I have not made New Years resolutions in a long time, mostly because I tend to forget them somewhere around Jan. 2.
I’m making resolutions this year. I intend to keep them, too.
For starters, I will eat less, drink less and exercise more. I was in shape once. I will get there again.
And I will devote more time to the garden and less to the computer. I'm tired of the silliness of Facebook and sports message boards, anyway.
In any event, my wife and I have long filled our yard with flowers of all sorts – roses and lantanas and petunias and geraniums and begonias, marigolds and hyacinth bean vines and, my favorite, jade plants. But despite an occasional stab at tomatoes or squash, we've shied away from growing vegetables.
That changes in 2013. I will grow collard greens and cucumbers and pole beans and squash and tomatoes. Watermelon and cantaloupes, too. I may even try to get our grass to grow lush and thick, though drought and my reluctance to use a sprinkler and put further pressure on our well and the aquifer may again limit green grass.
Mostly, it’s going to be a year for living earnestly and, I hope, kindly.
I’ll become handier, replace boards and fix ceiling fans and light switches and replace windows and leaky pipes.
In short, If I can’t fix it or replace it, I’ll learn how.
I’m also going to get serious about writing fiction, and reading. There are stories to write, and thousands of books to read or re-read, from a biography of Gen. Patton my wife bought me for Christmas to collections of Sherlock Holmes stories and countless others in between. Real books, too, not electronic images on screens.
In the area of personal improvement, I plan on listening more and talking less and driving safer. And though I'm not a social person, I may even join a club or two – Sons of Confederate Veterans and the American Legion are possibilities. So are the Ogeechee Riverkeepers and The Dolphin Project, if they'll have me. We need to preserve our shared history and protect our environment before both are swallowed whole and erased forever by whatever this is that calls itself "progress."
But most of all, my becoming a better husband, son, brother and friend is a must. So I resolve to spend more time with my wife, go fishing with Dad more, have more lunches with Mom – I’ll keep in closer touch with my sister and her kids, too.
And there's still more I need to do.
I need to get back up to where my family comes from in the Upstate of South Carolina. That’s where my youngest sister is buried since she was killed in 1985 and I need to help tend to her grave. That I haven't done so in years bothers me.
While there, I will visit cousins and see the places in those rolling red clay hills and rocky foothill beginnings of the Blue Ridge Mountains where my ancestors for a dozen or more generations lived out much of their lives. I wish I could have known them better, but it's not too late to know about them now.
Most of all, in 2013 I hope to not waste any more time.