Soul Food
December 31, 2012, 5:04 PM
Filed under: Climate Change, Liveable Communities, Reducing Waste, Uncategorized, Urban Living


The Holidays all have one thing in common: traditions. From cookouts on July 4th to decorating the Christmas tree, we all have them in one form or another. Part of  my traditions center around food;  cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving and homemade buckeyes for Christmas. And for the New Year, it’s always Hoppin’ John and an iron skillet of cornbread with a side of cooked greens (and a coin hidden in the pot for good luck). Soul food. I’m not particularly sentimental, and I’m certainly not superstitious, but tied up somewhere in all that  teary, starry starry night, lady luck, hocus- pocus is a certain comfort and pride of heritage as well as a longing for peace and a good life. If a coin in the greens is the key to that, then, by golly, drop the coin in the pot!

Other than family, there’s not a whole lot we can count on that remains steady and cherished throughout our lives, is there? That’s where traditions come in. The beginning of a new year is always filled with hope and resolve for me. I usually make a resolution or two,  and occasionally I manage to actually keep them. Like in 2011 when I resolved to write and send out a card or letter each week ~ I called it “52 in 52” and it was a fun ‘chore’ that I got a lot out of. After living in town now for 6 months and walking to the places I need to go, I’ve noticed a lot of trash lying about. So, in the spirit of 52 in 52, I resolve to take a plastic bag with me on my daily walks and pick up that trash. I’ll recycle what I can and it’ll be a good way to reuse those pesky plastic bags that are breeding under my kitchen sink in spite of serious birth control efforts on my part to keep them from reproducing. In researching this post, I called Johnson City’s  Iris Glen landfill and was told that it now costs $42 per ton, with a one ton minimum, to take garbage there. That’s up from $15  per ton just two years ago! The reasons for that big jump? “Landfill space is at a premium and we’re dealing with increasing fuel costs”.  Just a sign of what’s yet to come.

If you know anything about me or this blog at all, you know that I’m concerned about our collective futures~both yours and mine! I sincerely believe that the best way to deal with Peak Oil, Climate Changes and a sour economy is to work together on solutions to these issues. Picking up garbage and trash in my neighborhood sure ain’t life changing, but it’ll be a way, MY way, of showing my neighbors in a non confrontational way that we’re all interconnected, even if it’s only through our trash. I hope my ‘new tradition’ will help make ours a more livable community and will, best of all, feed my soul. I don’t know about you but I need all the soul food I can get these days folks. Happy New Year friends!



2 Comments so far
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I really like the development of this post, from simply connecting with your food and traditions, to connecting with the whole community. Sounds like you’re a really good neighbour 🙂 Keep up the good work!

Comment by karisdowsell

[…] Soul Food […]

Pingback by Slower, smaller, quieter, poorer « tennesseetransitions

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