Good evening from New York on New Year's Day, 2017.
Yesterday I posted this photograph on my Instagram page.
It was a light hearted illustration of my jar of what remained of the dried black eyed peas that I bought a year ago. While growing up in Virginia, I was made aware of the strong tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day in order to bring luck for the rest of the year.
In the last week of 2016, I experienced several appliance finales. My old hair dryer stopped working. My five-year old printer decided that five years were enough. I felt as if the black eyed peas I'd prepared and consumed on the first day of 2016 might be losing their power.
I've bought new appliances that seem to be working just fine.
This afternoon, as I was beginning to cook some of the dried peas from the pictured jar, I also began putting away the baubles I'd chosen to decorate my apartment for the week of Christmas, including that chain of golden stars draped around the pea jar.
I was listening, via my laptop, to three hours of BBC Radio 4 vintage Sherlock Holmes broadcasts. All was going well.
I finished carefully putting the Christmas ornaments away in their anointed place on a top shelf in one of my two closets. The 2017 black eyed pea concoction, seasoned in Near Eastern style, was just about ready to eat. The Sherlock Holmes tribute was over.
I poured a glad of Merlot, served up my lucky supper, and returned to John le Carre's The Pigeon Tunnel, my current book of choice.
Dinner tasted very good. My reading was transporting me to Moscow. And then, I heard several popping sounds from the next room. Going to investigate, I saw that two boxes of my carefully stowed beloved Christmas baubles had escaped their perch on that top shelf. Some had burst into glittering glass fragments on impact, but others seemed to be unharmed.
My lucky black eyed pea supper was interrupted so that I could clear up the mess around the folding door to the closet and see how many baubles had survived.
Like spreading spilt milk, the initial view of the broken glass was more alarming that what closer investigation showed. I tried to be like Sherlock in my calm investigations, while mourning the loss of some irreplaceable ornaments. I got out my broom and swept the affected floor space.
I repacked the baubles and returned them to a more secure perch on their shelf. Back to the lucky peas and the le Carre memoir.
In just over an hour, I'll be able to view the the new television Sherlock Thatcher episode that those of you all across the Atlantic have already seen. Tomorrow will be another day, with or without additional luck.
Thank you all for your visits and comments here throughout 2016. It's now so difficult to know where the wind will be blowing in the coming year. I look forward to trading comments with you all, and enjoying stretching my horizons via blog land.