Well, here we are in January 2014. After a whirlwind holiday season, I am proud to admit that I was amongst the couch potatoes who stayed home on New Year’s Eve watching TV, specifically channel 7’s “Rocking Eve.” I found the whole show to be high-energy, and I hope to have that blast all year long.

Along with the New Year, I’ve made a few resolutions, the first of which you can hold me to:

  1. My husband gave me a digital camera for Christmas, so I resolve to take more photos this year as soon as I load the SD card.
  2. My second resolution is not to let anyone be mean to me. As it is my mission to be kind and considerate to everyone I meet, I think it’s time that I demand or, at the very least, request that others treat me the same, don’t you?
  3. The third resolution is to hold tight and believe that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, as perseverance is the name of the game, the secret and the precursor to making dreams come true.

The Mitchells of New York (that’s us) spent a few days over the winter break with the Mitchells of Philadelphia (the in-laws), and it was quite nice. Stepmom-in-law Lloyd Martin Mitchell fixed a soul food dinner with potato salad and fried chicken, complements of the new Shop Rite grocery store located in North Philly. She also had a Smithfield ham flown in from Virginia. I really don’t know if it was flown or arrived via truck, but in any event, it was very tasty.

Also on the menu were pig feet and chitlins. While I do eat bacon, ham and ribs along with a good chop, I have my boundaries. I do not nor have I ever or will I ever eat chitlins or anybody’s feet. I did, however, pour some hot sauce on the fried chicken and collard greens.

The next evening, it was over to the holiday party hosted by the Philadelphia chapter of the Circleletts. Our hosts were Wilhemenia and Jarrett Jackson. Even though Wilhemenia Jackson is the current club president, she still found time to be ever so gracious. The DJ was smoking, the food delish and atmosphere very festive. Among the folks, there were Wes and Renee Allen; Margie Chew; Reggie and Mark Johnson along with their mom, Percenia; Dr. Albert Mitchell, who made a miraculous recovery after having been ill for over a month; Nancy Jean Sewell; Leslie Cousins; Leslie Moore; Kitorah Dior; Debbie and Diane Chew; Willadean Bains; Judge Frederica Messiah-Jackson; Judge Patrice Tucker; and Philadelphia Tribune columnist Pat Clifford, plus others just too festive to mention.

The evening topped off a somewhat sad day, as earlier many had attended the memorial service for Leila Cecelia Ransier Skipper, wife of Leigh Skipper, mother of Leigh Michael and John. She passed away on Dec. 21, 2013, after a four-month bout with cancer. Originally a New Yorker, Skipper was born Sept. 30, 1928, and raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. She attended Bushwick High School, graduated from Brooklyn College and obtained her Masters of Arts from Hunter College in 1953.

She and Leigh Skipper married in 1957 and were inseparable through 56 years of marriage. Shortly thereafter, the Skippers moved to New Canaan, Conn., where she taught in the public school system for 25 years. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired in 1999 that they relocated to Philadelphia. Well-liked and well-known in both states, the couple enjoyed life to the fullest.

Traveling to Philly from New York for the memorial service were the Pattersons, as in Basil, Porcia, son Daniel with his wife, Eloise, and their two sons, Carter and Basil, as they all have been long-time friends.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Long Island Chapter hosted their annual Black & White Candlelight Ball this year at the utterly chic Jericho Terrace in Mineola, N.Y. The snow eased up just in time for revelers to arrive, with men in black ties and ladies in gowns joining for an evening of pure delight.

The evening began with one of the nicest cocktail receptions I have ever been a part of. Instead of standing at a bistro table or milling around aimlessly, guests were invited to partake of appetizers from four different food stations then sit at a table of their choice. It was such a great change of pace not to have to juggle a plate and a glass while managing several different passed-around hors d’oeuvres on a napkin. The music was just the right volume, barely audible but loud enough to tap your feet and have a decent conversation as people table-hopped, greeting one another for the new year.

Shortly thereafter, guests were led into the ballroom, where the 2014 presentations, dinner and dancing all took place. Receiving Trailblazer Awards were Shola Lynch, director, producer and writer of Realside Productions and curator of moving images at the Schomburg Center; Kimberley A. Martin, Jets beat writer for Newsday; Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O., vice president of health science and medical affairs at the New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Les Payne, author and journalist.

Accepting Shero Awards were Alice T. Cone of Suffolk County and Barbara V. Powell Sr. of Nassau County. Each of the recipients are so accomplished in their respective fields, it was an honor to be in their presence. The awards were presented by Nicky Hendricks-Holman, Angela Stanley (both of whom were co-chairs for the evening), Wilma Holmes Tootle (president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Long Island Chapter) and Dr. Michele Reed, D.O.

The invocation was given by President Emeritus Julie Dade-Howard, with acknowledgements made by Elita Shite, first vice president. Author of the book “When Did You Know … He Was Not The One?” Judy Bolton served as master of ceremonies.

Sponsors for the evening included Bank of America, AARP, New York Life Insurance Company and the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Research, currently located in Harlem Hospital. Donations were made to Sunny Farmingdale College and the Nassau and Suffolk community colleges.

Among the many guests who danced to the music of the Warren Daniels Orchestra were W. Scott Kershaw, Esq.; TV and radio personality Angelique Perrin; Michele Ware; Kennetha Pettus; Dr. Monique Harvey; Jeannetta Alexander, Esq.; and Lorraine Aycock, vice president of Bank of America.

The event was a perfect way to start off the new year and a good way to end this week’s column.

Until next week … kisses