Thanksgiving then and now…

100_5259.jpgFor so many years, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a very special one for the Andersons here in Illinois, and one which we looked forward to with great anticipation. On that day, we would welcome the arrival of my mom and my two sisters and their families—one from Ohio; one from Nebraska.

Our son and family, who live a short distance from us, and our daughter and husband from Michigan would be here as well. Then, there were the nieces and nephews who would trickle in at various times. Without a doubt, the air of excitement for our traditional Thanksgiving celebration hung all about on Wednesday as those we were thankful for began to come in.

Beginning early that day, final preparations for the “big day” would be in full swing, including my stuffing and cooking of the first of the two big twenty-pound birds on the Weber charcoal kettle. The second one would be done on Thursday morning. Wednesday’s turkey would be for the sandwiches and snacking for the next few days, while the second one would be for the big meal on Thursday.

Once turkey number one was on, I’d have to check the coals every forty minutes or so and add briquettes accordingly to keep the heat up to the appropriate level. This would go on for at least six hours, depending on the weather conditions. During that time, my son and  I would get the garage set up with the tables that would hold the many snacks and other goodies and leftovers for the next few days.

There was also the keg of beer to pick up from the store, and our son was usually in charge of taking care of that important chore. Since there were always many thirsty guests all those years, having plenty of beverages went without saying!

Josh making sure Old #7 (in background) is “safe.”

We couldn’t tap the keg, though, until Uncle Rich arrived from Omaha with “Old #7,” his cold plate beer tapping system he’d built. Imagine our annual “ritual” of tapping the keg soon after Uncle Rich’s arrival. Let Thanksgiving begin!

So many pleasant memories were made in our garage—year after year—before and after the traditional meal in our dining room and the “kids’ table” in the room just next to it. Carolyn always outdid herself, preparing way too much food, but it was delicious all the same. And, of course, my mom’s coffee cakes and pies were standard treats that only added to the goodness of the gathering.

The next two days: Football on the TVs. Kids scooting all about. Women off on shopping missions. Nibbling on leftovers. Cold beer. Nonsense and silliness. The same stories and jokes told before somehow coming to light and being re-told again. Laughter! 100_2023.jpg

And then it’s over.

By Saturday the out-of-town visitors had to pack it up and head back home. And though Carolyn and I were always ready to resume the routine of our lives at that point, there still was a sense of melancholy, knowing that what we’d so looked forward to had come and gone in a flash.

When everyone was younger, it always seemed as though there’d be no doubt that this Thanksgiving thing  would go on and on, year after year, and there would always be a Thanksgiving gathering at our place here in Illinois.

Sadly, We haven’t had that gathering here for the past couple of years, and this year is no different. The reasons why no one comes anymore are many, but the reality is that the youngsters are grown and have their own lives— with their own children—and family traditions to attend to.

Be that as it may, Carolyn and I will spend tomorrow having dinner with very good friends back in our old town of Naperville. We’ll kid and joke and try to avoid political disagreements. It will be fun and good and warm. Once back home that evening, I’ll probably imagine just one more trip to the garage for another snack or to refill my Solo Cup, and the memory will make me smile.

Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you may be gathered!

Out of “exile”–for the moment…

jollyYetI know I’ve said that I’m taking the summer months “off” from tending to my blog, but over the course of the past several weeks I have had a few “life moments” that I simply feel inclined to write about.

At the top of that list is I “officially” was inducted into the Medicare Club one week ago on my birthday, and as I write this from my self-imposed “exile” up here at our summer cottage in Michigan, I’m happy to report that they haven’t come to haul me out to the funny farm due to elderly ramblings or other strange carryings-on. (They could have done that so many times previously!) Instead, all of the company that was here over the weekend for our annual NASCAR Race Weekend had to leave and return to their own lives and niches in the world.

And though I enjoy spending time alone, where I can read and write unfettered by interruptions and other such distractions, I must admit that right now I’m feeling rather lonely and wish I had some of the folks who were here this past weekend to prop me up and make me feel as though it’s OK to be this age. Turning 65 sort of does that I’m finding out.

After all, my birthdays used to be spent playing baseball for most of the day, running and chasing fly balls and batting and running the bases and all that was good about being a young kid who had a birthday in June. I could no more run like that again, even in my dreams, and so I just smile at the memories of all those summers past when the future was out there waiting for me to figure out how to get there.

