Sitting here in a warm and very pleasant temperature on a sunny day here in Florida, tapping away at my laptop, I am reminded very vividly of an old song from my teenage years.
“What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours,”. I think that it was Jerry Lester, the early time comedian who sang it. A bit of trivia. Remember Dagmar, the blonde he admired?
Well, if 24 hours makes a difference, how about 24 years, or fifty years, or whatever figure you choose to pull out of your distant past? It is two days before Christmas, no matter where you are, and the chances are that you are scrambling to keep up with all of the things you have to do to get ready for the big day. Shopping for the big items on your list may have finally been done, but there are still all the little extras that you must get in order to make the coming holiday absolutely perfect. There is still that last minute trip to the grocery store, or maybe the meat market or fruit stand. All of the things that have been left to be done at the last minute are staring you right in the face and there is no more time to dilly dally around, you must do them right now.
The tree is looking gorgeous, full of old fashioned balls and lights that remind you of the childrens attempts to make the sparkling tree look like an event out of Fairyland. You remember all of the years they brought their ornaments right home from school and couldn’t wait to hang them on their very own tree. Some of the ornaments may have come from your own childhood of so long ago. It is a tree of memories, and especially for you who have lived thru them all.
If you have children impatiently waiting for the big day you are doubly blessed, because you can see the wonder of Christmas thru the eyes of a child.
As adults we become accustomed to the hustle and bustle and just want to get thru it as best we can. But as a little child is filled with the spirit of the big day there is a glow about them that brings happiness to everyone who is lucky enough to see it.
So why am I thinking about Christmas in a fond but distant manner as I sit here, typing away? It is because time passes and lives change, and days and years go by and nothing really seems to stay the same as we age. Our park is filled with a lot of happy and contented seniors who have chosen to spend a part of their lives in a warm and sunny climate. Sounds wonderful, and it is. Our children are happy for us that we have the opportunity to do this, and there is constant communication with each other thru the miracles of technology. We have plenty of things to enjoy here and no one seems to be complaining about the way our lives have developed.
But when a holiday looms before us, and we remember all of the days and years when we were the ones rushing thru the toy stores, finding just that perfect thing for eager hands to open on Christmas morning, the little thoughts tend to come creeping into our heads of when it was us that did all those things and made things work just right. Our memories will stay with us forever, we hope, and we know just how lucky we were to have made them. We are proud that our children have carried on our sense of making a happy and jolly Christmas for everyone.
Here in the park people will get together for the special day, and they will remember back when. Back when it was us staying up late at night, sewing doll clothes or putting a bike together after midnight, and we will rejoice that life goes on, as friends and family carry forth the Christmas spirit wherever they go.
So here is a Happy and joyous Christmas to all of our Facebook and Twitter friends, our families, and scattered old friends, no matter where you are, as we remember that Life goes on and we still have all of our memories. It is a good time to think back and reminisce about all of the people we have loved over the years.
01/01/17! What a weird date that looks like! Doesn’t sound like a date at all. More like something made up by an author looking for a new book title.
Maybe that’s me, looking for something flashy to catch the eye of a Facebook reader on the first day of the first month of the year, 2017!
I woke up this morning after a good nights sleep, no staying up late to see the New Year in at our house. No one calling at midnight because everyone knew it would only wake us up. The truth be known, most of our children were probably sleeping also. It’s a whole new world anyway. The relationships between parents and their children have made a distinct swing.
As a child I can remember the saying “Children should be seen and not heard.” No one explained what was going on in the world to their children on a daily basis. We were expected to do what our parents told us to, and immediately. There was no back talk. If we were brave enough to ask “why?” we were told “Because I said so.” There were rules and we knew exactly what they were. And for the most part we followed them because there were consequences to be had if we didn’t.
This sounds like we lived in a world where our parents, teachers, and ministers ruled over us with a big stick, but for most of us that wasn’t such a bad thing. We lived in a world where there were rules, and the people in charge were the same parents, teachers and ministers. It was their job to teach us responsibility because that was the way they had been brought up themselves.
As we became teenagers we started to rebel, but there were always adults ready to show us the way things were supposed to be.
By the time my children came along and got into their teenage years life had taken another turn. The 60’s and the 70’s were very different than the rule abiding 50’s. Parents and children had to face an ever changing world, and that has continued to evolve ever since.
Now many parents have become the teachers, the explainers, of how the world works in a new and different way. They are much more apt to be “friends” with their children, showing them how and why life is the way it is.
