I am resolved …

I’m staring at my list of resolutions for 2011.

There were 42.

I kept eight. Sort of. I’m not sure “clean the garage to get car in” really counts, because we moved at the end of August and went from a one-car garage to a two-car garage. To say that one car fits in the garage now is a bit misleading without the aforementioned context. But I need all the help I can get, so I’m going with eight resolutions kept.

There’s enough on the list — an epic fail as a whole — to keep me humble. Some I didn’t really attempt, such as: No. 14, Catch a fish in the Hinkson Creek. Hey, it didn’t say “eat a fish caught in the Hinkson.” I mean, who would do that, unless they wanted to grow a third ear or wanted to get an organ transplant? But I didn’t even try. So it will stay on the list for 2012. I also intended to take both of my daughters on a date (No. 31 and 32), and take my son-in-law Darnell on a date (No. 33). Can’t recall doing any of those things. They stay on for 2012, but instead of “date,” I think I’ll say “catch a movie with Darnell.”

I’ll unveil the new list tomorrow — or at some point in the next few days — but I promise to include most of the undone resolutions from 2011, including “Kiss Kelly every day” (No. 22). I’m not sure I did that, and she doesn’t think so, either. What bums me out about that fail is that I achieved No. 35: “Play with a pit bull.” For the longest time, that was the only resolution checked off the list.

I’ll probably go for another 40 or so resolutions. I’ve always planned big, executed not-so-big. Looking back at my childhood journal, one resolution I had for 1976 was “read the encyclopedia.” (That’s right, kids, we had these big, thick books called “encyclopedias,” and we read them. Today you say “Google it.” Back then, we’d say, “Let me read encyclopedia ‘A’,” which I actually did). I got through volume “A” by the end of May and, considering there was still 38 pounds of volumes to read, I figured it was a stupid resolution. So I learned how to spell “aardvark”?

I won’t resolve to break my worst addiction: Fantasy baseball. I had 63 teams in 2010. Last year I had 68 teams. If I can keep the total under 20 … maybe I’ll could do that.

No. 8 in 2011 was “lose 8 percent of my Jan. 1 body weight.” I suppose I could have checked that off, because I technically did lose that much. (Not tellin’ the exact figure). In fact, I lost it a couple of times, if you consider that I lost 4 percent two or three times. But someone at work the other day said that losing the same 10 pounds twice doesn’t really equal 20 pounds. (I’m just throwin’ out some ballpark figures here).

Flash-back …

One of the cool traditions in Southern Baptist life was the “watch-night service” on New Year’s Eve. In SoBapt lingo, “watch-night” meant “party,” but in SoBapt practice, “party” was only a little more lively than “church service,” and not lively in the sense of raising hands in worship (NO!!!) or swaying to music (NOOOOOOO!!!!) It meant maybe eating a fudge covered graham cracker cookie during the service. (What? That was pushing the envelope!)

My little book of life’s journey tells about New Year’s Eve 1974 in Belle, Mo. My dad was pastor of Faith Baptist Church and someone either at the beginning of or before the watch-night service suggested that the weather was just right for a fish fry. Robert Thompson announced that he had a freezer full of fish. It had been a bountiful gigging season. Someone pointed out that Clifford McDaniel had the best hush-puppy recipe in history.  (Point of order: It might have been Clifford with the fish and Robert with the hush-puppy recipe. I was just 11 and might have mis-recorded that detail on account of being sidetracked by the suggestion from one of my peers that we play “spin the bottle” later on that night. And, yes, “spin the bottle” probably got us banned from that special place in Heaven where only Southern Baptists are allowed).

Anyway, we ended up having a fish fry. The next year, watch-night New Year’s Eve 1975, the fish fry moved to our back yard, with a fire right in front of second base at Little Fenway. (Only THE best wiffle ball field ever). It was that night that I was faced with one of life’s most uncomfortable, awkward moments: the spinning bottle pointed from me to my sister, Kathy.)

No, there was no kiss.

My account noted there were 61 people there and Ruby Palmer gashed her head on a kitchen cabinet door that wouldn’t stay shut. I think of that mishap every time I see someone nearly collide with an open cabinet door.

Ahhh, the memories.

Then the party ended, everyone left, and I read the first several pages of Encyclopedia A.


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