Another year has started. I love January as it is a fresh start. A new beginning. A do-over. A second chance. (we all love second chances, right?). A New Year resolution set, maybe it’s a new goal or a redo on last year’s challenge we made. It’s here though. 2018! Ready set, go!
Our new year has the number 8 in it, and in Chinese culture, that is lucky. So we are off to a good start.
Through the years, we have had many friends that are Chinese. Whenever we have moved to a new town, my husband quickly scouts out the Chinese restaurants and inevitably becomes good friends with the owner/managers. He connects with them in a kindred way and there are times when I thought that he has Chinese in his DNA somewhere down the line. My husband is Scottish so it would be a stretch, but still.
My husband moved ahead of our family to take a job in a Midwestern state. During his usual scouting for the best Chinese cuisine, he went into a restaurant and asked the waitress for black pepper chicken. Since it wasn’t on the menu, the owner came out from the kitchen, as he was curious who had ordered it. This was the beginning of a close and wonderful relationship between our two families.
Our 3rd grade son became good friends with their son and our high school daughter with strawberry blonde hair, also became a waitress there. Our family favorite was the Pu Pu Platter which is a combination of appetizers accompanied by a small Hibachi grill.
We moved away years ago and our children have grown into amazing adults, but our friendship remains and maintains, thanks to social media. However, I mentioned the number 8 in 2018 as being lucky, so let’s go back to that.
The number 8 is considered lucky in China, just like the number 7 is considered lucky in the West. The Olympic Games in China start on 08/08/08, for instance. Balance is considered ideal in the Chinese culture. It is believed that of the reasons 8 was chosen as the lucky number is because if you cut 8 in half horizontally or vertically, both halves mirror themselves perfectly. At any rate, our dear Chinese friends even bought a house with 8 in the house number.
Come to think of it, my 5 year old grandson always asks people what their favorite number is and I’m going to say 8 from now on. His favorite number seems to always be how old he is. But for whatever reason 8 is considered lucky, I’m just going to go with it and anticipate a great year.
Living in North Dakota, I have the sheer pleasure of enjoying sub-zero weather. My son-in-law gave me a winter coat that he had modeled for a photo shoot. When I wear it, I don’t feel the cold at all. I look like an Eskimo, but it tames the harshest northern wind and cold that bites. The past few weeks, it has dipped below 0, but thank God, we haven’t had the snow that we had last year!
This past Christmas our family congregated in North Dakota for the first time for our bi-annual gathering. Our past meeting places for our family rendezvous have been in Southern California or dreams of Florida.
Everyone was going to be in our small town for nine glorious days. The big question was, what were we going to do keep us all busy besides sitting around and looking at each other? Would you believe we kept ourselves so busy that we didn’t even get around to decorating the gingerbread houses? Sledding, ice skating, swimming and eating were our main recreations. It’s always fun to get the young cousins together and Getting together when we are scattered from coast to coast is a challenge but we are fierce in making it a point to collect everyone in one place.
The weather cooperated, and allowed us to travel back and forth to our airports. Picking up and dropping off our precious family cargo we didn’t have the stress of dreaded black ice and blinding snow on the freeway. Safe travels are something we are always extremely thankful for when family gets together. It is mandatory to get a family picture when we do get together and we usually have it taken outside. The weather was unforgivably freezing (unlike our last family photo taken on the beach in Malibu) so we opted for a fireplace shot at Dunn Brothers coffee shop, after warming up with hot coffee and muffins.
Summer seems like light-years away, as Christmas-sale merchandise is picked-over, making way for spring planting shipments loading up the shelves.
Before we have the Christmas lights taken down, and the ornaments wrapped back in tissue paper, January birthdays take priority. But now January is gone and there’s only 10 months until Christmas 2018. I’m thinking my new favorite number is anything above 32 (degrees). But at least, in North Dakota, could we please have weather above the lucky number 8?