Senior Moments: Embracing 2023 before all the good luck kicked in

Who doesn’t like to sleep in on New Year’s morning, especially this year when we did not have to awaken early to watch the Rose Parade?

I had been happily lounging in my robe all day when I remembered I never took in the newspaper. Taking a quick peek out the window to make sure no walkers were about, I made the split-second decision that it was OK to go out in my robe and purple slippers.

Longing for the days when newspapers were delivered to the front porch by a young entrepreneur on a bicycle, I walked quickly down the driveway where my paper usually arrives.

Just as I bent down to retrieve it, I heard voices behind me. Please don’t let it be anyone who knows me, I muttered to myself, extending the time I squatted in the driveway with my robe facing the sidewalk.

“I loved your column today, “an unfamiliar voice said to the back of my lavender robe. Busted. There was no backing out now.

Righting my awkward position, I stood up straight and tall, as my mother would have said, shielding as much of myself as I could with a moist plastic bag holding the paper.

“Thank you. Happy new year and good morning,” I managed to spit out. Two smiling faces stared at me. It was 4 p.m. “Make that afternoon, “I added carefully skirting my way around the dogs they were walking.

Dropping the paper to dry on the front porch swing, I went into the house to tend to my pot of black-eyed peas simmering on the stove. I was looking forward to sharing them with a new friend who had not only never tasted them but had never heard of the southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year.

Stirring the pot, I began to think of all the comments I had from people who had tasted my black-eyed peas for the first time. Most memorable:

“Interesting,” he’d said grimacing as he reached for his water bottle.

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“It’s an acquired taste,” I offered in response. “Like olives. “

“I love olives. If you cook the peas longer, will they start tasting like olives?”

And yet, year after year, I keep inviting friends over to share my tradition.

“What happens if you don’t eat the good luck peas?” My then-young daughter asked. I gave her the same answer my mother had given me.“You don’t want to know!”

Next time, I’ll eat a few peas before I go out to get the paper.

Email Patricia Bunin at Follow her on Twitter at PatriciaBunin.

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