Tag Archives: passage of time

I Didn’t Break The 50s!

 

Technically, I was child of the 50s.  Well at least for six months. With wild abandon I guzzled homemade milk and had a bevy of staff to cater to my every need. It was paradise.

In reality, I was a child of the 60s. I do recall watching the moon landing on a black-and-white TV. We only had three stations to watch and you had to get up to change the channel. There were no cell phones or colour TVs.  The Internet hadn’t been invented. I was a kid. I went outside and played. I scraped my knees and probably bloodied my nose a few times. We could breathe the air deeply and not worry about coughing up a lung. Most recollections are idyllic.

But the 60s was also a time of war, poverty, assassinations, racism and sickness. The history books remember the bad stuff. People try not to. It was a time of Family and single incomes. Roles were expected for men and women and children. It was only in those progressive families that young girls were allowed to dream without restrictions. I didn’t know there were restrictions. But then I didn’t know what to dream.

Times were different in the past. There was good and bad. But we evolved. That sounds like a step forward but it too comes with both good and bad. We eradicated some diseases and then created new ones. We got smart and creative in how to deal with illnesses, viruses, so they too evolved.  Now we have superbugs and inefficient medicines. Nowadays we love our children to dream without restrictions but then we stress them out with the requirements to succeed. A double-edged sword.

I am in an unrepentant optimist. I believe we will solve the problems we created. Am I naïve? Perhaps. But I look around this world and I see our children recognizing the problems and standing up. They are shaming the past and working hard towards fixing the future. Will they succeed? I hope so. I doubt I’ll be around to see everything fixed. I believe we are moving in the right direction. But this is not something that can only be on the shoulders of the children. We all need to be involved. Even if it’s only in a small way. The very least we can do is support them.

Our world is a paradise. There is incredible beauty here but we must be prepared to look and to see.  We must also be prepared to defend that paradise. We only have one world and we are all in this together. It isn’t about one group, one culture, one faction. It is all of us!

 

Consequences

 

Teen-age Johnny picked a fight.

Little did he know,

The boy that he knocked down?

Would one day run the show!

 

Tiny Sally bit the hand,

That offered her a treat.

Many years then went by,

Revenge is oh so sweet!

 

The actions of today,

Will one day come around.

And be the cause we did not see,

And wished we’d never found!

 

‘Reflect before you do.’

Our motto I should think

Because before you know it

The future is in sync!

Defying Gravity

In the interest of full disclosure, I am admitting that I’m about to go on a bit of a rant. Some of the things I say may offend a few and for that I apologize. I don’t apologize for what I’m about to impart. I think it’s high time something was said. I am quite sure I’m not the only one who has had these thoughts. It is not said with any malice but plenty of forethought.

I recently watched part of the Emmy awards program. I was surprised at how few shows I had actually seen. And I do watch TV. I think a great many of them were actually on Crave or Netflix or some other alternative to regular television.  I enjoy watching actors that I admire. There was also a touching bit about individuals, in that business, that we have lost. There were a few I didn’t know about.

Award shows have always been a magnet for people to talk about fashion. In particular, the media loves to focus on what the women are wearing. I saw a few men in comment worthy outfits but they are not the focus of my rant.

Women have fought long and hard to be worthy of accolades. There was a time when women were less important than the livestock they cared for. They have worked hard to be seen as equal to men, to be equal to men. We talk about the glass ceiling and how we are consistently breaking it. Women want to be appreciated for what they are capable of, not how they look. Or so I thought.  And then you go to an awards show. And those dresses, in many cases, defy gravity! If you don’t want to be seen as a beautiful object, then why do you dress as one? We don’t talk about men suits and what a beautiful cut they have. We talk about women’s dresses and how good/ awful/ bizarre they might be.

 

“ I can’t move or breathe or walk, But it’s great!”

 

A celebrity actually said that! Women are taped, plucked and wrapped up so they look extraordinary. It is an awful lot of work. But perhaps it is appropriate for a business that is all about the illusion. And the theme of the night seemed to be ‘breasts’.  Specifically: how little can you cover and still be considered decent.  A whole lot of taped died in pursuit of an award that night.

