Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

December 31, 2012

Wishing all a happy new year

By Mike Redmond

— I like New Year's. Or rather, new years. New Year's the holiday doesn't mean all that much to me. New years as in here comes another 365-day lap around the sun - well, that's another matter entirely.

See, I'm not much for parties, don't drink champagne, and get kind of bored with football after the eighth or ninth hour of bowl games. Mostly, I see New Year's Day as a good excuse for being completely slobbed out. Of course, I also feel that way about Thursdays.

But a new year? That's a blessing. We all need mulligans and do-overs, and a fresh, clean new year is a natural place for them.

Of course, this involves promises, plans, and resolutions that won't survive past Groundhog Day, Presidents' Day at the latest. Especially the ones involving dieting. So what? It's the thought that counts. Or so I keep telling myself.

So what's in a new year for me? Lots:

1. New calendars. After 12 months of looking at a picture of an old passenger train rounding a big curve in the Rockies, I get something new for the office wall: A picture of an old passenger train rounding a big curve in the CANADIAN Rockies. Variety is indeed the spice of life.

(Meanwhile, if I need to know what day it is, I can always look in the lower-right-hand corner of my computer screen.)

2. Misdated checks. These are always good for a laugh, until about March or so, when you're still using last year's date and everyone thinks you are beginning to slip a cog, because you probably are. You know what? Skip this one and just use cash.

3. Seed catalogs. Is there anything more optimistic than a seed catalog?

It's cold and snowy, the wind is howling around the cul-de-sac at about 700 miles per hour, all the animals in the house sense the return of the Ice Age and are packing their bags for Florida, and yet you are blissfully unaware, lost as you are in the new edition of Burpee's. Your snowy back yard may look like the surface of the moon, but your mind's eye sees it green and lush, with cascades of flowers and vines heavy with ripe, glistening produce. Viewed this way, seed catalogs are what keep us from going completely berserk in the dead of a long Midwestern winter. Unless, of course, you don't garden, in which case you are on your own, bub.

4. 2013 models of the things you planned to get, and didn't, in 2012. Or 2011. Or 2010. I'm still making up my mind about a set of golf clubs I first saw in 1993. The 2013 models are stupendous. Too bad I stopped playing golf in 1994.

5. Renewal. But I'm not talking about dealing with all the previous year's nonsense by going out and doing it all over again. I mean letting the turning of the year put the old nonsense to rest once and for all, to let the past truly be the past, to learn and then move away from it, once and for all ... the better to acquire a whole new bunch of fresh nonsense.

So on that note, I hope for you a new and refreshing ... what year is it? Oh yes. There it is, right down there on the bottom of the computer screen.

Happy 2013.

© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.