On December 31st, a few minutes before midnight, you can find me in my pajamas with the television tuned to ABC, waiting to watch the famous Apple drop in New York City and the arrival of a brand New Year. I will toast this event with a glass or two of champagne and sing the words to Auld Lang Syne at the top of my lungs, while my husband tries to sleep and my daughter wonders if I have finally lost my mind. Speaking of the song Auld Lang Syne, does anyone actually know the words to it or what it actually means?
When I first lost my usable vision, travel became very different than it was before. I used to passed the time with books, puzzle books, and listened to music on a cassette tape recorder. I still had the music, and luckily, there were audio books, or I might have gone stir crazy. There was no longer looking at the sights, checking out what was around, or knowing how many miles there were left to go in the trip, unless I asked the driver. But that was then, and this is now.
By now, everyone in the entire United States, let alone the world, has been informed, through massive coverage by the news media, about the unthinkable tragedy last Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. If there is anyone who has not heard about it as of this writing, they either don’t listen to the news, or are in a place where they don’t get news at all, or at least from the outside world. I actually began writing a blog on another subject, but my mind kept wandering back to my thoughts about what happened, so I decided I wanted, perhaps even needed, to put my own thoughts and feelings down on paper, or on our website as the case may be.
What a month December is, with all the holiday hubub, shopping, preparations, and family traditions. The emphasis is on Christmas, but for those of the Jewish faith, as I am, there is a wonderful, joyous holiday, Chanukah, filled with traditions of its own.
I don’t know about you, but I can tell you this: The older I get, the more I procrastinate about things that I have to do. I haven’t always been this way. When I was younger (and had more energy), I seemed to complete tasks on a good schedule. Now that I am growing older, it seems that I either have more to do, or not enough stamina to complete all the tasks of the day. Simple chores like taking meds, checking mail, responding to correspondence, remembering things at the store, and even just returning a call were becoming harder to manage. My first instinct is to just plan to do it the next day or later. That doesn’t always work, though, because other things get in the way.
The upcoming holiday season seems to spark our imagination about things to come. The littlest member of the family has thoughts of what wonderful things Santa will bring on Christmas morning. I know, when I was little (so many, many years ago) that’s what was running through my mind this time of year. As life goes on, we begin to understand how really “large” the universe is and that our wants are just a tiny part of the big picture. We begin to learn the importance of beliefs, actions, and what the future will hold for us.
Yesterday, we were nine, gathered around our Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone feasted on everything from soup to pie and cake for dessert, with mounds of food in between. Before the meal was over, my mother-in-law, young at the age of 90, asked that everyone at the table, one at a time, tell what we are thankful for. Sounds rather cliche, I’ll admit, yet in the back of my mind I was wondering if anyone was going to suggest that very thing.
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I got to thinking about those questions that come up every year, like how long to cook the turkey, and whether or not the stuffing should be cooked inside or out. Also, when that poor, defenseless bird should be stuffed before he gets stuffed, into the oven, I mean. So, I embarked on a research journey, and here is my report.