31 December 2008

Happy New Year and pass the Black Eyed Peas

I've been a week in the country and I'm still wondering what all the hoo-ha is about black-eyed peas on New Year's Eve. It's a long-standing tradition here in the South, I recently learned. The legumes are cooked with ham and savored with turnip greens and corn bread. Supposedly this delectable meal secures good luck and prosperity in the new year. As a friend of mine from Memphis noted, "I've been eating black-eyed peas for 30 years and you're the one going to Longwood. I'll bet you ain't never had a black-eyed pea on New Year's Eve in your whole life!"

Well, I haven't, but I am a big fan of many members of the Leguminaceae family!

I am looking forward to a year full of goodness as I start my new adventures in horticulture at Longwood. And I'll get to see parts of the country I've never seen before. Finding the best route in the Atlas was a bit of a challenge and my finger got lost on more than one occasion trying to find just which country highway we ought to take that will get us to PA without being too 'scenic'. Planning the drive felt something like this (without all the technology, which would really come in handy right about now):

Even without the black-eyed peas, I find myself bidding adieu to 2008 with all of its unforgettable ups and downs, and saluting 2009 with all its promise of wonder. I hope the new year greets you with the same sense of newness and antipation of dreams coming true. Just don't forget to pack your toothbrush!

Happy New Year everybody!

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