Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

You hear it a lot these days.  These days being those around Christmas, after Christmas and a bit into the new year, which this year is 2019.  It's the thing to say.  It's the greeting of the season.  Some of us may even think about what we're saying.

It's an easy greeting to understand unlike so may greetings we take for granted.  Hello, it that anything more than a sound we make when we see someone or answer the phone.  Or hi, what's that all about.  Farewell, we can see that one wishes another to "fare" "well," may things go well with you.

Ciao, common in Europe, a deviation of "I'm your slave."  Really?  I guess it was a polite thing to say once showing your willingness to serve.  Aloha, it's Hawaiian and it sounds nice, either coming to going.  Adieu and adios, it's a God thing, "to God."  Are you sending me off to God?  Wouldn't "with God" be better?  Good bye or goodbye, another God thing, "God be with you" poorly deviated.

Back to "Happy New Year."  All the words in this greeting are clear, simple and English.  We're wishing for you that the new year will be a happy one for you.  We'll let you define happy but what is a new year.  It's some type of bump in the annual cycle of seasons and circling the sun.  Some time ago some created a way of recording the days of the year which today we call a calendar.  Somehow that calendar started about ten days after the winter solstice.

So the new year is when we get a new calendar and hordes of people think that something new will happen.  Other than a memory of staying up to late, midnight typically, or a party with friends or family, the first day of the new year is the same as the last day of the old year.  Well, for many it's a holiday and they don't have to go to work.

Yes, this has been a post of just rambling with one profound point but then maybe it's similar to the reason we celebrate the changing of a calendar.  Anyhow, I do hope that your next year, starting with the change of the change and a midnight kiss, or starting at this moment whenever that may be, is one in which you can find positive feelings including happiness.  Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

What a Day!

First stop - 6:00AM - let Marc out at Roger's Automotive Repair in Monmouth so he could arrange for a diagnosis of their Volvo which yesterday began to sputter as if one cylinder was dead or broken.

Second stop - 6:20AM - let Denvy out at Enterprise Rentals on Mission Street so he could pick up a seven-passenger van for the upcoming trip with the grandkids.  After a brief walk around to see which vehicle might be most suitable, and prepared to dig out the camping chair at the front door to await the 7:30AM opening, he found two employees waiting for their boss coming from Beaverton.

Third stop - 7:50AM - Gail and Dominic check in at PDX to meet Payton and Deona.

Phone call - 8:00AM - "We've checked in.  Got a pass to go to the gate and the plane has landed."

Phone call - 8:10AM - "I'm talked to the mechanic and am walking to downtown to sit in the park."

After some compromising and waiting for a vacuum and wash job,  Denvy drove off with a big black eight-passenger gas-guzzler and picked up Marc about 9:20.  Gail and passengers were in Woodburn and after hours of waiting at the repair shop, the rental office and the airport, everyone's coming together.

A lunch and the girls lay down for a nap after their very early flight and a very late going-to-bed.  Others followed creating a very quiet afternoon.  Later packaging was transported from temporary storage in the house to the big bomb.  The perspectively huge space in the van almost immediately filled.  Oops, that was not great judgement.  We're work it out tomorrow.

Marc and Gail went to Monmouth to retrieve his car which turned out to be less complex then anticipated.  Apparently the coil, not the cylinder that went bad.  Good news.

Late in the evening the travelers discussed their expectations, ate homemade pizza and made more preparations.  Now it's time for a good sleep so we can have a fresh start in the morning.


Pat asked me at our 50th class reunion some years ago why our parents would tell us to not associate with folks who go to church on the other side of the tracks.  The Catholic Church was on the south side of Main Street and the railroad, the Protestant churches were a block or two on the north side of the tracks.  He was Catholic, I was from the north side.  I nodded in agreement and shook my head having no answer to the question.  Definitely my parents had told me that and apparently his parents had told him much the same.

I learned later that the segregation was much deeper than that in this small farming community of about 1500.  The Germans from Russia were by culture assigned to the northeast corner of town with its smaller houses called Moscow.  I guess everyone else was pretty much German; I don't remember of know of anyone who wasn't.

Sixty years later after having a Afro-American president of our country and almost a woman, the same thing is being said to people in our society.  It's not north and south now, it's red and blue, it's conservative and liberal, terms that don't mean anything but to draw lines.  When can we simply be humans and care for everyone and make decisions to better all rather basing our decisions on color, or language, or where our parents came from?

We're just a week from the end of July, in the middle of a ten-day steak of hot temperatures and months of no rain.  While the temperatures in the morning and evening are below 90, preferably 80, I work in the yard.  We've dug our potatoes so we don't have to water them.  We've pulled many pea stalks because either the drought or the varmints was gotten them.  We're fixing fences and cutting off the iris and spring flowering plants.

The church continues to wane, in part because it's summer, in part I think because our leadership (pastor) is only half-time and seems to not support many of the projects from our heritage.  Even our worship service format has changed to seem quite foreign to us.  Fortunately the members are strong enough to continue to love God and neighbor without that support.

It's time to slip on the straw hat and brave the heat for a while.  Take a deep breath and head outdoors.