Off with High Hopes, a New Year’s Essay by Linda Scott DeRosier

Off with High Hopes, a New Year’s Essay by Linda Scott DeRosier

Kentucky native Linda Scott DeRosier is the author of Creeker: A Woman’s Journey and Songs of Life and Grace: A Memoir.


About thirty years ago Arthur and I had packed up everything we owned and made our personal hejira from Tennessee to Idaho to begin a new life together.

Kentucky author at the Kentucky Oaks, 2009

There was little in Idaho that was familiar to either of us but the people were welcoming, we had each other and a vision for the school where we’d landed. About three weeks in, a young board member Barry, his wife Margaret and five-year-old son Martin invited us to go on a hike to see the ruts left by the wagons on the Oregon Trail. Neither of us were hikers but Arthur-the-historian was beside himself at the thought of seeing this historic evidence of American spirit.

Anyway, we drove out to their ranch, got a picnic lunch together and soon found ourselves in the car — Margaret and me in the back seat, five-year-old Martin between us; no car seats in those days.

As we readied ourselves to go, Martin said, “and we’re off with high hopes!”

We all laughed and headed out for a fun and interesting day and a good start to our western adventure and Arthur and I had a mantra for almost any beginning (and there were many) or first step toward anything for the rest of our lives. The first day of classes, the beginning of a fund drive, a trip to the Middle East, an accreditation visit, dinner with a particularly difficult giver, a job interview, as we settled into our seats on the Concorde, and always, always as we began each new year we’d assure each other “and we are off with high hopes.”

Today my whole family–especially Sister–uses this little phrase to remind each other to expect the best; can’t hurt.

And so for 2013, I want to wish all you who have sent along such nice comments the happiest of new years and suggest that we are all in this together and hope you will be off with high hopes for a long, long time to come.

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