Water Mill Community Notes, January 9

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New Year’s seems weeks ago but this is the first Grist for the Mill of 2014 so I must include my best wishes for a wonderful, healthy and prosperous year ahead.It’s that time of year when the Grist mailbag is pretty empty. We’re all spending a lot of time snuggled up in our warm homes, especially this week when we are enveloped in the polar vortex. After two weeks off, including one week during which The Southampton Press offices were officially closed, much of that time spent celebrating with family or simply enjoying the time off, I feel a bit out of the loop and the empty mailbag doesn’t help.

Please help get the grist mill running for 2014 and send me news and notes about you and your family.

At our house, one of the more memorable activities was New Year’s Eve, which we always spend at home—and this year my youngest son had the stamina to go the distance. Just before the ball dropped, as shown on the dreadful coverage of the New Year’s Eve blowout at Times Square, we uncorked the jar that held the “Good Things Happen” notes that my husband and I had placed in there throughout 2013.

Among the good things were good report cards, new cars replacing some very old cars, college graduation, marrying the right girl, music being recorded, and the life of a toad being saved on a June day.

If you’re looking for a way to remember some of the highlights of the year as you head into a new one, I’d suggest creating your own good things jar. It was rewarding looking back and it gave us an appreciation for life’s small—and big—things. I noticed we’ve already got a slip of paper in there for 2014.

And it would not be New Year’s without a resolution to change or do something. My own promise: write an email a day to my mom in Florida. I do speak with her regularly on the telephone and make fairly frequent trips to see her, but I am taking the start of the new year as an opportunity to send her at least a small snippet each day, sometimes relaying a memory from childhood, sometimes sharing some daily minutiae, and sometimes just saying hello.

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