Feeling crowded

Here’s the problem.  The real problem with the world.  There are too many people.  There are more people on the earth than the earth can sustain.  Far too many of these people are starving and far too many do not have clean water.  When there is not enough to go around, well then those who have none take what they need from those who have some.  Therefore, since it is not possible to increase the finite resources of earth then the need must be reduced.  People have to stop making so many more people.

Mother nature is doing her part.  We have storms, floods, wild fires and drought eliminating many humans on a regular basis.  Humans themselves contribute to the elimination of large numbers of existing humans with wars and more wars.  Then of course there is disease taking out that many more and just plain old age finally freeing up some space.  But still, we have more  and more people.

What the hell is wrong with us?  It’s not like we lack effective birth control.  Unless you live in a cave alone it is not possible to see the refugee camps and poverty stricken cities all over the world and conclude that the world needs more people.  So why don’t we do something, or even acknowledge that something needs to be done?

Why indeed.  It’s partly because we are biologically designed to procreate.  We like making babies.  Well, really mostly we like having sex — not usually with the full intent to make a baby, just to feel good.  That’s where the birth control would be helpful.  Of course mostly we like babies.  They are cute.  We are taught, mostly by religious teachings, that every baby is a blessing.  I actually never met one I didn’t like.  Making babies makes a man feel, well manly.  Makes a woman feel motherly and fulfilled. Even siblings like each other.

How can we be convinced not to give ourselves this blessing?  China tried restricting the number of children legally allowed.  That doesn’t seem to have gone very well.  So far educating people about family planning has not been successful to any meaningful degree, partly because most religious teaching glorifies large families.

It seems I have identified, at least in my own mind, another unsolvable problem.  I don’t know what the hell to do about it.

Feeling crowded

They call me Granny

Here we go again with another Hallmark holiday, grandparents day.  I guess that’s okay for people who otherwise would not think of their grandparents and it sells a few greeting cards.  I am Granny every day. It’s my favorite nick name, and I’ve had a few of those.  Punkin and Sis when I was a kid, Mac (for my maiden name, McCandless) as a teen, from my husband Sweetie when he is happy with me and Darling with a sarcastic twist when he isn’t.  Then I got to be Mama, Mom and Mother (mother with that same sarcastic twist) and finally Granny.

I got to be Granny first when Curtis was born and then a few months later when his cousin, Tara, came along.  Then there was Brittany and when my son married again we gained Camille followed by her brothers Ethan and finally James.  Six of them!  I have a lot of grannying to do, my favorite pass time.

Most of these babies got their first bath at home in my kitchen sink.  Soapy, slippery babies can be a challenge but I was always up for it.  They are so sweet smelling all fresh and clean and a nice warm bath can be so soothing for a baby.  And, what could be better than that toothless smile when they are wrapped up in a fluffy towel?  My theory with grandchildren is if they are grumpy put them in water or feed them something sweet.  So, when they got past the kitchen sink bath age we graduated to bubble baths, then a wading pool, then a swimming pool or a dip in the lake in summer.  On vacations when a hot tub was available a little time in there followed by a banana malt made for sleepy boys at bed time.

When water didn’t work to settle down the toddlers a ride around the block in the stroller would do the trick, or maybe a ride in the car in cooler weather.  Of course there’s always books read while snuggling in the rocking chair or just snuggling and rocking while softly singing.  The singing always had to be softly for me because I am tone deaf and can’t really sing, but I can fake it close enough for little kids who don’t know any better yet.

As the grandchildren got school age they developed an interest in various sports and I had new entertainment opportunities.  There are hundreds of soccer games in my past and more than a few little league games, an occasional basketball game or track event and some swim lessons.  All of them a treat.  Turns out the cheerleading experience from high school served me well.

The four eldest are adults now and finding their way in the world.  I think they are going to be okay.  Each of them are intelligent, caring people.  Each of them have their own dreams to pursue and their own unique qualities to contribute.

The two youngest, my wonder boys, still have adolescence in front of them.  They show signs of growing into good men.  It’s a joy for me to watch as they leave the funny little boys they were behind and make the journey toward responsible citizens.

Happy Grandparents Day to me.  Granny is my absolute favorite thing to be everyday.  I am spending this particular day dog sitting the grand dog, Tyson.  He gets extra treats at my house, just like the other grand kids but ninety pounds of black dog is too much for me to handle in a bubble bath.  Tyson doesn’t care and he doesn’t need soothing.  He is perfectly content laying on my feet as I sit in my recliner.  I can’t say he is my favorite but he is the easiest to take care of.



They call me Granny


This summer I put up three hummingbird feeders.  There are also several plants and flowers in my yard along with trees and a small raised garden.  My favorite ordinary day pleasure is sitting on the patio enjoying my coffee in the morning or my wine in the afternoon.  Entertainment is provided by the squirrels, birds, rabbits, an occasional raccoon and once even a deer wandering through the neighborhood.  I enjoy the Cardinals and Blue Jays that hang out at the bird feeders and fairly often a squirrel carrying a nut walks within a couple feet of my chair.  Someone in the neighborhood has a big, grey tom cat who usually shows up and glares at me from under the Cedar tree at the side of my patio.  This is my happy place.

Now that we are at the end of summer and approaching autumn the hummingbirds are here.  Lots of them.  This morning there were two flitting from one feeder to another and perching in the Caster Bean plants.  This evening, however, there were at least five zooming from feeder to tree to planter to the garden to the roses to another feeder and past my head as I sat there on their way to do it all over again.  I am always amazed at how fast these tiny creatures are.  When they fly over my head the sound reminds me of a buzz saw.  I love watching them, but they zip from one place to another and back again so quickly that I can’t always ascertain whether the feathered friend on the feeder is the one I saw flying in that direction of the one that came careening in from the opposite direction.  They are inclined to dive bomb each other in mid air and chase one another through the trees.

When I took my wine out to the patio to watch the day fade into night I was wearing my red t-shirt and had on my red rimmed reading glasses for the book I thought I might read a bit of.  You probably know that hummingbirds are attracted to red.  I knew that , but did not actually think about it as I sat in my lawn chair with my feet up to watch the tiny bird circus.  When one of the tiny creatures flew under the gazebo and was hovering only a little more than a foot in front of my face I held perfectly still wanting to see if it would stay a minute.  As I was holding my breath, watching, another miniature bird came zipping past my nose and buzzed the other bird so that they both zoomed into a tree so fast I did not have time to blink before they were gone.

I picked up my book and read only a few lines when I heard that buzz over my head and then there was that bird, hovering in front of my face.  This is beginning to freak me out.  He only stayed a moment and was gone to perch on the feeder for a drink.  When he blasted by my head and hovered to look me in the eye again I finally thought about that red shirt and glasses.  Obviously I am a slow learner.

Have you ever noticed that the beak of a hummingbird closely resembles a needle?  I began to consider what might happen if a needle moving at the speed of a hummingbird met with my face and decided it would be better to move inside to my recliner to finish my reading.  I’m not really a coward, just practical.