Persimmon is IN. Yes, Pantone, that persnickety arbiter of color, has decreed that persimmon is the accent color for 2024. It’s the color of pumpkin, saffron, and orange itself. In a sunny room, persimmon looks sorbet-like, which reminds me of the mushy fruit which became Persimmon Fool, a recipe I adapted from one posted by Jack Weiser, a constant reader here, and one of my classmates at Elizabethtown, (PA) High School.

Without the gift of five luscious persimmons from a generous neighbor, Mila Z., never would I have thought of concocting this dish. Thank you, Mila!


Words for a New Year

In 2023, Breakthrough was my word for the year. I consider publishing my second memoir, My Checkered Life as a breakthrough, so I reached that goal.


Authentic. According to Merriam-Webster, Authentic was word of the year for 2023. In an age of fake news, post-truth, along with the rise of A.I. (artificial intelligence), we have longed for the real, the genuine, the trustworthy. I’ll still vote for that.

Gratitude, another timeless word.


Determination. So what if you think you missed the mark in 2023. The calendar has flipped to a fresh page. You get to start over with new energy and resolve!

James Norbury is the author of Big Panda, Tiny Dragon, a book full of stunning artworks and thoughtful messages of hope, love, shared suffering and understanding ….   (Amazon blurb)


Two Wishes for 2024

For myself: I wish to cultivate my creativity, illustrated exquisitely on the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo: the divine sparking the human.


Just as importantly, I aspire to be less judgmental and care more deeply. . . to see the best in people and be an encourager, affirming rather than criticizing (if only in my mind).

Acknowledging that each person I meet is created in the image of God, Imago Dei. 

Imago Dei is a  “theological term, applied uniquely to humans, which denotes the symbolical relationship between God and humanity. The term has its roots in Genesis 1:27, wherein “God created man in his own image. . .” This scriptural passage does not mean that God is in human form, but rather, that humans are in the image of God in their moral, spiritual, and intellectual nature. It is a concept common to both Judaism and Christianity suggesting that humans can reflect God’s divinity and aspire to express their creativity and free-will to love God, oneself, and others.

To see the best in others is a noble quest for me in 2024.


My wish for you: That you may c o n t i n u e, as Maya Angelou has inspired us to do.

Poem captured from Facebook page, First Presbyterian Church, New Castle, PA.


My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”

To dare to love deeply…. And by doing so, you and your work will be able to continue eternally.

May you view 2024 through the aperture of hope.




What word would you add to the list here: authenticity, gratitude, determination . . .?

Your own wish for the coming year?

A poem or passage that inspires you to reach higher . . . and wider.