Goodbye 2010–Hello 2011

I was going to write this note a few days ago, but then I could not think of one thing from 2010 that I wanted to write about—2010 is right up there with 2005 in terms of SUCKING. But things got much better today, so I do have something pleasant to write about.
First, I went to the dentist—it had been a while, and I figured I was going to be following this visit with a series of visits over the next couple of months. Nope. No cavities. Other than having to use a sand blaster to get my teeth clean, it was a real good visit.
When I finished with the dentist, I went to my mailbox and then to Fresh Market (a yuppy supermarket). As I wandered around the store, I stumbled across one of those little “coffee dispensers” that they use to give away coffee samples. Except this one had eggnog in it, not coffee. For me, this was incredibly good fortune.
You see, every year at this time, I feel compelled to buy a bottle of eggnog and drink it. I suppose this is a nod to my mother. Mom was a horrible cook. The only person who ever said that they liked her cooking was my Dad, and I am pretty sure that his taste buds were shot off in WWII by Nazi snipers. Or,  it may have had something to do with him getting his “husbandly needs” filled. I’m not sure.  But there were a handful of things that Mom made that were really very tasty.
Eggnog was one of them, but probably not the very best. She made really good chocolate-chip cookies, as a bunch of my high school friends can attest to. I’ve never found pumpkin pie any better than hers. Probably, the best, though, was blackberry cobbler. My memory may be distorted on the cobbler. No “store bought” berries for her. Nope. She went to the berry patch and picked fresh blackberries. That meant I went to the berry patch and “helped.” Truth is, I ate more than went in the bucket.
You could identify the blackberry patch real easy—it was surrounded by shrubs with razor-sharp, one-inch thorns  and infested with all sorts of venomous snakes—rattlers, copperheads, and the occasional king cobra. After an hour or two of  terror in the berry patch, we would go home with a bucket of fresh blackberries. Then she would bake the cobbler while I was hidden away in my bedroom, down on my knees thanking God that I was still alive and had 3/4ths or so of my blood left. I’d make all sorts of outrageous promises like going to church every Sunday and not making sarcastic remarks under my breath when the preacher said something really stupid. Terror does that to you.
Before too long, she would yell to me to come and get a piece of the cobbler. This was a “West Virginia farm hand” size portion in a bowl with cream and sugar. It was heaven—of course, most things probably taste better when you have just faced death and won. Fortunately, she never gave me liver and onions after one of these escapades.
So, I have some fond memories now. That little bit of eggnog made me realize how great I have it. Well, for one thing, if I want blackberries, I just go to the store and buy them. I don’t have to risk life and limb for the damned things!
To a great 2011.