Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Tradition

I missed writing last weekend because of the holiday but then I decided to wait until the first day of the New Year to write.


First, I just didn’t have the physical time to do so. Second, It is a long standing tradition in my world of work and family that what you do the first day of the year you will do the rest of the year.

For years from when I was just a young inspector without a home life I would be chosen to be the one to come in and work with this old man who would bring in a crew unless it was ice or snow on the ground. When I complained to him about working on a holiday he told me “Son, what you do on the first day of the year you do the rest of the year and I always work New Year ’s Day and the result I work the rest of the year.”

Well the old man got me to thinking and I realized that ever since I had been called into inspect his work on New Years’ Day I had been having a good year and I also initiated working on the first day of the year as well as doing whatever it is that I wanted to try to do the rest of the year.

Now this translate for me when I was a working inspector to review a set of plans and spec’s on a upcoming project now it is spending time in the shop working or starting on a new project. Spend a little private time with my wife, talk to all of my kids with words of encouragement and now grandkids as well. I also make sure that I listen to some good music, watch a good flick, read a good book and a good magazine article. If on a Sunday go to church if not pray and read the scriptures and spend a little time mediating on who I am and what kind of man I want to be.

Then there is the food that is consumed every New Year’s Day. There are the blackeyed peas for good fortune or luck, “eat poor on the first day and rich the rest”.  Fried okra for the green thereby attracting money to your home to help nourish your family. The meat and deserts didn’t matter it was about being sure that you consumed those two items.

Call it what you will that is ok by me but for me this I must do.  But this I do know some traditions are important that you keep up and for me the ones above are important.

On reflection as I write this it occurs to me that while I don’t write down a list of resolutions for the New Year my tradition of doing what I want to do the first day of the year so that I will do it the rest of year is kind of my own form of resolutions. Only I tend to keep mine.


Well hopefully you see the photo of the cherry wood salt & pepper shaker cabinet hanging on the wall (waxed and hung New Years’ day). I of course see every mistake and think of what I should of done instead of what I did. But that is the nature of anyone who see himself as a craftsman.  But the main thing is my wife likes it.

My next project I am thinking of is a small moveable work island for the kitchen. Still fleshing out the ideal of how I will do it.


Last week my wife came home talking about a conversation she had with a co-worker about an event down in Mexico. The story of how a naturalized US citizen, a mother and her teenage daughter were killed, and another daughter wounded by a hijacker on a bus in Mexico, while visiting relatives.  The Mexican army ultimately shot and killed the hijacker.

Their conversation was not about the event so much but why the family couldn’t afford to send the bodies back to US to be buried. The reason being the $7000 price and the fact that Mexican law requires that a dead person be buried within 48 hours. The amount of money needed and time framed didn’t allow for it.

My wife understood why but her co-worker didn’t. It was inconceivable to her as to why the family couldn’t afford to ship the bodies back. After all it was just $7000.

Because of her position in life, financially secure, a position that she has always been in just couldn’t allow her to see why the family didn’t have the money.  In her world it wasn’t a question of having it but whether you paid for with a credit card or wrote a check for it using money from the savings account.

This wasn’t  the first time my wife had this conversation with her co-worker about similar financial decisions that people make. She just couldn’t understand why people didn’t have the finances to do what they needed to do. She always had been able to.  Here is a little help in understanding my wife’s work environment. It is for a non-profit foundation that typically deals with wealthy individuals and corporations for donations and grants for the work they support. One of her co-workers for example is an acquaintance of the ex-president Bush.

A recent event sponsored in support of their organization was held on a local ranch was a guided quail hunt followed by a meal prepared by a well known Texas Chef of farm quail.  50 people I understand paid $500 a person to hunt and eat.

Anyway,  as my wife was telling me this story I understood a little of the dynamics of why there was a class war going on right now between the have’s and have not’s. Simply they the have’s cannot understand why the 99percenter could not afford to do on their own what they always have been able to.

The bottom line the rich or well off don’t’ think like the rest of us do. Never have and never will. It means we will have to take control of our government programs somehow from them to insure that those in need have what they need. For in the end they can’t understand why you and I can’t save for our old age and afford health care. Therefore can’t see the need of the social programs.

Well enough for now. Have a happy and prosperous 2012.


  1. 2012 will be filled with outstanding posts then Dave since this one posted on New Years Days is...What a great concept of what you do on the first day of the year being so important to the rest of the year...thanks for the new--new years day tradition i am going to steal from you.