Friday’s Weekend Column
End of the Year in a Different Place

by James Glaser
January 30, 2005

Last New Year's Day I was holed up in the house during a snow storm remembering that my snow shovel was across the road at the work shop. This winter I am down in Tallahassee, where it could be in the low 70s this weekend, and I'll be walking around in shirt sleeves.

This last week, on Christmas Eve, I did something I have never done on that day. I ate lunch out on the deck. Oh, I have eaten out side on Christmas Eve up north, but I was all bundled up or I was running out to flip the burgers on the Weber. Maybe I had lunch at some one's ice fishing house, but never did we get to sit around and really enjoy the day.

Christmas Eve night we went for a drive, we were looking at a neighborhood north of town where every home is decorated with lots of lights. There was one home that had a neighborhood orchestra and choir. People stopped their cars and joined in with the singing. There were people driving around in horse drawn wagons, but with no snow, there were no, one horse open sleighs.

Except for the lack of snow and cold, Christmas down here was pretty much like up north. New Years is a little different though. Fireworks are a big thing for the New Year celebration, and they have large tents set up in supermarkets parking lots to sell them. Also many people have a meal with black eyed peas on New Year's Day. Eating the peas is supposed to bring you good luck in the new year. Several people tell me that their family always put a dime in with the peas, and who ever got that dime, got extra special luck that year.

People down here keep telling me about the cold and I can't feel it. I guess when it gets down in the 50s, people down here get a chance to wear their sweaters and coats. A good coat down here must last a life time, as you only get a few days a year to wear it. I brought my winter coat and I haven't been able to zip it up yet.

I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Less Than Three." It took me a minute to catch on. That bumper sticker is a little bit early, but George Bush will have less than three years left as President soon.

BACK to the Essays.