And, even though I can no longer race around the bases on sweaty, sun-drenched afternoons of pickup games on homemade fields in Indiana, or run down that long drive off the bat of a power hitter, I’d like to believe that I’m still the same person I was way back then.

And now that I’m a year older (and wiser?), I’m beginning to give some thought to that thing called mortality. How many years do I have left has never been a question I100_6021 dwelled too much upon, because it always seemed so “out there” and something I’d never have to deal with for a long, long time—until now!

It’s the little things that really come into play, too. Walking the garbage down to the dumpster each day becomes an excursion of appreciation of all the beauty surrounding my life up here. Filling the bird feeder and watching the various avian species swoop and dive in for their feedings and then take off for places unknown is a daily delight. Chatting with the hummingbirds as they hum and buzz around the feeders I religiously keep cleaned and filled is another ritual of cottage life that I’ve truly grown to appreciate.

Perhaps I’m not quite ready for the pipe and slippers realm just yet, but I’m finding myself becoming more and more tuned in to those things I’d never paid attention to in the past. I suppose none of this is a bad thing. At least, I’d like to think not. Whatever, life in the Medicare Club can’t be all bad!

Well, for now, I’d best go check out those hummingbirds and make sure the lake’s still out there

Purple-throated Carib hummingbird (Eulampis ju...
Purple-throated Carib hummingbird (Eulampis jugularis) perched and feeding from a bird feeder. Batalie Beach, Dominica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

behaving as it should…

The end of the season, battery recharged!

jollyYetIt’s over!

That sounds kind of like an old Roy Orbison song from long ago, but our summer at Gregory Beach on beautiful Magician Lake “up there” in Michigan has come to an end. Funny how time just keeps moving right along—and much faster the older we get, it seems.

And though I was very busy this past week attending to all of the tasks that go into the “closing” procedure of this old place, I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect on just what a wonderful summer it has been, a summer basically “away” from lots of writing. For a long time this summer, I’ve questioned my lack of desire to write (my current WIP or my blog posts), and I’ve finally come to terms with that as a time needed to “recharge” the attitude.

So if nothing else came out of this summer besides many wonderful hours spent in the sunshine, on the water, on the porch, or reading peacefully in the wonderful summer breeze, I have gained a fresh perspective on what kind of writer I want to be and, perhaps, not be so hard on myself when things aren’t turning out the way I hope they would.

At any rate, I’m rejuvenated and looking forward to jumping back into the writing fray now that I’m Time to Write!home and in the wonderful environs of my writing room. My spacious writing desk, not yet cluttered with notes, folders, scraps of doodles, and other pieces of mind droppings, sits in front of the two large windows, my “windows to the world” of bean fields and the water tower out there alongside the Union Pacific tracks.

Being home is certainly good. I’ll miss those summer months at the lake, but it’s time to turn the corner and get things back in order around here. Today will involve finishing unloading the cars and getting all the things inside and unpacked and put away. And through my two large windows I can see—in dawn’s early light—that the grass needs attention once again, so I’m mentally putting that on the calendar for tomorrow morning. Ah, routine once more!

Up early this morning, the coffee going, the house opened up, and the MacBook at the ready, I have that “writerly” feeling once again. Yes, there are stories to write and blog posts to create and to share with anyone interested enough to drop by for a few minutes each week. Here’s to a good week for everyone….CortlandWriter

Tales of the Coffee Mugs…

English: Since somebody objected to the image ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who knows me or has read any of my posts here, understands that one of my most favorite things each morning is that first mug of good hot coffee. My day doesn’t really come alive until I can enjoy that first sip of the stuff—almost too hot to actually drink—with a splash of half-and-half, and then, and only then, the day is permitted to begin and all things are possible.

And over the course of the years, our coffee mug collection at home has grown to the point of being ridiculous, almost to the point of qualifying for some Discovery Channel series, I’m thinking. We’ve almost run out of space in our kitchen cabinets that are reserved for the things. Be that as it may, I have two or three favorites I go to regularly, and, conversely, there are those I never use.

My criteria for my favorites consists of the following: size, shape, design or logo or other witty saying on the mug, and memories it conjures up. For example, one of my “regulars” is from the

2328-2448-homeHockey Hall of Fame, a place we visited in Toronto last summer about this time. Another one I enjoy came from the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield. It’s a perfect size and fits my hand ideally each morning (the mug, not the museum!)

A few that I don’t care for are usually those my wife has “collected” from various places she or I have visited. For instance, there’s a squatty, round thing that would barely hold enough coffee to sustain a gnat, but it has some design from Cherokee, North Carolina, that she liked, so it takes up space in the cabinet.