I am quite sure that Monday morning the call once again became ‘women should not be objectified’, unless of course it is by themselves.

 

Rant completed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Blast From The Past

This was written in September 2013.  I think perhaps not much has changed . . .

Oops, my straitjacket is slipping…

When you look up at the stars at night do you feel homesick?  Okay, okay, bad joke.  Do you know once upon a time I laughed uproariously at that joke.  I ran around and told all my preteen friends.  Yes, it’s that old.  And so am I.

As we age our funny bone seems to migrate.  For some people it ends up around the gluteus maximus.  For others humour becomes more cerebral.  I don’t know the equation to what’s funny.  I don’t even know what makes me laugh until I am actually laughing.  When was the last time you laughed so hard there were tears running down your face?  Do you remember the knee slapping, rib tickling, gut wrenching guffaws you used to hear when a group of people got together to watch a comedy film?  I don’t, at least not recently.  The last time I had one of those all-encompassing, falling on the floor cackles was watching an old movie.

The movie was ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.  I don’t remember the movie.  I don’t even know if it was actually a comedy.  What I do remember is my boyfriend and I beating on the furniture.  We were laughing so hard we were crying.  I remember him falling on the floor and not able to catch his breath.  But I don’t remember the movie.  I remember that there was a series but it appeared to be about teenage angst (and vampire slaying) I wasn’t interested.  I had enough of that when I was a teenager! (The angst not the slaying!) Don’t get me wrong I enjoy comedy.  I’ve been known to crack a smile and even show teeth.  I just haven’t had a really good belly laugh in a very long time.

Laughter is a universal language.  It crosses borders and brings people together.  It can also alienate people and cause others to commit various forms of harm.  Of course that in itself can be funny!  But I digress.  I don’t know of any culture that doesn’t have some form of laughter.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could laugh more and shoot less?  We spend so much of our time behaving according to the dictates of society that when we let loose it can be epic!  Find the time to laugh.  A really good guffaw exercises the whole body!

Fashionable?

 

I have never considered myself ‘fashionable’ and I’m sure no one else did either. I was always appropriately dressed. No ‘bits’ showing.  Nothing to cause small children to have nightmares.  My office “uniform” consisted of an appropriate length skirt or dress, 1 ½ inch shoes, blouse and jacket, a little jewelry, minimal make-up, perhaps a scarf.  I never wore pants.  Boring perhaps but I felt in control and I was comfortable.

My clothing away from work was equally conservative: jeans, shirt, boots . . . nothing earth shattering but I was clean.  Now the rules seem to have changed.  Almost anything is acceptable.  We seemed to have passed through the phase where young men wore their pants so low you could see the colour of their underwear. As for the ‘plumber’s crack’? More than once I was regaled with that as well. And as for the young women? Shirts were cropped so their belly buttons showed, often with a jewel attached to the middle of it. Their pants were also a little low and I must admit very few of them could pull it off. But that was considered fashionable.

The other day I was rolling down the sidewalk and stopped for a light to change. A young woman was standing in front of me and I couldn’t help but be aware of what she was wearing. Tights. When I was a kid, we wore tights under our clothes to keep warm in the wintertime. Think of them as heavy pantyhose. Nowadays they are being worn as if they were pants. I could see the colour of her underwear through them! They were white. What are people thinking?

I know clothes are a statement.  They allow individuals to express themselves to the world. I respect that. I like to see people thinking for themselves, being an individual. And then I look at magazines. I’m sure YouTube has a lot to do with it as well, social media has great power. They’re like lemmings following each other. I don’t see uniqueness I see conformity.  A few people at the top of the fashion tree make decisions, multibillion-dollar decisions and the world complies. Sigh.

I remember shoulder pads and fanny packs. I remember platform shoes and Shag haircuts.  Yes, I am THAT old.  Hahaha! Some of those were great and others, not so much.  Each generation has their trademark fashion item.  The individuality only seems to happen within the confines of that trend. But to the individuals who stray from the path and think for themselves: keep it clean! Mothers are watching.

