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Monday, February 26, 2024

A few personal thoughts for the New Year from Positively Naperville

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Above / Remember, the Naperville City Council meets for the first time this year at 7PM Tues., Jan. 16, 2024, in Council Chambers, just up the steps from this lighted tree standing in place of the fountain in front of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle Street. Take time to pause, reflect and pay attention to all local governing bodies during this leap year.

Kindly note that while February 29 makes the year a day longer, all the events leading up the U.S. presidential election, coinciding every four years with leap year, truly make the year seem extra long. Become educated and prepared to vote in the Illinois Primary on March 19, followed by the Presidential Election on Nov. 5. Help make the campaign season bright!

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading Positively Naperville, in print monthly and digitally daily!

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The January 2024 publication is in the works.

For 20 years, it’s been PN’s policy to go to print about a week after New Year’s Day to avoid being tossed out with the holiday wrappings. The first issue for 2024 likely will be distributed beginning January 10.

PN looks forward to providing a preview of the next 12 months, one month at a time.

Meanwhile, thanks for finding PN online at www.positivelynaperville.com.

Stay healthy and safe! Again, many thanks for reading PN!

Note the illuminated cabin up in Moser Tower where the grand musical instrument is played by City Carillonnuer Tim Sleep via a keyboard. Clappers that are connected by a direct mechanical linkage to the keys of the keyboard move to strike the bells, creating music from sounds of 72 bells of all different sizes. “Big Joe” is the biggest bell. (PN Photo)

A few notes about New Year’s Eve at Moser Tower

After a two-year concert hiatus due to rehabilitation on the 160-ft.-tall Moser Tower with its 72-bell carillon, once again NYE created a gift of time to ring in the New Year with sounds of music. Beginning at 11:45PM, City Carillonneur Tim Sleep performed a short program of seasonal tunes that included “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” and “Over the Rainbow.”

Folks gathered at Rotary Hill, contributing to the countdown at midnight followed by a peal on the peals and “Auld Lang Syne.” The temperature was 31 degrees with gusts of wind that made it seem colder. Some folks stayed warm inside their cars. Other folks were atop “Sled Hill” covered with blankets as 2023 was a wrap.

At midnight firecrackers could be heard and fireworks could be seen in the distance.

Across the Riverwalk Quarry, Nichols Library shines in the darkness along with the illuminated tree in front of the Naperville Municipal Center. In the distance, Ss. Peter and Paul is aglow. (PN Photo)

Looking toward the bright lights throughout downtown Naperville, the 250-ft. magnificent steeple of Ss. Peter and Paul also was aglow.

“It wasn’t like the old days when we had the spotlights and handed out bells, cookies, hot chocolate, and George Pradel led the countdown,” Sleep said afterward.  “But so it goes…”

Sleep also added to watch for dates of the spring concert season to be announced in April.

Cheers to traditions of good luck for happy days in 2024!

For good luck, my husband grew up eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. His mother hailed from Mississippi and his dad from Arkansas. Thanks to his father’s corporate job of transfers back and forth from New York to Texas, Jim was born in Houston. Though Houston is not really part of the “South,” his mother always made it seem that way. New Year’s Day phone calls with his parents always included the query from his mother, “Have you had your black-eyed peas?”

All the while our daughter provided service and hospitality at Heaven on Seven for 14 years when the Cajun restaurant was located along Main Street in downtown Naperville, she welcomed folks to try “Hoppin’ John” during brunch every New Year’s Day. Enjoying the mix of collard greens and black-eyed peas is a New Orleans-style tradition for good luck and prosperity.

Back home in Indiana, I recall my Aunt Frannie always insisted we eat grapefruit for good health. Aunt Frannie taught grade-school and always was mindful that January is the time to try to dodge cold and flu season.

My days in the cake art business in New York City as a young adult required public health classes with advice responsible for setting food safety standards every day of the year. Instructors advised us to roll up our sleeves and wash hands thoroughly, including just above our wrists, timed as long as it takes to sing a verse of “Happy Birthday.”

Perhaps this New Year’s Day sing the first verse of “Old Lang Sang.” 

Should old acquaintance be forgotAnd never brought to mindShould old acquaintance be forgotAnd auld lang syne

While washing your hands, bid farewell to germs. Just don’t wash away your common sense.

Cheers to good health and prosperity while also taking time to enjoy the great outdoors whenever possible.

Finally, thanks to all who serve to protect and contribute to our safety every day. And remember, it’s up to all of us to pay attention.

—Stephanie Penick, PN

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.

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