As the children mature they are brought into the decisions of the family as important members. No more “should be seen and not heard”. Because of the internet young people are more aware of all the activity going on around the world, and they have definite opinions.
Parents have always been very important in their childs life, but the relationships between them is no longer one of “My way or the highway.” It has been an evolving process for all of us.
So when you see a person of mature age being slightly upset over something they see young people doing, just stop and think about how they were brought up in a very different atmosphere. It takes time for all of us to accept a new way of looking at how things progress.
Life goes on, and we become closer and closer to our children. We remember how the world has changed from when we were the young people being told what to do and how to do it. We can see the advantages of knowing how great it is to know our own place in the family and our world. And we can rejoice that we can turn the reins over to a new generation, knowing they will do their very best.
Words just don’t express all of the feelings that I have today, seeing all of the posts, comments, likes, presents, and joy that I am experiencing here on my 80th birthday. Somehow I never was that sure that I would actually make this birthday a reality. For 62 of those years I have been an adult, and just about everything that I ever really wanted to do, I have at least tried. I have been married for 57 of those years, but it has taken three husbands to do it. Children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren have surrounded me most of my life. I have lived in many different states, traveled whenever I had the opportunity, lived in mobile homes, apartments, houses, and even a camper during summer work in the Colorado mountains. My work usually took me to offices or banks or libraries, where I always enjoyed my work and the contacts with so many people. For eight years I sold fruit at the Farmers Market with my husband, Bob, a lifelong farmer. Now I am a writer, a poet, a meditator, an avid reader, in love with my Ipad, and all of the wonderful things I can do with it, and the friends that I can meet.
Having a major birthday is a great time to look around me, both to look back, and to look forward, and to see all of the blessings that surround me. Thank you all my friends and family. When I look at all of the names on the posts, I see all of the various stages of my life, and I wouldn’t get rid of any of them. While there are always things that I could have done differently and much better, I am really happy to have arrived at this point, and know that all is well, no matter what.
Remembering all the times you listened to us when we were troubled.
Remembering that you thought we were survivors, no matter what.
Remembering that we could always call you just for reassurance.
Remembering the times you were so exasperated with us you wanted
to shake us.
Remembering your courage as you struggled to get out of the car
with your cane.
Remembering you waiting on your loved ones when they were too
blind to see.
Remembering the tons of flowers and hundreds of cards when you
left this world one summer morning.
Remembering your smiles, your hugs, and your generous spirit that
encouraged us all.
Remembering you every time we see a white-haired older lady walking,
intent upon getting somewhere by herself, cane in hand.
Remembering every time we realize there is no house to go to, no
telephone call to make, no one waiting for our arrival.
Remembering, always remembering that you showed us all how to
Hot summer days lying on the beach,
Running and diving into the waves of an ever cool Lake Michigan,
Getting pulled off of our feet by the strong undertow of the water,
Riding our bikes without an adult on the five mile trip to the beach,
Curled up in the crotch of our biggest oak tree, reading my favorite book,
Playing hop scotch on the sidewalk on our city streets,
Walking to school so that we could do tricks on the Jungle Gym,
Cleaning Venetian blinds for my mother with a mitten on my hand,
Working in our vegetable garden, pulling tomato worms off of the vines,
Picnics at a roadside park when we went for a Sunday afternoon drive,
Remembering the heat in church and all of the ladies fanning themselves,
Roasting hot dogs and marsh mellows at a bonfire at the State Park.
Watching the double features at the movie theaters downtown,
Eating a hot fudge sundae at the old Occidental Hotel ice cream shop after the show,
Listening to my serial radio shows like “Superman” every weekday afternoon,
Cleaning my room under protest, every Saturday morning,
Watching the Muskegon Lassies play softball, as part of the “Knothole Gang”‘
my parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, my family and friends,
All of whom gave me a wonderful childhood to look back at and to be grateful for.
Those were the days, my friends, those were the days!
Imagine a yearly reunion of 16 old friends today. They graduated from high school in a farming community 63 years ago. You might think this would be a pretty relaxed crowd. I didn’t know just what to expect myself. Looking at them, watching the I-Phones on display, listening to the animated discussions going on, you could be anywhere in any group of people. If this is what retirement is all about then we all should be so lucky! Don’t be afraid of time , dear bloggers, be happy for all of the people who are enjoying the fruit of their labor! It can be in your future too.