In the Slow Lane

TV news, what a dilemma!  Often I think it hazardous to  health.  Surprised there's no movement to have it labeled as such.  You know, a warning banner to take up the remaining two inches of the screen.  But on the other hand, if laughter improves the immune system, TV is a must.  Oh, ho! you say.  But what kind of laughter?  Does skeptical snickering make for good health?  What about giggles, guffaws, belly laughs?  My rule of thumb: if it doesn't raise your blood pressure, it's healthy.


Last week, for instance, there was a Win-a-Makeover contest.  Send in a photo and tell why you want a makeover?  Duh!  Isn't the picture proof enough?  They don't tell you this, but over a certain age, happen to be fat, not of the paler persuasion?  Forget it.  Your application automatically lands in the HOPELESS file.  Hey, they need decent matierial to make a "silk purse."   No sow's ears need apply.


And what's with this naming every storm system that comes down the Canadidan pike?  What was wrong with the "Siberian Express?"  The "Canadian Clipper?"  Besides, naming each system might get dangerous.  What!  What happens when the right-to-name becomes part of the Consitution?  Do we really want Storm Barrack, Biden, Reed, Romney or Bush?   Just a snowball  from corrupting meteorology.   Yeah, I know, extreme weather is not funny, but reporters making snowballs in one inch of snow, that's funny.


The poor-little-13-year-old-dead-person's body preserved by the ventilator, is in no way funny.  It is the stuff of horror movies.  But it is laughable that we civilized folks tolerate such things in this world.


Well, there goes the old blood pressure!   Hate being an ignorant crank in the slow lane, but today I lean toward:  Hazardous to your Health.







Well, hey, hey, hey!  It's a new year just waiting!  Waiting for politicos to grow up.  (Don't hold your breath!)  Waiting for that government website to kick in.  (Dare we hope?)    Nope, no crying about milk everyone spilled or is getting ready to spill.  We're talking  January hoidays just waiting. 


For instance:  Today marks the day in 1878 when the first female telelphone operator was hired, Miss Emma Nutt.  Claimed to be grateful her name wasn't Imma.  Close enough, seems to me.  Why not seize the moment to tell your kid about clunky phones that don't fit in pockets, explain telephone operators.  You might watch the 1981 Sissy Spacek movie, Raggedy Man.


January 3 - Festival of Sleep Day.  Where or with whom is optional, but the office is out.  January 10 - Peculiar People Day.  This could be tricky.  How do you tell your best friend you're taking her to lunch because she wears socks with sandals?  Who among us will invite friends to a party celebrating one's own peculair habit(s)?  Do you really want your friends to know how you pick your nose while driving?  Still, with common sense, it could be fun, if slightly kinko.


January 14 - Dress Up Your Dog Day.  Hmmm....  This celebration could qualify your friends for Peculiar People Day next year.  January 24 - Beer Can Appreciation Day. Take note all you Bud drinkers.  First can of beer, 1934.  (Ha!  The beer can is older than me!)   Being a self-confessed beer snob,  I know "on tap" is best.  Bottles are good, but dangerous at sports events.  The can does have advantages.  No teeth are broken pulling the tab.  It compacts nicely.  Kids and/or the poor can make a few pennies from the stray can.  The can is easy to see along the slow lane where quite a few of them land. 


Last, but not least, January 31 - Chinese New Year (to be continued.)  I know you can't wait!  







Fresh, and I do mean fresh as in re-freshed, after Christmas.  Mellow you might say. What?  Did  ghosts of Christmas Past sneak into dreams? 


Well, sure they did.  1959, a four-year old daughter alseep on the couch wakes to Santa in a moon beam placing gifts.  Still says it was Santa.  A little son toddles to his sister's toy ironing board, pleased with this mommy tool.  It might've been a sign.  He grew up to be both mommy and daddy; good he was attracted to ironing at an early age.  (I have some pretty good ironing board stories, but I'll leave them for now.)  A baby son's eyes dark eyes light up, as he spies, then crawls full speed to small tree placed in a standing planter.  Dust bunnies skitter in his wake.  Wow!  Pulls himself up (for the first time) and gives that tree such a shake!  So much for that. 


Christmas Present, as in now, was a present, as in gift.  Younger hands took the Christmas helm and steered the family to a delightfully, simple, fun-filled holiday.  We met, for the first time, two great-grandsons, probably the most intelligent and cutest kids on the planet with the exception, of course, of their remarkable cousins.


Christmas Future looks bright as another little Valentine great-granddaughter, christened the Acrobat, rolls and tumbles in the wings, eager to join us.  The count stands four to three, femine side....... for now.


Though I was somewhat withered in spirit and body (okay a lot), Christmas rejunvenated me.  Hard to believe, but little twigs sprouting on the family tree did the trick.  Is that great or what? 





It's a miracle!  The spirit of Christmas has captured me.  Against great odds, it zoomed down the slow lane into the heart of this self-described Christmas curmudgeon.  


The Christmas miracle was not on 34th Street. (I've always believed in Santa.)  It shone in the eyes of a young, once athletic man now in the grip of ALS.   The spark, nothing more than off-key, raggedy renditions of Christmas songs sung in his living room by a few old laidies.


A child whose raising often led me to wonder if either of us would surive till his 21st year, prepares a joyous Christmas homecoming for his children and grandchildren.  A sweet and loving patriarch of his own little clan.


My mother, her life warped by torment of which I knew nothing while she lived.  Her Christmas table, always beautiful, truly an elegant feast offered her love the only way she knew how.  Lo, these many years and I understand.  Miraculously I understand!





December full moon!  Some folks call it the Cold Moon;  others, the Long Nights Moon.   Moonrise last night was a huge wheel of richest cheddar.  More dramtic than any Harvest Moon ever seen by me.  Halloween art is made of such a moon.  Driving a slow-lane country road, I stopped and gazed.  No traffic, you know.  Just me and the moon.  I was like a face-space junky in multi-hit rapture.


As I stared, I felt the fangs of Christmas anxiety shrinking into storage. (Wish these snags would shrink away forever!  Alas, they just don't behave like regular fangs.)  Though I was worn to a frazzle, the Cold Moon quickly soothed my overheated psyche.  A lovely moment of solitude and I was over the hump.  


Professional in-depth snooping into corners of my mind might pinpoint the source of this anxiety.   But why bother?  Every year it cures itself by an unexpected letter, a random act of kindness.........or a Cold Moon rising.