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Posted: December 31, 2013 5:00 p.m.

January memories can warm the heart

The holidays are almost over. The joy that we share and the smiles we offer to strangers seem only to last for a few weeks.

For some of us, the time is here again to think about making resolutions that we rarely keep. However, with persistence and an annual promise, we may clean out closets of shoes and old clothing that no longer are worn.

Some of us have clothes from the 1980s, thinking one day we can make a real fashion statement. Not likely!

Vows and resolutions are important, and January is a great month to at least rediscover one’s self.

January also is a great month for organizing our homes, something we’ve been vowing to do throughout the other 11 months of the year, no doubt. Recently I purchased a triple-tiered organizer. So far, it isn’t hung. I’m aiming for January.

I’m also happy to celebrate other cultures, and Jan. 31 marks the beginning of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration. I have a collection of chopsticks, so during this time I will bring them out to enjoy. Upcoming is the year of the Wooden Horse.

I didn’t know before I started researching Chinese New Year that the color orange symbolizes good fortune and wealth. I painted my kitchen orange this year.

I am waiting for my wealth; I already have the good fortune, just by being healthy and having a loving family and good friends.

On New Year’s Eve, some people attend church services. Churches call it "Watch Night.’’ Years ago, I traveled to my hometown to attend Watch Night with my parents. When the service was over and the church door opened, there was a lovely sight to see: Everything, absolutely everything, was covered with snow.

Our minster would always stand at the front door to shake hands with his flock.

Several of my friends (boys) got the bright idea that they would make snow balls and throw them at people leaving the church. And so they did. When the minister got in on the snowball fight, everybody else joined in. This was one of the best times I can recall having at a Watch Night service.

For me, January holds special memories. Both of my parents were born in January. My father, the only boy in a set of triplets, was born Jan. 1, 1918. I have a sign in front of my house that reads: "Let it snow." I am wishing for a small bit of snow, not too much, just a little. Last year I didn’t have any opportunity to use my new shovel, so perhaps in 2014 I will.

Happy New Year to all of you.

Dorothy Frazier Piedrahita welcomes reader comments. She can be reached at

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