New Year’s Eve 2021: More Patience, More Kindness


I am staring into the bottom of my soup pot, where a browning ham hock and a pile of chopped onions await their companion of black-eyed peas–a new year’s eve tradition hearkening back to my southern roots.

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Shopping for dried black-eyed peas in Seattle can be the equivalent of seeking Beluga caviar for a different demographic; but I find them eventually on the bottom shelf — a couple of lonely bags that may have been sitting there since last year, such is their longevity and desirability in this neck of the woods.

It has been another difficult year for the travel industry and those who would like to travel. Today’s headlines scream (as headlines are wont to do) about flight cancellations, venue closures, event rescheduling and so on. At the same time, creativity, ingenuity, and flexibility have allowed many of us to get back out there and see a bit of the world even if it is just to grandma and grandpa’s house.

I have read the headlines about misbehavior, malice, even violence on airlines, due to mask requirements. I observed, however, on the four flights I took during 2021, kindness, patience and adherence to rules meant to protect us all. So, there is that. More patience, more kindness.

In the last third of 2021, the world has come to us in the form of folks fleeing Afghanistan moments ahead of a hostile takeover. A group I volunteer with has been actively involved with the medical resettlement process. There are stories of heroism, loss, shock and relief.

The upheaval is beyond the scope of experience for most of us. In the midst of this, I have seen continuing local generosity from the sheriff’s office and translators, to medical teams and religious communities. More patience, more kindness.

Into the pot go the peas, spices, broth, pepper and salt. The aroma of years fills the kitchen. It smells of New Year’s Eve excitement, of staying up late, sipping champagne, reminiscing, resolutions, and the new year’s first kiss.


We at Sleeps5 don’t know what 2022 will bring, especially in the way of travel, but to you and yours, we hope it brings more patience and more kindness.



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