by Pettus Read
All across Tennessee everyone is once again preparing for another new year. With 2010 on the horizon, parties are planned, resolutions are being made, diets are no longer on hold and discarded Christmas trees will be showing up on front lawns by the hundreds the day after Christmas.
Stripped tents are already going up to sell fireworks to beat the band and it looks like Father Time's hourglass is almost out of sand. It's time to say good-bye to 2009's uncertainty and look forward to maybe a year this time around with better hopes for us all.
Growing up, I always heard that at 12:00 on New Year's Eve not only did Dick Clark show up in Times Square, but also that all the farm animals got on their knees as if to be praying. I never got to go to the barn and see if that was really true. Usually some adult would stop me as I would head out the door to take a look with some excuse about that if they saw me coming they would stop. I tried to respect my elders and do what they said, but that little story on New Year's really intrigued me. I still haven't checked it out. Maybe, I always knew they were just kidding me and I didn't want to lose the curiosity of the event.
A new year means a new beginning for the calendar in general, but it can also give new hope to all of us for maybe seeing changes in our day-to-day lives. Not just because the calendar starts with 1-1-10 are we going to immediately start slowing down at yellow traffic lights instead of hurrying up, but it does give us a time to reflect on what we would change if we could.
For example, I hope in 2010 to be less of a pessimist. At times - not real often - I seem to see what is wrong rather than what is right. This coming year, I plan to change that backward progression and seek out more right in everything. My life had major changes in 2009 and I look forward to maybe 2010 giving me the opportunities to look for the silver linings in clouds rather than the thunderheads.
I want to be more like the man who had the opportunity back at the turn of the century to see his very first car. For days, people in a small Middle Tennessee town had been talking about a doctor over near Columbia coming through the Mt. Vernon community in a brand new automobile.
The day the doctor was suppose to come through the town, people gathered on both sides of the road near the community's country store to see the car as it passed by. Excitement was high, horse-drawn wagons were parked everywhere and people pushed in close to see the automobile speed by at twenty-miles-per-hour.
As the car went by, people cheered and the doctor waved his hat in the air to greet those who had come out to see his horseless carriage. It was truly a site to behold.
Looking for a better view, a man stepped into the middle of the road to see the machine from the rear. What he did not realize, a motorcycle was following the car and ran into him knocking him in a ditch on the side of the rode.
Neighbors ran to his aid and as they helped him up he said, "I sure didn't know that thing had a colt following it."
Just what does 2010 hold for us? That's a question that no one on this earth can answer. Will we have a good economy, better farm prices, a cure for cancer, normal weather conditions, non-normal weather conditions, or whatever? That is yet to be seen.
I do know that it will contain 365 days, with each day using 24 hours, no more or no less. It will have a first day of spring, summer, fall and winter that will give all of us something to look forward to.
There will be a Valentine's Day for sweethearts to share their love, an Easter with jellybeans and brightly colored eggs, as well as a last day of school for kids to check in their schoolbooks before summer vacation.
We will honor our war dead with humble hearts on Memorial Day with flags and speeches. Come mid-summer we will celebrate our country's birthday on July 4 with watermelons, more speeches and fireworks.
The year will contain dinner-on-the-grounds, family visits, pumpkins at Halloween, a thankful Thanksgiving, and a merry Christmas.
In between all of this, there will also be days of our usual work, trying to pay bills, buying groceries, going to church, and hopefully helping others. However, each day will be whatever we make it. The important thing is to take care of each day and make the best of it. I'm learning this lesson myself and it does take endurance.
Nobody really knows what this next year will include, but the important thing is not to let this year go by without giving it a chance. The "Good Book" tells us that no one knows what the morrow may bring. Keeping that in mind, let's take care of these last days of 2009 before 2010 gets here. And, when 2010 arrives, take it one day at a time.
In 2010, let's all watch out for the colts following behind and take the year one day at a time. Happy New Year!