For obvious reasons, we don’t have the same number of mugs at our summer cottage. My two

10810494000D--ronjon_i_dont_do_mornings_mugfavorites were the wonderful mug from Ron-Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It’s a perfect size and has the typical Ron-Jon art work with the shark telling everyone: “I Don’t Do Mornings!”

My other “cottage” mug was the perfect mug, in that it was solid, had the name of the restaurant from whence it was “borrowed” years ago, and made me smile every time I thought of the person who did the “borrowing” and the laughs we always shared.

I write about that mug now in the past tense because while I was washing the dishes one morning last week, it slipped from my hand and met its end in the porcelain kitchen sink. I briefly gave some thought to trying to put it back together, but that would have been a fruitless venture, so it found its way into the trash instead.

I don’t think I’ll ever have another exactly like that one. The restaurant is out of business and our dear friend passed away in late March. I really don’t need some coffee mug to help me remember all of the good times with our friend, but it was a constant, silly symbol of friendship through the years that couldn’t be broken—unlike the mug itself.

I’m sure our collection of mugs will continue to grow, and there will be those I’ll love, and those that will sit and take up space in the cabinet. Either way, they will be little reminders of the good times we share together traveling and seeing new places….CortlandWriter

Summer Jobs: 1969 Memories

June…1969…One year at Kent State under my belt! Nineteen and full of vim and vigor, ready to have a wonderful summer back home in LaGrange, Illinois (soon to be nearby Western Springs as my parents moved).

As I wrote in an earlier post, summers during my college years (1968-73) were spent working various jobs and experiencing many interesting people and events. They were fun summers, to say the very least, and I also made some pretty good money during those summer months.

Summer ’69 found me hooking up with a construction company—Hardin’s in River Forest, Illinois. As had happened the previous summer, and would for the next few summers, I attained these jobs thanks to my dad and the various contacts he had at his place of employment—Hunt-Wesson Foods in Chicago.

So for the hot summer months in ’69, I worked with a guy named Ed Ivy and two or three Mexican fellows repairing curbs and sidewalks in and around the Oak Park/River Forest area. I became somewhat proficient using a pick and shovel to clear away old concrete and rubble and helping to frame out where the new concrete was to be poured. It was good physical work, and I enjoyed being a part of the crew. I wouldn’t want any part of that now, but in 1969, I was young and happy to do it.

A few weeks into the summer, I received a call from a person my age, the son of one of my mom’s friends. He played on a semi-pro baseball team on Sundays. Mom had casually mentioned to his mom one time that I was a baseball fan and would love to get back into playing the game. Thus, I received a phone call shortly thereafter with an invitation to come on out to their next game and to bring my glove and shoes and any other equipment I possessed since they needed a few more players. The manager, Hank, was able to scrounge up some pants and a jersey that fit, and, just like that, I was a member of the team. I didn’t even have to try out, so I was certain they were quite desperate for bodies to fill out their roster!

My baseball playing “career” resurrected, I spent many Sundays at Bedford Park as part of the team and meeting more friends and partaking of the wonderful post-game parties back at the manager’s house. We weren’t very good—losing most of the double-headers each Sunday—but we were very good at those parties!

What songs stick out that summer? Lay Lady Lay, In the Year 2525, Get Together, and Make it With You by David Gates and Bread evoke many a memory all these years later. Even the release of Rubber Ducky by Ernie from Sesame Street (I kid you not!) bangs around in the old memory bank from some after-game parties!

Of course it was the summer of Woodstock, but since I had no interest in that scene at all (dope, hippiedom, acid rock, etc.) it basically came and went without me being aware of it happening! Though once I returned to school in the fall, I would hear all about it—ad nauseam!

Besides my construction job and baseball playing and parties on Sundays, I also found myself one or two times a week at Comiskey Park, when the White Sox were home. To put it simply, 1969 was an atrocious year record-wise for the Sox. Consequently, their attendance was something less than visible! Often, I had the run of the place it seemed, and I always had a good time out there. I actually was able to purchase beer there, even though I was only nineteen. As I do to this day, I hung on every pitch, hit, error, home run, strike out, win, or loss. It was a terrible season for the White Sox, but I still stuck with ‘em, as bad as they were. (Perhaps it was the beer…) I suppose it’s what they call “bad fun” these days. Whatever, the White Sox were (and are) a vital part of my summers. (A topic for a future post)

Looking back, I now realize how fast the summers fled, and 1969 was certainly no exception. Before I knew it, I was preparing to head back to Kent State for my second year, one that would bring me face-to-face with many more interesting people, places, and historic events.

