“for last year’s words belong to last year’s language,
and next year’s words await another voice.”
art credit: from children’s book, ‘the whisper’ written and illustrated by pamela zagarenski
this year’s celebration is just going to be a low key affair
how will you be welcoming in the new year?
“embrace curiosity, be open, playful, and persistent.”
-Debra Kaye, Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections
image credit: pinterest vintage images, the pickle sisters vaudeville troupe, 1920s
A common story traces the tradition of the twelve lucky grapes, or uvas de la suerte, to grape farmers in Alicante, Spain, who suggested the idea when they had a surplus harvest to unload in the early 1900s. But according to food writer Jeff Koehler, newspaper articles about the tradition from the 1880 suggest it developed from Madrid’s bourgeoisie copying the French custom of drinking champagne and eating grapes on New Year’s Eve.
Either way, Spanish tradition eventually became a superstition that spread to Central and South America. Eating one grape at each of midnight’s 12 clock chimes guarantees you a lucky year—if and only if, you simultaneously ruminate on their significance. (Each grape represents an upcoming month.) If you fail to conscientiously finish your grapes by the time the clock stops chiming, you’ll face misfortune in the new year.
Superstitions tend to be specific, and uvas de la suerte is no different. Most Spaniards eat white Aledo grapes, which farmers in Alicante, Spain, protect from the sun, birds, and other pests by tying paper bags around as they grow. This process, which slows the grapes’ development and allows them to grow a finer skin, produces a grape that’s soft, ripe, and ready to be sold in twelve-packs in December. Now isn’t that lucky?
how many bubbles are in a glass of champagne?
french researcher, gerard liger-belair
has spent more than 15 years studying the drink
and has released his best guess:
that is science, trial and error, trying until you get it right.
in support of his very thorough study,
I may be conducting my own research this evening.
“champagne…it gives you the impression that every day is sunday.”
– marlene detrich
credits: veuve cliquot vintage ad, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, bbc
mister rogers on love
love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like “struggle.” to love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
by far the most important aspect of rogers’s philosophy is the idea that you have to work to keep loving and caring about someone. it’s not a thing that happens once and then ceases. it’s a constant, lifelong process.
Mister Rogers on caring for others around you
if you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. there is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
Mister Rogers on civic duty
we live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. it’s easy to say “it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” then there are those who see the need and respond. i consider those people my heroes.
rogers believed deeply that other people’s problems were also, on some level, his problems. he was careful to take the time to meet with as many fans as possible when he was out in public.
Mister Rogers on change
often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.
the concept of hope was incredibly important to rogers, who spent many an episode of his show trying to help children see past the big, scary thing right in front of them, be it divorce or the bathtub drain, in favor of what might be coming down the line.
Mister Rogers on peace
peace means far more than the opposite of war.
peace, like love or like hope, is an action one can take, something that can be done, not just something that might arrive.
Mister Rogers on solitude
solitude is different from loneliness, and it doesn’t have to be a lonely kind of thing.
most episodes of mister rogers’ neighborhood open with long sequences where it’s just him, talking directly to the camera, in a very calm, soft, still voice. they project a sense of tranquility that feels a little dreamlike, which is probably why the show was so successful. rogers understood that kids (and adults) like, and need, to be soothed now and then.