Most years around this time, I am laughing under my breath at all the new year’s resolutions that are showing up in Facebook posts about weight loss or spending time with family or some other worthwhile but tired promise that most likely will last about as long as a snowflake in Costa Rica. But, this year, I’m going to break with my tradition, join the crowd, and make a few resolutions of my own.
- I’m going to spend at least one warm, languid afternoon this year enjoying an ocean breeze, reclined, undisturbed, listening to the implacable rhythm of the surf, breathing the salt air, napping intermittently, and day-dreaming of boats, fish, lands, and adventures on, in, and across the glinting saltwater spreading out to the edge of the horizon.
- I’m going to spend at least one evening in New Orleans for dinner and some live jazz. Dinner is up for discussion as my interests are varied. I have a strong affinity for oyster poboys, but I am told that the real measure of a NOLA poboy is judged by the roast beef version. There are also myriad establishments that I would like to experience for their signature traditional dish like Willie Mae’s Scotch House, Galatoire’s, Dookie Chase, Acme Oyster House, and a dozen others. The horn-heavy sounds of New Orleans jazz radiating from street corners and emanating from bars from the trumpets, trombones, clarinets, tubas, and pianos played by musicians with names like Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, and Dr. John, and bands like the Meters and Bonerama have long been a draw for me. However, the one jazz performance that I have to check off my list first is one of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
- I’m going to set aside one Saturday per month to get in my car and drive at least 1 hour in search of good food at a non-franchised establishment in Mississippi. It isn’t necessarily going to be a fine dining experience either. There are lots of places like the Country Store at Lorman with fried chicken that’s rumored to be exceptional. Like I wrote about here, there are barbecue joints all over the state that need my patronage as well. I would appreciate any recommendations my readers might have regarding joints I need to check out.
- I’m going to spend more time in my boat feeding worms and crickets to the bream in the pond at the farm. Nothing frees the stress of the day to day like floating on the murky green waters of a farm pond on a steamy late-afternoon in the middle of a Mississippi summer. The sweat flooding out of your pores, burning your eyes, and soaking every last strand of your hair cleanses your soul, washing out the toxins of stress, computers, and… civilization in general. Any of the tasty little fish that happen to hook themselves by accident are just a bonus that will be realized at suppertime after they take a little swim in some hot peanut oil.
2017 is going to be my year of broadening, exploring, and consuming the world around me. I’m going to make a concerted effort to no longer move through this life as a benign observer using only my passive senses to see, hear, and smell the world as I pass through it without leaving any tracks. This year, I’m going to broaden the perimeter of my world and employ my active senses to touch and taste my newly broadened world. Stay tuned to see if I retain my resolve….