The fall of ’69 would turn into the spring of ’70, and most people know why that is significant at Kent State. As a nineteen year old, I could never know what lay ahead as I worked and played and laughed and sang that summer of 1969. Many things would take place in the fall that was to come and the spring that changed the course of the way things were at Kent State. Regardless, I enjoyed my summer months at home in Illinois thoroughly….CortlandWriter


Summer Jobs, Summer Memories

For some reason, while I was enjoying my morning coffee on the porch and watching the lake begin to come to life the other day, I flashed back to all of the summer jobs I’d had down through the years and tried to categorize them within the correct time frame of my life. They were critical points in my summers (1968-1972) after high school and through my Kent State years, and I found it rather enjoyable taking a nostalgic memory trip back to the experiences, people, and places provided each summer. Today’s post will focus on that wonderful summer of 1968, when I was just eighteen, and the world was my oyster (whatever that really means!).

After graduating from high school in Ohio in June of 1968, I moved to Chicago where my dad had been working at Hunt-Wesson Foods for a couple of years. Mom and my younger sister would come along later in the summer once we found a place to live. As would be the case for the next few summers, my dad was able to land me a job at “the plant” where he worked.

My initial job that summer was in the Quality Control lab where I was surrounded by all kinds of scientific instruments and other gadgets and doo-dads that I had nothing to do with, other than to wash the zillions of test tubes, beakers, and various other lab paraphernalia. I spent many an hour standing at the sink and steam table/washer and basking in the humidity of it all! All I can say is the pay was good and the work was not back-breaking.

As luck would have it, my “career” as Bottle Washer was short lived. A week or so into my “washer” job, an opening down in the Shipping Department had cropped up, and I jumped at the chance to make the change, even though I knew nothing about shipping, receiving, bills of lading, or other such things. But I would learn as that summer played out. I moved down into the bowels of “the plant,” and hooked up with a kindly old gent named John White. He was new to the job himself, so it was a case of each of us figuring things out as we went. He and I got along well, despite our vast age difference. We didn’t screw up too many times, and it was a fun job for the rest of that first summer in Chicago.

Interesting characters came and went—truckers mostly—and I will never forget much of the colorful language they’d throw about as they made a pick-up or delivery. Many enjoyed teasing me and calling me “College Boy” and giving me a rough time because I liked the Sox instead of the Cubs. They were good guys, and I wonder how many of them are still alive today. Despite the fact that my formal college education would begin in September, the stuff I gleaned that summer was just as important, I realize now in retrospect.

For anyone who is old enough surely remembers what a chaotic summer 1968 was. Beginning with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy shortly before I moved to Chicago, the turmoil was constant. The Viet Nam “conflict” was raging and escalating and becoming more and more unpopular every day. There appeared to be no easy way out.  President Lyndon Johnson and the other politicians managed to mangle things at every turn.

Summer ’68 in Chicago was also the venue for the Democratic National Convention, the one that has come down through time as the one where the cops are battling the long-hairs and “anarchists” out there in Grant Park and its streets and avenues. It’s the one where the protests and “anti-everything” America took form, the same theme I’d hear time and again while a student at Kent State. It’s the one that would offer up Hubert Humphrey, a good man, to run against Richard Nixon in November. We know how that all turned out!

I still remember feeling so far from home, a stranger in a strange place, and fighting, daily, that gnawing homesickness and heart-broken misery as I yearned for the love of my life back in Ohio. I couldn’t wait for Friday afternoons to roll around, so I could get in the car and on the highway that would take me out of Chicago, across Indiana, and back to Ohio.

The soundtrack of that summer was highlighted by Stoned Soul Picnic, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Grazing in the Grass, and José Feliciano’s Light My Fire among many others. And Journey to the Center of the Mind by Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes still echoes around in the old memory vault, recalling those many late-night drives in our Corvair back to Ohio.

It’s not always easy trying to remember things that occurred so very long ago. But, then again, there are places and moments that are vivid and real and fresh all over again. It’s good to think and remember and realize just how important the summers of my life have always been and the role they have played in my life and of those whom I love.

