According to the Chinese calendar, 2014 will be "The Year of the Horse." However, in the Smith family, 2014 will be "The Year of the Dragon."

We celebrated Christmas Eve at our daughter Jennifer's home in Oviedo, FL. It was a special night, warm and loving. They had cut down a seven-foot tree and decorated it with many of the old ornaments left over from my childhood. We stopped having a tree at our house because we spend the holidays at Jen's, so she inherited boxes of decorations.

One of my Christmas gifts was a new robe - soft and warm. Another was a beverage tray to fit the side of our new hot tub (Jim and I bought it as our Christmas gift to each other). A third present was a 2014 calendar that contains family photos for each month. I will treasure that gift all year.

When I opened the last package, tears came to my eyes. It was the "Dragon!"

For those of you who are not aware, I have been suffering with tremors for quite a while. Everything is harder. I had to give up playing a musical instrument, sewing, doing needlework, and even singing (since my voice has so much tremolo I can't hold a note on key). Slicing onions or potatoes has become Jim's job now. And, sometimes I decorate the kitchen in Cheerios when I attempt to carry a full bowl. But, I digress.

The Dragon is a technological wonder that was devised to help people who cannot type use their computers. All you need to do is learn Dragon language and then talk into a microphone. The Dragon will then type out the words you say.

This will most likely be the last column I need to type on my own. Today I am taking the instruction booklet out of the Dragon box and I will begin to learn how to use it. Perhaps it won't take me hours to produce one short column. Maybe I won't click the wrong key and lose all of my writing. Hopefully, my computer and Mr. Dragon will be compatible.

So, dear reader, stay tuned. As we leave 2013 (which was "The Year of the Snake") and plow ahead into 2014, my Dragon will lead the way.

By the way, I was born in 1940 and, according to the Almanac, that year was "The Year of the Dragon." Go figure.

Happy New Year, everyone! Let's have a good one!

If you would like to contact Dr. Smith, she can be reached at her e mail address: or in care of this newspaper.