Auld Aquaintance

Posted on January 1, 2010 7:42 pm under General
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Got a call from an old friend last night. We hadn’t talked in quite a while. It was good to hear her voice, although it was choked with tears. “I feel so alone.”

She wasn’t alone. She and three of her children make their home with her parents. Thirty other family members had joined them to celebrate. But I knew just what she meant. Most of us have experienced that feeling of being disconnected from those around us. An old friend is a good panacea. Someone who knows us. Someone who brings back memories of togetherness. Someone who has seen our best and worst. And still loves us. We talked for a while and the panacea worked it’s magic. Soon she was ready to join her family for the midnight festivities.

Why is Auld Acquaintance sung at New Year’s? Nostalgia for the past? Closure before moving on? These had always been my thoughts. But perhaps we’re summoning the troops. Gathering the security of old friends around us. Mustering the courage to face the new and unknown. Whatever the reason, it’s a time when the longing for old friends is strong.

May the coming year hold only the best for you. And may it’s end find you surrounded by Auld Acquaintance.


13 Fine Things About Me

Posted on December 31, 2009 6:18 pm under Grandma Tidbits, Thursday Thirteen
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Thursday Thirteen - Grandma is not listless anymore

A few days ago, I explained why I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. One reason involved the demotivating effect of contemplating all my imperfections. Today I decided to make a list of things that I don’t need to improve on. I feared that I might not reach thirteen. But they came pretty quickly:

1. My sense of humor
I got it from my father and it’s sustained me through hard times. It also makes my daily life a lot lighter.

2. My coding skills
After 40 years of computer programming, they are almost second nature. And I still enjoy it.

3. My loyalty
My definition of friend is a lot more conservative than MySpace’s. But I’m there for those I love.

4. My playfulness
According to my granddaughter. She didn’t use the word “playfulness”, but she did mention a large number of informal games that we play: snatching jelly beans from her belly button, claiming her security blanket (tiki) is mine, singing silly songs … the list is endless. I’m not sure which of us enjoys them more.

5. My driving skills
I lived and commuted in Atlanta for 12 years. I only know of one other person who lived there and didn’t have an accident in that time – my daughter.

6. My perseverance
In my working days, I was frequently asked how I managed to find solutions to problems that had perplexed others. My response was, “It’s not hard to find folks who are smarter than I am. And even easier to find those who are faster. But you’ll look a long time before you find someone with more perseverance.” Thomas Edison claimed that he had learned 2000 ways NOT to make a light bulb, before the working model made it’s appearance. I believe in that approach.

7. My rebelliousness
I never thought of myself as a rebel, but lots of folks have used that term to describe me. Usually it’s with a sense of admiration. I’ve just made the choices that I felt were best for me. Yes, they’ve been a bit unconventional at times.

8. My love for animals
We’ve always had a house full of pets. I even devote a fair amount of time to caring for virtual ones.

9. My addiction to American Idol
I’m really hooked! And it’s returning soon!

10. My kindness
That’s what my daughter said. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but I’m pleased that she thinks so.

11. My cooking skills
I don’t do much of it these days. A stroke has left me too unsteady to handle many of the things I loved to do. But I still have the skill and I’m happy that I passed it on. Talk about an investment with a great return.

12. My analytical skills
Closely related to my curiosity. I always want to know why. Must have driven my parents crazy.

13. My sense of adventure
Another contribution from my daughter. And who should know better? We’ve made some major changes together and had fun doing it. We also enjoy small adventures in our everyday lives.

Wow! I’m feeling a lot better about myself than I did 15 minutes ago. Looking for a mood lifter? Give this a try. Beats the overindulgence in alcohol that is so predominant at this time.


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Alcohol Rates . . .

Posted on December 29, 2009 8:06 pm under General
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high in New Year themed clip art. I was searching for some clip art for my website. I found Father Time, the New Year’s baby, fireworks, confetti and music. But the predominant theme was alcoholic beverages.

I guess that’s not very surprising. Just a reflection of what’s happening in real life. But it is scary. The New Year holiday ranks high in the statistics for highway accidents. Even higher when the holiday becomes part of a weekend. Fatalities increase when alcohol consumption is involved and it is involved in the majority of New Year’s accidents.

Don’t Drink and Drive is a fine motto, but for this holiday, it doesn’t go far enough. Don’t Drive makes far more sense. Inconvenient? Perhaps. But you can’t become a part of those statistics if you stay off the road.

How does your life rate? Enough to get those errands done before the holiday? Enough to try something different? Twenty years ago, I made a decision to see the new year in at home. I’ve enjoyed those celebrations. And it’s been a decision I’ve found easy to live with.



Posted on December 28, 2009 3:12 pm under Diet, General
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I won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions this year. Truth be told, it’s been years since I have made one. No, I haven’t reached that elusive plane of perfection. Still plenty of room for improvement here. But it won’t be starting on New Year’s Day. Tempted to join me? Here’s 5 reasons not to make New Year’s resolutions.

1. It’s a bad time to tackle anything new.
We’re still celebrating the season. Why not enjoy it? Resolutions can really distract from the festivities. I had a friend who resolved to stop smoking. Fifteen minutes before the clock struck midnight, she left her guests to party on, went into her bedroom, smoked her last cigarette and cried. Happy New Year? To her credit, she did kick the habit. But did she have to miss her own party to do it?

2. It let’s you off the hook.
You decide to lose a few pounds and start a diet. You go out with some friends a few days later and kill any diet progress that’s been made. The resolution has been broken and you can’t take that back. Why not forget about it and try again next year.

3. It’s depressing.
Just coming up with resolutions can be depressing. When I was younger I couldn’t stop at just one. So I’d produce a staggering list of areas that needed improvement and resolve to fix them all. Overwhelmed by this tower of imperfection, I just gave up before I started.

4. There is no magic in the day.
Everyone likes an easy fix. A weight loss pill that requires no diet or exercise? Ooh, take my credit card now. A get rich scheme that will end my financial woes. Hang on, I haven’t put the card away yet. It’s easy to think that New Year’s has some magical power that will take the work out of our resolutions. Buying into that can be the first step towards failure.

5. Remember Mr. Rogers
When my daughter was young, she watched Mr. Rogers everyday. Her favorite part? When he told the watching children “I love you just the way you are.” We find it easier to accept the imperfections of family and friends than to tolerate our own. So why not resolve to give yourself the gift of acceptance this year. That’s the kind of resolution you can live with.