Monday, November 28, 2016

The End of a Holiday.

Thanksgiving is over. I have performed my usual rituals—I sat patiently by the phone last night waiting to hear from the travelers on their way to Virginia (they finally got there just before 10:00 p.m. after twelve hours of bumper to bumper traffic), I have photographed the unclaimed objects (so far a scarf, a fork, a hat and a fuzzy throw) and will e-mail to the photos to any of the 23 people to whom they might belong. That’s only four families, so not so difficult.  I have begun the task of washing armfuls of flannel sheets and towels and I have placed the phone call to the appliance repair man to solve my problems with the obligatory appliance which breaks down on a major holiday. The time it was the dishwasher—and they can’t send anyone out until Friday.

Thanksgiving is the time for—well, giving thanks and I am so grateful to my wonderful children who have accepted the fact that my days as the official mater familias are over.  I think it was the time I dropped the turkey that did it. They take it in turns to host the major holidays and Kate and Ron even stepped in with a pierogi dinner two days after they hosted Thanksgiving. Everyone was at our house the day after Thanksgiving and we all pitched in. It wasn’t until dinner was over and I had lamented several times that I didn’t have anything green on the table that I remembered the spinach, brussel sprouts and cauliflower and broccoli in the basement refrigerator. Ah well. Corn too.

My photos show the dinner tables at Kate’s house. There was an adult table, a big kids’ table and a (slightly) smaller kids’ table. The age differences are no longer reflected by the grocery bills. Everyone (except baby Gigi and two year old Joe) packs it away these days. And what a treat it was to talk with my two college freshmen grandsons. They talked patiently to me about technology, but I am not sure much of it stuck. As the years go by it will be harder and harder to get everyone together. We missed Andrew and his family and Gody who was on call, but it was a wonderful holiday. Ron escorted a large group down to a University of Detroit/ Mercy basketball game and there were various other expeditions.

Yes, a photo would be wonderful, but I gave up on my camera a while ago and either my iPhone  camera is having a bad time or my hands are shaking. The next major holiday is upon us, so Santa Claus, if you are reading this, I have been a nice girl and my camera wants (and needs) are modest.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Whatsoever a Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap.

My daughter and I were talking about Thanksgiving, and I asked her when her son, who is coming to the end of his first semester of college, will be coming home to celebrate with the family. She gave me his schedule and then said, “Patrick thinks he’ll be able to get to the airport OK”, or something to that effect. I must admit, part of me thought “I hope he can figure it out” (he’s still a little boy to me) and then it occurred to me that I had never worried about my kids finding their way to an airport when they were coming home. They just did it and to my mind, that was one of the things college was about. Learning to take care of themselves, figuring out what had to be done and using innate intelligence to get themselves on a plane. College always seemed like the beginning of adulthood, rather than the end of childhood.

For the last week following the results of the election we have been reading about college professors cancelling exams because their students are in mourning, or bringing tissues to class, not giving the scheduled lectures and allowing their class to express their feelings and use the classroom as a safe space to vent their grief, anger and frustration. I will make a lot of enemies, but I find this ridiculous. Perhaps a lecture on the history and meaning of the Electoral College or some other topic rooted in history or precedence would be in order. On the other hand, most of their parents did not expect their tuition money to be spent on Kleenex or comfort food. Now I am seeing students are taking to the streets, disrupting traffic and generally marching to protest  the election. One of my great nieces is marching in New York, one of my great nieces is complaining of the traffic jams in DC.

I have seen suggestions that the pandering to the young is the result of a generation of children who were never rewarded for skill or competence, but just for turning up. The ultimate in entitlement.

I don’t know, but I do think it important for young adults to find on their own the literal or metaphorical airport that will take them where they want to go.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

November 8, 2016

Election Day. And no, I am not going to write anything about the candidates, the political parties, the campaigns and some of the general nastiness that has been going on. And it has been nasty. Mudslinging left and right. I am sure I will sit up late this evening to watch the results coming in. I am a little tired of pollsters and political pundits.

I wrote a post earlier this year in which I questioned Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, NOT because of the politics involved, but because I was having age-related issues and wondered if she could put up with the  effort involved in campaigning and answering the phone at 3:00 a.m. The same goes for Donald Trump, but it was easier to put myself in HRC’s shoes.

The fact is, I am marking today not because it is election day, but because it is the first day since my surgery that I have not slept away the afternoon. In fact I spent it struggling with some computer issues and solving some of them relatively well. I am hoping that I will be able to sleep tonight and maybe soon start to tackle some of the chores which have been piling up. I still look extremely attractive with a black eye and badly bruised forehead caused by going back on a little too much medication for a while. I am not going to re-post the nasty photograph that appeared on Facebook. It is a delicate balance.

So let’s hope that in many ways things will be better. For me and the entire country.