New Year’s Day Traditions

New Year’s Day is one of those holidays that is steeped in traditions, some of which are predictors of future events, some of which are actions designed to influence future events.

For many years, Daddy would arise well before daylight and make his way to his his cousin’s farm to hunt quail. He often hunted there and it was believed to be good luck if the first visitor of the New Year was male. My Grandma Holman believed whatever you did on New Year’s Day would be repeated throughout the year. Grandma lived next door and avoided cooking and housework that day. It was one of the few holidays that she really took to heart in her observance.Our family lore includes the story of my Mother, taking advantage of a day off from work and Daddy being out of the house, was doing laundry and hanging it out on clothesline in our backyard. Grandma observed Mother hanging laundry and rushing out to get her to stop as it would doom her doing housework all year. I guess Daddy hunting and visiting with his cousins really fit in with that, too.

In carrying on the family tradition, for the last decade, I’ve made a point to be spending the day in the woods with friends. It’s usually been with whatever four wheel drive club but 2012 finds me “unaffiliated” with a club. My friend, Miles and I decided to head down to George Washington National Forest and ride some trails we’d not ridden in a long time that were remembered as being fairly easy. Since there were only the two of us, we both went in my truck so that we could do some catching up as well.

We got to Harrisonburg late morning and headed towards the lower end of the Second Mountain Trail. It had been a long while since either of us had been there and it was an entertaining ride, just enough challenge but not so difficult as to interfere with the verbal exchange! After we got to the ATV loading area at the top, we started the trail along the top of Dictum Ridge which is part of the Rocky Run ATV loop.Where Rocky Run turns to go down from the ridge and over towards Second Mountain, Dictum Ridge is now closed to motor vehicle travel. Find us on a SPOT map

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Dictum Ridge 2012

"Before" picture from Dictum Ridge taken in 2001

2 thoughts on “New Year’s Day Traditions

  1. I think that sounds like a good way to spend your new years day Keith. I remember mom believed in having cooked cabbage and black eyed peas for dinner as it ment you would have money and luck for the coming new year. As a kid it wasn’t, something you really wanted to eat and cabbage cooking in the house was not the greatest smell. Ha ha.

  2. Further south, the meal of tradition was black-eyed peas and hog jowls for luck. As we were discussing, I’m wondering a bit if that didn’t play into Grandma’s no housework rule as that was something you could start the day/night before?

    At any rate, wishing you and yours the best in 2012.

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