New Year’s Eve found us pulling the Kat’s Cradle 200 miles from an armpit of a campground outside Birmingham to the luxury of Timberland RV Park on the shores of Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson, Mississippi. 200 miles is about our maximum pull, and after two hours each of watching for maniacs to do stupid things in merge lanes or respond to our turn signals by blocking the lane change needed to follow our route, nobody felt like champagne. Chicken pot pies hit the spot. Somewhere there was a cruise ship on the Atlantic Ocean, maybe six to nine hundred miles east of Virginia, and we gave up on old the year right after that ship’s band played Auld Lang Syne.
The New Year dawned perfectly, clear and cool. I found the camp’s laundry and caught up on that chore. Another camper came in explaining “I want to get this done early, so I can do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day.” I wanted to watch LSU in the Outback Bowl, and visit ol’ buddy Walt. To me, that’s way more than nothing. But by this fellow’s standard, I have spent the past year doing nothing. Mission Accomplished!
LSU muddled through to a close win. Running back Jeremy Hill has nothing left to prove at the college level. He will leave a year too soon for LSU fans, but at the right time for him. Leonard Fournette cannot arrive in Baton Rouge too soon. Heaven forbid that he picks Tuscaloosa. By my count the SEC should go at least 6-3 in bowl games. That’s solid, and 7-2 including an Auburn or Missouri upset, is outstanding. Who else has nine teams in bowl games? The SEC: it’s still the toughest league in football.
Walt fixed us up with a fine, far better than traditional, New Year’s Day lunch. The southern tradition requires black-eyed peas and some pork. The former sets the tone for the necessities in the coming year, and the pork represents some of the finer things in life. I pitched in some Cock o’ the Walk cornbread, and our host presented an excellent new cole slaw recipe including red onions, with other sides of baked beans, and potato salad. He went over the top with Tony Roma barbecued ribs, Beck’s beer, and domestic champagne. Don’t that sound like a feast to you? Well it was.