Start as you mean to go on.
It works in raising children, in doing a job, in a friendship; sometimes to your detriment if it turns out you've started doing it wrong. My goal is to start 2010 as I mean to go on. I want a year of peace and joy with a little excitement thrown in--say no to things that I don't really want to do, get up earlier, jog more, laugh for at least 15 minutes a day, not at all once, mind, hug and kiss my four people, and sure why not, move to France.
First I have to learn passable French and try to be the calm in the midst of all this change for my kids as we leave here and start again; all the newness.
But before I can do any of this I have to wrap up my feelings for Ireland. That was the major impetus for starting this blog. I can't believe how much I've had to say and yet how much remains unsaid. I don't know if I'll ever truly say goodbye to this place. It seems like I was always on the road to here; albeit blissfully unaware of the pull. It was good to have this last Christmas--this last connection to all these people that have meant so much to our experience here.
On a lighter, culinary note; a reminiscence about our first new years day here in 2006. In these four years there's been a sea change in what's available food wise. Since we've been here they've added Polish sections to nearly every grocery store, the organic products at Tesco aren't just bananas anymore but rice cakes, pasta sauce and sweet potatoes and the introduction of 'American' style pancake batter, boxed cake mixes, and Oreo cookies hasn't gone unnoticed.
Back up four years before this awakening. On new years day I always make a black-eyed pea soup that I like to call 'good luck soup'. It requires only a few things: carrots, onions, celery, sausage, and of course, black-eyed peas. I searched everywhere for the peas…dried or canned, they weren't to be found. At every shop I asked in my Texas, newly arrived, fresh off the boat accent, "Do you know if you have any black-eyed peas?" And every time I got a giggle, confusion, a look that said, is this girl having me on?. One perplexed clerk even asked his manager and came back with the answer, "Tell her to check the record shop"…..ha, ha, ha very funny, I get it. The Black-Eyed Peas.
Needless to say I didn't have my soup those first years. This and last though, I've found them. In the can at Tesco and dried at the health shop, only they're called black eye beans. I guess the American name for them would be just too funny; imagine Fergie grinding to 'My Humps' inside that little can.