Now bring on 2022

Published 5:23 pm Thursday, December 30, 2021

One year I made a resolution that I was going to learn how to play the guitar.

Being able to sit around the campfire and play and sing the way some people do seemed so important to me at the time. I also thought it might impress my granddaughters.

There was just one problem. I have never had any musical talent. None. Zero. Zilch. My mama could sit down at a piano and play song after song, all the while singing. Daddy? Bless his heart, he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, although this never stopped him from singing.

My only memory of singing aloud with people around me goes back to church days. We always sat in the fourth row from the back, left side. I believe it was “How Great Thou Art,” a song that proved I wasn’t great at all. And I believe in the beginning of the hymn I was on pretty safe ground, but at some point in the song I called upon my vocal chords to jump an octave. This caused heads to swivel toward me in a synchronized movement in the three rows ahead of us, as if they had all heard the wail of a red fox in search of a mate, or someone had cast out a demon in the fourth row from the back.

On that discordant note, I decided lip synching was the righteous thing to do, and so I have since that day.

But the guitar, I thought, didn’t involve using my voice, so I bought one in hopes of strumming beautiful tunes. After a year of torturing myself, I gave up.

What was I thinking–that magic would fly from my fingertips to the strings? Yes, apparently I did.

Playing a guitar well requires practice, patience, a good ear and some musical talent, none of which I seemed to possess. So now I am content to let people like Russ Jordan, Bibi Freer, Carl Monty, Patrick

Crouch and Joe Carvalho make their stringed instruments sing while I do what I’m good at–listening.

Which brings me to helping you with your New Year’s resolutions. My learned advice is to only make resolutions that you know you can keep because you are already doing those things. So here are mine for this year:

–Always return the shopping cart to the cart corral.

–When opening a door, let others go in before you.

–Support local businesses.

–Say thank you.

–I might vote for a Republican, or a Democrat, or an Independent. But I am going to vote.

–Be a vigilant anti-litter person.

–Write truth. Oppose evil.

–Always keep a tight cinch and never let your saddle outrun you.

Now bring on 2022.

Larry McDermott is a retired North Carolina farmer/journalist. Reach him at hardscrabblehollow@gmail.com