Summer ’68 was a starting point for the rest of my life. At the time, I never realized the twisting and winding course my life would take. Next…summer of 1969CortlandWriter

2011-A Look Back, and Ahead…

Out with the old…

Well,  it looks as though it’s time to replace my official Office Max desk calendar (upon which my trusty MacBook rests) and replace it with the new pristine one for 2012. I’ve had it for a few months now, tucked in between a couple of cabinets, waiting for the road we’re on to lead us to the end of another year. And now that we’re pretty near the end, it’s time to do so. 

Black Wolf Lodge -My first novel

For the most part, 2011 has been pretty good for us here in beautiful northern Illinois, with little to complain about. My big news and excitement was the publication of my novel, Black Wolf Lodge. It had been a long journey to get the story completed after beginning the thing in the summer of 2000! Working off and on during that time didn’t make for much progress. A friend at church last November told me about a publish on demand company that would be a good place to do my first book. And so it was that Lulu publishing made getting my finished manuscript into book form and marketed out and listed on Later, the e-Book format became available at Barnes & Noble and the Apple iStore. I would love to have more folks read the book, so give it a try…please! [GO TO LULU.COM]

Snow, Snow Beautiful Snow…

Of course, everyone seemed to be moaning and groaning last January and February when the skies seemed to offer us nothing but constant snow. Our blizzard really was something to behold, and I actually was beginning to worry about wearing out our little John Deere snow thrower. At times, it was much too small of a machine to handle the amount of white stuff that accumulated–and remained–for quite a spell! Anyway, not one to complain

 about winter weather and snow and “bad stuff,” I managed to keep a path open and the driveway pretty clear for our comings and goings. After all, I didn’t want my wife to miss out on getting to work on her scheduled days! (Just kidding…)

Artist in Residence

We did take advantage of being somewhat “marooned” inside during the month of February. At long last, we finally made the decision to paint the kitchen, living room, and hallway. Since moving in in December of ’07, we hadn’t added any paint to the walls. They still had the contractor’s white, and were good enough for the first few years. Now, however, we wanted–needed–some color! Over a short period during the great blizzard, my wife did her best Michelangelo and climbed the 9-foot ladder, stretched, rolled, trimmed, brushed, etc., etc., and accomplished a not-so-easy feat. We have very high vaulted ceilings in the living room and kitchen, and way too many nooks and crannies to make life easy for one so foolish as to try painting. Thank you, Carolyn, for your talents and patience and skill at all things painting! My contribution? I lugged the ladders in from the garage, placed them for her, and anchored them while she was “way up there” in the heavens, stretching and making strange grunting sounds, trying to reach this nook or that cranny. I was exhausted at day’s end…Long story short, the paint job turned out perfectly, and the colors we chose were better than we’d expected. It’s nice when things work out for the good.

Here’s to the crabgrass…

When the winter of 2011 finally bid us farewell, sometime in late March I believe, we could seriously think about the upcoming spring months and all that lay ahead. Getting the mower tuned up, cleaned up, and fired up was one of the important duties that needed done. As we’ve learned in the four years we’ve lived out here on the great prairie of northern Illinois, grass (and weeds) grow quite rapidly in the new warmth and moisture of spring! Thus, the lawn spreader was hauled out of dry dock, dusted off, and put into immediate service, spreading the crabgrass preventer, weed-n-feed, and the year’s first application of fertilizer. Now, it was time to sit back and watch nature do its thing! Of course, in a blink, it was time to mow and trim and edge everything once again. 

So long, Casey: A True Beauty

Early in April, we had to have our wonderful little dog, Casey, put down as the years and some serious health issues were simply too much for her. I miss her greatly, and our daily walks and romps are wonderful memories I hold close–and always will. 

Opening Weekend & Another Season Begins!

Late spring found us getting serious about another upcoming season at the cottage in Michigan. As organized as we always think we are, with everything stored away in its proper place, there’s always some “glitch” that occurs when it’s time to begin rounding things up and packing for “Opening Weekend” over Memorial Day. For whatever reason, this past year’s efforts came off without an issue. From the “pier-putting-in” the weekend before Memorial Day to the move-in itself, all went smoothly. There were no threats of divorce, gunshots, or physical harm of any kind! The cottage was opened, decorated, and organized in very calm fashion. Suffice it to say, the move-in went extremely well!