A Single Cardboard Box

Eloise sat back in her chair and sighed.   This would be her final move. It was a hard one, leaving so much behind. But it was time. She thought about her husband of 61 years, Elliot. He’d been gone for a while now but she was managing. He’d always loved that about her:  her ability to adapt.

Hands clasped loosely on her lap, legs demurely crossed at the ankle. She had been taught to be a lady but she also knew when not to be. Something else Elliott loved about her.  She smiled to herself. As she raised her head her eyes caught the single cardboard box resting on the edge of the bed.  How is it possible for 92 years to fit inside one single box?

There were so many memories. Dipping her toes into three oceans over her lifetime. That midnight buffet on the cruise ship. The smile became a chuckle as she remembered poor Elliot looking for his shoes in a strange motel after a very long night. He eventually found them in the refrigerator! They had laughed all the way to Albuquerque. Good memories.

There were camping trips with four active and insatiably curious children. And then the children’s children, there seemed to be so many of them. She remembered the strange noises a sleeping child makes and the wild-eyed wonder when they saw something for the first time. Learning to read, learning to walk, learning to slow down. That was always the hard one. But they did it together. Eloise and Elliot. It had lovely ring to it. What a great partnership they had. And that partnership didn’t die when he did. She slept with a pair of his gloves under her pillow. He was never far from her.

She relaxed a little more in the chair, resting her tired shoulders. And she cast her mind back over her 92 years. She had earned her rest. Her memories of her childhood were all good. She’d had loving parents who had taught her to love the world and to respect what it had to offer. She had grown up with wonderful pets who had taught her humility and selflessness. She had friends who taught her the art of compromise and acceptance and French kissing. Yes, she had learned how to laugh early.  And she laughed often.  She had reason.

They had traveled the world together. Elliott was a wonderful traveler. Except for the shoes.  When the children had come along they too were initiated into that world. First traveling near at home and then farther and farther as they grew older and more capable of appreciating it. And then they too caught the bug. The world was theirs to explore.

As time inexorably moved on so did the children. And then she and Elliot rediscovered the wonders of each other. It was like a second honeymoon and they had enjoyed it for many years. Oh, the children came back to visit. In the beginning it was quite often but as their lives became more and more complicated, that too dwindled off.  That was to be expected.

Most of the children and grandchildren made it back for Elliot’s funeral. It was good to see them, to get reacquainted. But they had their own lives to get back to and in time Eloise was again alone.  That was okay. She had much to occupy her. She had quite a vibrant social life and plenty of friends to keep her company. But there were adjustments. She moved to a condominium and hired a cleaning service. There were even a few male companions who were interested in more than just companionship. They were proper gentlemen when she refused. Her heart still belonged to Elliot. Besides he hadn’t been gone that long. But it was nice to have a man around to escort her to a dance.

The box caught her eye once again. It seem to beckon to her and to mock her. It was her box of treasures, precious memories, tokens worth more than any precious jewel ever could be. A single tear escaped her eye.  She felt sad and more than a little proud. She wondered about the next step in her life. What was still to come? She closed her eyes.

 

*********************************************************************

 

The door burst open! A tall, young; man, strode aggressively into the room.

“Where the hell is the damn thing?”

A few seconds behind him an equally tall woman sashayed into the room somewhat less aggressively.

“They said it was on the end of the bed and you could pick it up at your leisure.  I think it’s important. What do you plan on doing with it?”

The man became a little less forceful as he spotted the single cardboard box just where he had been told it would be.

“It’s just some old trinkets. What possible value could it have? “

 

 

the end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children of the Storm

 

The mighty winds are lashing

Torrential rains awash

The storm is in its torrid throes

The darkness still unfettered

 

Beneath the stately boughs

Of a kingly oak

A gentle mother waits her turn

Small life within her breast

 

While all around her quakes

The world has gone askew

The gentle mother bides her time

Until new life be born

 

And now the time is near

The storm still rages on

With perhaps a tiny sigh

The baby chicks are born

 

There is no greater offering

That is ours to give

The gift of life is wondrous

Though stormy be its path.