What do you do to ring in the new year? Monday's Op-Art in The Times made me wonder what we do in Oklachusetts to bring good luck. It seems like we realize that beards are rough on newborn skin, shave a moustache, brave a snow storm to go to a dim sum dinner party, show off our son in his new teddy bear snow suit, return home by 10, fall asleep by 11. On New Year's Day we eat toast with black coffee for breakfast, black-eyed pea soup with kale and ham hock for lunch, homemade carrot-applesauce for a snack, Emily's famous whole grain pancakes for dinner. Oh, and Emmett drinks a quart of breast milk. About the black-eyed peas: I start soaking them at 5:30 in the morning, use a hock that our friend Anne smoked herself, and cook the soup while wearing Emmett in a sling. We eat the dish in memory of the inimitable Betty Brown, my grandmother, who used to make something like it every New Year's Day (probably sans kale). We start a Skype account in the hope of having some conversations with some of you lovely people who also have Skype accounts (If you do, look us up). We thank our lucky stars we have each other and our health. We lounge on the couch and watch East of Eden starring James Dean. That's our New Year's tradition in Oklachusetts. I don't think it's lame at all. I think it's grand.