You may have thought 2020 was The Year of the Pandemic but in Chinese years, it was The Year of the Rat – is that appropriate or what?

The whole “Year of …” concept is based on the lunar year. This Year of the Rat began Jan. 25, 2020 and will not end until Feb. 11, 2021 – about the time I will get my coronavirus vaccine. How appropriate.

I wonder about 2021 because those ancient Chinese astrologers have declared 2021 to be the Year of the Ox. That does not sound very promising, but it sure beats The Year of the Rat.

Somehow, 2020 ended and I did not get to write my annual “what I’m thankful for” column. It is weird, I know. We all thought 2020 would never end and, suddenly, it is over. Hello, the Year of the Ox.

I did not get to thank you, our glorious Tribune readers, who not only read what I write but comment on what I write, good and bad, and suggest great ideas, too.

I did not get to fawn over the luminated peace sign that has been suspended high in the trees along Kingwood Drive near Woodland Hills every Christmas. Unfortunately, there was no peace sign hanging in the trees this year or ever again, because the family responsible moved away. I know this because my intrepid editor, Sarah Mertins, told me. Sarah knows just enough to keep my stories accurate and legitimate and, for that, I am grateful, too.

Because I get to write for The Tribune, I have met remarkable people who make Lake Houston worth inhabiting: Rob Meaux and Julia Nation, who know everything related to Humble, and Diane Blanco, who writes a monthly column imaginative enough that she should deliver it on a national television comedy show.

This is where I get into trouble because Cynthia will not give me enough space to praise everyone who makes writing for The Tribune so enjoyable.

And that leads me to Cynthia and Larry Shiflet, the Tribune founders and owners. Nationwide, newspapers are slashing budgets, going bankrupt, closing. Week after week, issue after issue, though, Cynthia and Larry corral a team that covers the kind of news that average Lake Houston folk like you and me want to know about. The correspondents, myself included, live here, generally know the people and things we write about, and have a deep love for this community. And it all balances on how many local ads Cynthia and Larry’s marketing team can sell.

Looking into my rather cloudy 2021 crystal ball, I predict that Cynthia and Larry’s marketing team will sell lots of ads so the correspondents can write meaningful local stories. I know this because I consulted those ancient Chinese wisemen; you know, the ones that sit on mountaintops dispensing advice.

The wisemen told me that, in the Year of the Ox, which begins Feb. 12, our lucky colors are white, gray and silver – the colors of our redecorated kitchen. We have done something right!

I think Pantone, the New Jersey company that creates colors and claims it is the global authority about all things color, must have consulted those ancient Chinese soothsayers. Pantone has selected their own trendy color – well, colors – of the year. Drum roll. Please welcome to 2021 what Pantone terms bright, joyous yellow combined with light gray.

If you do not trust Chinese astronomers to tell you what is around the corner in 2021, who should you turn to? How about old Abe Lincoln? He said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

So, naturally, I checked my 2021 horoscope. Predictions for the Rat – yup, I was born in the Year of the Rat – are already online.

Listen to this: “This year will turn out to be quite favorable for people born under the sign of the Rat.” I will not experience any financial crunch this year. Those of us born under the sign of the Rat, however, tend to be somewhat lethargic as they are not into the habit of doing extremely hard work. So, the money I accumulated last year will be beneficial this year. My mental tension may increase and 2021 will have mixed outcomes. That is what my horoscope says. It also says I will have major opportunities; I need to keep tabs on my expenses and not go window shopping (it really said this). Best of all, I will be back to my healthy self very soon.

I may be a Rat, astrologically speaking and somewhat lethargic, but that horoscope is just what I needed. Some positive vibes for 2021.

Or as Oprah Winfrey so wisely said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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