New Year

Usually the approaching new year would hold hope for better times. Maybe some self improvement or an adventure to plan.  Now?  Well now I am afraid.  Afraid that humankind will self-destruct.  Afraid that the future holds hard times and that no heroes are coming to rescue us.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Well I am trying but it seems cruelty is more contagious than kindness and power more enticing even than lust.

We are our own worst enemy in so many ways.  To begin with there are too many of us. The earth’s resources are finite, yet we breed like rabbits and crowd ever more of us into tiny spaces and lament the lack of basic needs.  Of course we continue to thin the herd in atrocious manners.  War.  War takes lives everyday and with so many people murdering each other you would think that these lost lives would leave more resources for the survivors.  It doesn’t work.  Famine and disease do their part as does natural disaster.  Then there are those deaths from violence on our streets, in our schools and churches by deranged individuals trying to eliminate “the others”.  But the earth remains over populated and is becoming so polluted that it cannot sustain its occupants.

It seems to me that the world is a very dangerous place and some time only a few, if any, humans will be left after we have destroyed each other fighting for who gets the water and who gets the food.  With ever more lethal weapons with which to wage war it will become, has become, possible to eradicate whole nations of people, to make cities into flat deserts, to poison rivers and change forests into blackened stumps.

A few people subscribe to the survival of the fittest theory.  That the strong and resilient will remain to inhabit the earth.  Maybe.  But these may not be the best of us.  The poets, the dreamers, the kind and loving souls are not suited to bloody conflict.  I fear a new world of victorious warriors.  Triumphant men for whom the end always justifies the means and for whom the preservation of self is everything.

This new world, if it comes, will not be new at all.  It will be akin to the dark ages, except with better technology.  Who ever has achieved a position of power will allow no ideas to flourish except to advance their own agenda.  Personal freedom will not exist and should there be any hint of rebellion those who dare will be summarily vanquished. There will be no recorded history available to inspire change.  Education will be limited to only that which is needed to maintain the rulers in their position. It will be a dark and hopeless place.  I won’t see this new world, if it comes, but I fear for those who will.

With these dark and desperate thoughts on my mind I find that the daily mundane end-of-year assessments and new year plans take too much energy.  Like everyone else that I know I do each day what the day requires.  I put my positive attitude on with my mascara in the morning and tend to my various obligations. I will shop and make dinner, clean house and walk the dog, laugh with my husband, counsel the grandchildren, check on the mother-in-law, visit the neighbors and maybe write about it on here.  I will live.  What else, really, can one do?

Actually, I will also continue to complain to all my elected representatives and to attend protests and confront bullies and make my opinions available. We must do what we can where we are and hope for better days.

New Year


I am sitting here in my recliner looking at my Christmas tree.  It’s the same artificial  tree I have used for the last few years.  There was one much the same before this one but one string of lights stopped working and I gave it away and bought the current tree.  Trying to fix a string of lights used to piss me off big time so I don’t do that any more.  Same with live trees; too much aggravation so we switched to the plastic stuff.

We accumulated the ornaments for this tree during fifty years of marriage.  Early on we decorated with a lot of tinsel and strung pop corn.  Now the tree is trimmed with a collection of ornaments, no two alike and each with a memory attached.  There are ceramics made by my mom and sister, Hallmarks to mark particular years, gifts from the grand parents, trinkets from trips we made and special hand-me-downs. Prominently displayed near the top is a red glass globe with stripes of blue, yellow pink, green and white.  It is the only one I have that belonged to my maternal grandmother.

Bammy died very young when I was about four years old so my memories of her are those from early childhood that live in the mind as moments and images rather than events.  I can taste a butterscotch sundae and transport my self back to the window booth at the corner drugstore just a block away from my house.  The house belonged to Bammy and Popaw. My parents, my brother and I lived with them at that time to help take care of Bammy who was very ill.  Even so, she felt well enough at some point in time for she and I to walk to the drugstore and have a butterscotch sundae prepared by either Gracie or Ethyl who worked the soda fountain.  It was a special treat to walk down the street holding her hand and greeting neighbors on their porches.  She knew everybody and everybody seemed happy to see her.

My grandmother spent most of the last part of her life in a bed that had been moved into the living room where she could see out the window.  Friends often walked up on the front porch and visited with her through the open window for just a few minutes since she did not feel up to going out.  I remember sitting by her on the bed to read story books.

I don’t remember her dying but going to see her at the funeral home is still clear in my mind.  My dad walked with me and picked me up to see her lying there, so very still.  Her brown hair was done up in waves on top, she was dressed in a dark dress, either navy or black, with a white lace collar.  Only the top half of the casket was open and I could not see her feet.  We sat down on a pew and several people I knew stopped and either patted my head or kissed my cheek.  I remember that I wore white gloves.





I was thinking about what kinds of things I remember as I sat waiting in a doctor’s office.  It seems that I have always had this capacity to entertain myself inside my head.  If this has to have a name let’s call it imagination.  Anyway, I amuse myself with memories some times and today I was trying to decide what my first real memory is.

There are events from childhood that I remember my family talking about and I can’t be sure if I remember them or if I just remember the story about them.  For instance, I remember the story about  how my new born brother peed in my face the first time I watched him get his diaper changed.  I used to think maybe I remembered that but if I ever did I don’t remember it now.

So as I sat quietly waiting I came up with a first real memory that I am sure happened just as I recall it.  I don’t remember everything about this memory to tell it as one would a story because it is not like that.  It’s more about recreating the moment.  I remember my dad taking hold of me at my waist and lifting me up so that I was looking down into his face.  It felt like flying.  We were laughing as he turned round and round and I held my arms out and pointed my toes to pretend to be an airplane.  My dad has green eyes and brown hair parted on the side and kept in place with hair oil.  His smile shows the small gap between his front teeth.

That’s all.  I wish I could put this happy feeling in a time and place but what I am sure I remember is the happy sensation of flying above my dad’s face.  I would have to have been small for him to lift me up like that, probably less than three years old.  I wonder if I could begin with this memory and put what I remember in order from then until now.  This may prove challenging since I right this minute I cannot remember whether or not I locked the door after taking the dog out.