Wassailing … this traditional English practice of singing Christmas carols from house to house and door to door reflected the Joy of the season as expressed through song. Singers bade the hearers another year of good health. Hearers were equally festive, sharing a cup or two of spiced wine from their wassail bowls.
Lyrics of this old song repeat the words: “Love and joy come to you and … God bless you and send you a Happy New Year.” From our door to yours, from our house to yours, we greet you with warm wishes for a very Merry Christmas 2019 as well as good health and God’s blessings in 2020.
Most people understand – at least in a theoretical sense – how quickly life can change. In the two months since I last posted, the silence hasn’t come about due to a lack of blogging material. No, no, no. Furthermore, every single day without a post brought a deeper sense of unease … the pattern of my life seeming slightly upended!
But the respite from my daily pattern was necessary and welcome … necessary because life demanded I attend other matters and welcome because it freed me (somewhat) from my irrational obsession to slavishly maintain daily posts – no matter what! With each day that passed, my figurative pencil grew more insistent and red-faced. Much to my surprise, people continued to drop by and read previous posts. (I am gratefully humbled by your interest.) Continue reading “Random Vicissitudes”→
Back in the days when I was in eighth or ninth grade, my girlfriend and I decided we’d work out together. (In those days, we called it exercise.) It was summertime, we planned to sunbathe in our two-piece swimsuits, and a sudden interest in boys dictated we look our best.We were fourteen or fifteen, easily impressed by the silly advertisements in newspapers. No doubt, we were conscious of ads like the one above. How Do You Look In Your Bathing Suit? We wanted to look good.
So we did what people usually do … we took our measurements, height and weight, and recorded them on a chart. The chart was tacked to a wall in my friend’s basement where we exercised. Everyday, we recorded how many sit-ups and jumping jacks and other calisthenics we did as well as noting changes in our weight. We were consistent with the routine for several weeks. Continue reading “Refuse To Be A Victim”→
Most of my life, I thought a “well-informed” person should read at least one weekly news-magazine, read a daily newspaper (or more), tune in nightly news broadcasts and listen to a broad range of current-issue radio presentations. After carefully consuming “news” via reading / listening / watching multiple news resources as well as analyzing and evaluating issues, I realize the term “well-informed” can be misleading. I’ve found the freedom to unplug!
The newspaper was the first to go. I spent entirely too much time everyday … morning coffee eased into mid-morning coffee and even midday. (My thought process went like this: as long as I held a cup of coffee in my hand, it was still “breakfast.“) About ten years ago, I was ready to cancel delivery, except my Beloved insisted on keeping it. We continue to subscribe but now the accumulation of papers just annoys me. Continue reading “HillBilly Circus”→
Twenty years ago, a television show called FRIENDS debuted. The series ran for ten seasons and chronicled the lives of six characters (3 guys, 3 girls), twenty-somethings living in New York City. Billed as a romantic-comedy series, the show aired to generally mixed reviews but quickly built an audience. In many respects, it was SEINFELD for younger adults. (Seinfeld’s primary characters also lived in NYC and were thirty-somethings.)Though I’ve occasionally caught a clip or two from Friends as I flip through channels, I’ve never actually watched an entire episode. During its initial run, I didn’t exactly fit the age demographic. Now that it’s in syndication, it’s even less appealing to me. But friendship … now that’s something I can get jazzed about! Continue reading “I’ll Be There For You”→
My friend’s efforts to advance this bill through both legislative chambers and deliver it to the Governor’s desk were noticed by radio talk host and syndicated columnist Laura Ingraham (see Tweet above) as well as The Washington Times. The bill asserts women who are considering abortion have a right to know and have informed consent about risks associated with abortion. Further, by increasing the waiting period from 24 to 48 hours, the bill provides a greater period of reflection for women to weigh the possible psychological and physical costs of an abortion. Continue reading “A Woman’s Right to Know”→
In a recent New York Times post, columnist David Brooks opined on The Cost of Relativism. Brooks references a recently-released book by Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam entitled Our Kids (with the subtitle The American Dream In Crisis). Putnam’s book provides data with incisive analysis and the stories of real people to conclude kids (and young people) no longer have a shared system of values.
In his column, Brooks uses one comparison to make the point. In the 1960s and 1970s, whether parents were college graduates or never went beyond high school, the norms of behavior for parents and children were roughly the same. Families ate dinner together, attended church together, engaged in activities as families.
Today, family wholeness is diminishing and the norms of behavior within the family have been shaken. There’s a huge and worrisome gap between offspring of college grads and high school grads: only about 10% of children born to college grads will grow up in a single-parent home, while nearly 70% of children born to high school grads will. That’s a sobering reality! Continue reading “That’s How It Should Be”→
From the time I was born, I had feeding issues. Those were the days when breastfeeding was on the decline and my parents had difficulty finding a milk-product I could digest. Cow’s milk made me sick so they began testing the potential of other similar milks.Eventually, they settled on goat’s milk which enabled me to thrive. Those were also the days when goat’s milk wasn’t sold in every grocery store. I’m not sure where they found goat’s milk in our relatively large city because I doubt it was readily available … I’m just glad they found it!
Once I graduated to solid food, my belly matured enough that I didn’t have serious food challenges. However, there were plenty of foods I didn’t care to eat. (Truthfully, my daddy was a picky eater and I know I must have watched him turn up his nose at multiple foods, especially vegetables. I learned from him … but then I ventured out on my own. He’d eat peas and lima beans, while I’ve always gagged on them!) Continue reading “Mairzy Doats and Dozy Doats”→
By now, almost everyone has heard the news (via Mother Jones) that adhering to the Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner traditional eating plan is “anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick.“As a carry-over from our European forebears, the B/L/D meal schedule contrasts to that of Native American eating habits. These popularly-described Native Americans tended to “graze” and follow a less rigid pattern based on seasonal variations and food scarcity. According to Mother Jones, Europeans considered the grazing model provided clear “evidence that natives were uncivilized.”
We were pups, my brothers and I. At the time, I might have been five, my older brother seven and my younger brother three. (The picture below shows us celebrating my younger brother’s second birthday.) Certainly, none of us knew what conversations my parents had had with their friends, but results from those conversations had a definite impact on us.
Here’s what happened. Mom and Dad were friends with a couple, Bob L. and Dotty. (I think that was her name.) They had two small boys, Robby and Ricky, born two years apart. The family lived in a small apartment near our church.
I think my dad had been friends with Bob when they were both single men; Dad spent his life lending a hand to one or another of his buddies. In this case, Bob and his wife had a troubled marriage and things had gone from bad to worse even before Ricky arrived. Dad wanted to help this couple keep their marriage together (if possible) so they began spending more time with our family in our home. Eventually, the wife walked away, leaving for good, and Bob needed someone to take care of his boys while he worked. He called my dad and asked if, as a temporary measure, he could drop the boys at our house on his way to work Monday morning. Continue reading “Homing In On Rehoming”→