The season at the lake was wonderful, with many visits from friends and family. The grandsons came and went and came again! Pontoon cruises and late nights on the screened porch were givens. Warm summer days under the tall trees made for comfortable living. I read lots and wrote very little (for which I’m feeling quite guilty!) and the days and weeks up in Michigan rolled right along. All was good…

The Time of the Season…

As the old saying goes: “All good things must end someday…” And such was the summer of 2011 at the cottage in Michigan. June, July, and August seemed to fly right on by, and “Closing Weekend,” in our case Labor Day Weekend, arrived like a thief in the night–quickly, without great fanfare, and with intent to rob us of our summer tranquility and love of our little spot in Michigan. Though we knew we’d probably be invited back the next year, it still seemed a bittersweet weekend just the same. The pier “crew” consisting of our son, son-in-law, grandsons (who were good watchers and helpers with the small stuff), and anyone else who happened to wander by at the wrong time, had the thing disassembled, stacked on the shore, and all other “loose ends” tied up in a very short time. Same with the cottage itself.  As was the  Opening Weekend, the Closing Weekend was just as smooth. When Carolyn and I pulled away on the Tuesday after Labor Day, we were glad to be going home to Illinois and considered the summer just past a huge success. We’re already beginning to get that “feeling” about the next summer spent “up there” at the cottage by a wonderful lake in Michigan!

Harvest Time & Writing Time

Things were pretty calm and relaxed during the fall months here in northern Illinois. The farmers enjoyed a record harvest and the weather was most cooperative, unlike a year ago when harvesters were still in the fields during the Christmas season! Carolyn and I enjoyed a week’s trip to Omaha to stay with relatives. I began my next writing project (finally!), a collection of short stories and other “musings” I’ve put together over the years. It’s coming along now, and I am planning to have it ready for the folks at Lulu by early spring. I’m enjoying this project right now and writing new things as well as re-working many of the older ones I cranked out long ago. Stay tuned for updates and progress reports regarding this project.

Thoughts, Hopes…

It’s a very rainy, foggy, and dreary Friday afternoon, the next-to-last-day of 2011, as I write these words, hoping to capture some of the key moments and events in my life this past year. I am grateful for the family that I’m surrounded with, and they mean so very much to me. Our daughter will turn another year older tomorrow–New Year’s Eve–and I simply cannot fathom that she should be that age, married and contributing to the world. Wasn’t she just that little smiling elf who liked to climb and go where she really wasn’t supposed to? My son, father of my two grandsons, is clicking right along as well, and will celebrate a birthday of his own in March. Again, where have the years flown to? I guess it’s everyone’s question as the years suddenly pile up and, without any warning, have zipped past in fast-forward mode. 


My wish for the new year would be to somehow slow down this crazy warp speed and let us enjoy one another and find lots of smiles and laughter every day. I wish for good health for my whole family and friends, and I hope I’m healthy and still somewhat sane a year from now so I can write all about the wonderful year that 2012 was. Stay tuned and keep traveling along with me down the road…MLA

Clock Set on Fast Mode…

Time Flies…

Monday night already. Where is the time going?

I’m beginning to sound like so many “old” folks I knew down through the years who were always totally amazed at the passing of time, in such a fleeting fashion, and never quite feeling too comfortable with the realization that it was literally “passing them by.” On the other hand, time always seemed to drag on and on, for the most part, when I was young and sitting in school, church, or some other place I really didn’t want to be. I guess the perspective one has determines just how time passes. Of course, none of this really matters because time passes at the same rate regardless of a person’s situation or condition.

Why all this talk about the passage of time? Perhaps now that I’m retired (4 years), I really have morphed into one of those old, stodgy folks who always seemed worried about the good years slipping away. Although I’m not too concerned about any “good years” flying out my window and leaving me in the lurch, it does seem like the days move from morning to night at a much faster clip. I know that is impossible, but I ponder it all the same. And, too, I am busily at work on my next writing project, and when I’m fully going at it full steam, the hours click off in fast mode, it seems. 

As this Christmas season gets going full tilt, I find myself taking more time to reflect on Christmases past: some that were wonderful; some that were rather disappointing for one reason or another. The central thing about all of those Christmases of yesteryears is family. So many of those relatives are gone now, or we just don’t stay in touch as we did when we were young. For better or worse, those memories drive home the point that having family around for  Christmas is a wonderful thing, if only in our memories. 

And now it’s only 5:30 in the evening as I write this, and it’s as dark as Egypt outside. Wasn’t it just a sunshine-filled morning only a few minutes ago? Oh, well…I keep writing this stuff and they’ll be calling for my lap robe, slippers, Preparation H, and a big bowl of Postum!  Time, time, time…MLA

“Time is making fools of us again.”  ~J.K. Rowling