proof is in the puddin’ (that’s pudding for y’all other folks out there who don’t talk it like we do) —- JOKING aside, when I moved to the great state of Texas from Ohio by way of other places I’ve lived over the last sixty plus years I knew it would be an adjustment for me. What I mean is: I thought I’d be thrown into a world of big hats, high boots and watermelon seed spittin’ contests. None of this happened.

The lower panhandle of Texas, around the city of Lubbock, is as progress as any place else in the country. The shops are plentiful and fashionable — upscale and downscale — the area is well laid out which means you can find your way around fairly easily. There are enough places to grab a bite to eat that you could eat three squares for a full year and never go to the same place twice. Heck, they even have a nice university (Texas Tech University) in Lubbock. Wow…..but there is one slight difference here in this small town I live in of very few souls, so …. (see paragraph 4 for details of that!)

Now comes New Years Eve and I’m thinking to myself — ‘self, what is in store for you tonight??? And, should you be worried!’  — by way of reflections of other New Years Eves spent in a foreign land, you know places I had never lived before during a New Years Eve Celebration, I’m really contemplating what’s in store for me in Shallowater, Texas as 2013 turns into 2014 in the blink of an eye at midnight tonight.  Will there be kissing — Lord, help me! I hope not! — Will anyone expect me to join them in song? Truth be told I can’t hold a song note if my life was on the line to do so, therefore, joining in the cheerful singing of Auld Lang Syne isn’t something anyone within fifty feet of me wants to endure my attempt of trying.  In fact, my singing voice is so bad, that when my kids were teenagers a threat of using my musical attributes got them to straighten the heck up, especially if their friends were present. I mean, ever want to get your kids to leave you alone so you too can enjoy an outing — like, for instance, a 4th of July beach party — then just start yodeling the Star Spangle Banner in front of their friends and they’ll go away and leave you alone! I have personal knowledge that this works. :) So, apparently singing is out unless I wish to be tossed out on my ear which I do not. I’ll spare all the seniors this evening and mouth the words, like my mother and I always did in church, instead. Think this is my best plan of action . . .

So, as I was saying, I was wondering what this small town had to offer on this important night of the year when one bids farewell to a year well spent and embraces the hopes and dreams of a new year. My wondering days ended with an invite by my future mother-in-law to join her and a group of her friends . . . so . . .

New Years Eve in Shallowater, Texas will be spent at the local Baptist church with a group of senior citizens playing card games and watching ‘the ball drop’ at midnight, after which they’ll all wish each other a Happy New Year and head for their respective homes. Most will drive the dimly lit streets the few blocks needed to reach their destination, but, I’m told, repeatedly, that everyone knows where they are going and have driven the route a thousand times so nothing should happen between point A and point B, right? I’m nervous … I know how poorly I drive these streets around town at night and I’m twenty years junior to some seniors venturing out tonight.  And this is the difference between the city of Lubbock and the town of Shallowater …. street lights! We need ’em. Or at least put some 1000 watts in those darn things would ya so I can see at night.

Here’s wishing all of you the most prosperous 2014 possible. Blessings from my home to yours; ‘Peace Be With You’. 





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