Hopefully next year will bring luck

By Karl Terry: CNJ columnist

If you’re like me you’re glad to leave 2009 behind.

Good luck didn’t seem to visit often in the year past for most of us. We’ve got to do something to change our luck in 2010.

There are plenty of superstitions and customs connected with bringing in the new year right. I’ve always observed a few of them but it may be time to get a little more serious about having a lucky new year.

On New Year’s Eve I started a big pot of black-eyed peas in the slow cooker. Southern custom says they’ll bring you good luck and fortune if you eat them on New Year’s Day. I believe I’ve had them every New Year’s Day of my life and I’m not rich yet but with green chile, onion and garlic they’re not bad once a year.

They say that eating well in the new year is dependent on how you dine the first day. This year it was a t-bone steak on the grill along with the black-eyes. I could stand to eat a few more steaks in the coming year.

One custom I’ve not missed in nearly 30 years is kissing my love at midnight. A kiss at midnight is supposed to bring lots of romance in the new year. I’ve also found that not giving your sweetie a kiss at midnight can bring you bad luck as well. Don’t do it and the black eye will be on your face. You’ll need the steak to bring the swelling down.

In general it is said that however you spend your day on Jan. 1 will be a harbinger of how you’ll occupy your days during the new year. I used to try to go fishing every year on New Year’s Day. My wife’s not a big fan of fresh-caught fish and she wants to spend her year close to me so we do something together like watch a movie.

I’ve never been a big fan of setting off fireworks myself but loud noises are supposed to scare off evil spirits. This year my neighbors did a good job of exorcising our neighborhood. I’m not too worried about evil spirits with sensitive hearing as long as I’m sleeping next to my snoring wife. Ghost Busters got nothing on this gal.

An interesting belief that I’m not sure I had ever heard of warns against washing clothes or dishes on New Year’s Day. It’s said that the washing could symbolize someone close to you being washed out of your life. Like curtains to a loved one.

“Wait dear. Don’t put that load of dirty underwear in the washer just yet.”

I thought about observing the custom of opening all the doors at midnight to allow the old year to escape. I also thought about all the heat in the house escaping and ruining my chances at fortune in the coming year. Besides, the neighbors’ fireworks were making the dog nervous with all the doors closed.

I’m not sure if there is any effect good or bad when we have a blue moon on New Year’s Eve but we had one this year and won’t have another until 2028.

I think about all that’s left to do at this point is rub my lucky rabbit’s foot, tuck a four leaf clover under my pillow, cross my fingers and pull the covers over my head until good fortune comes knocking in 2010.