Doing What On New Year’s?

Well, it’s not quite New Year’s (the “Day”) in the old folks’ home underfoot.  It is the “Eve.” And, of course, with New Year’s, as with Christmas, the witching hour is what is most important. There is supposed to be a proper party starting up in the basement community room.  It’s quite likely there is something going on as a trip down there in an attempt to take a picture of the “view” of the apartment building for a friend found a resident musician practicing something.  There was a “social” reason for attending the building’s New Year’s Eve party in 2008-9 in spite of a reluctance to do so.  It was disappointing. 

The party may be nice.  The one last year was classified as a whopping success by some power that be in charge.  However, someone panting like a mile runner much of the day need not add any additional activity to the existence.  A better idea would be to eliminate some; but, certain things did need to be done.  It is quite likely there will be other residents by-passing the event.  There’s only so much by-passing that can done as there’s sure to be a bunch of fireworks going off outside of the place.  All events may be toned down somewhat as there was no case of people being cooped up.  The weather was spring-like. 

The year 2010 was not the best of times for some people. It probably was good to others.  And, year end reviews have already been all over the place.  There’s no need to dwell on another.  New Year’s Eve is being spent with some special people, readers, some of whom are friends who have been there in bad, sad or other troubled times.  They certainly may not be reading at exactly the witching hour, but any hour is okay, too.  It’s just the message is being sent at almost a midnight hour.  It’s kind of the last words of 2010.  In brief, to all people of good will, may you find much peace, joy and prosperity in the days ahead. 

Happy New Year Everyone!   

And, The Old Folks Were Left….

The clock on the table somehow slid to a shade after 5:15 p.m. – it actually read as a little after 6:15 p.m. because it’s one never changed over to Standard Time on the premise that Standard Time may be preferred, but it’s in too little use to be really using it – and a meditative moment hit yours truly.  The young people running the apartment building are gone; a hundred and fifty or so old people in various individualized states of incapacity have been left to fend for themselves in what ways they might in an isolated building.  The office is locked and so are other things, or they should be. 

There’s another day in the year, and the week and the month, but not this year as the holiday falls on Saturday, so it’s scheduled for tomorrow. The young ones all left a day early;  but, they all missed out on the last couple of hours of milling around that would have taken place if the day had not been moved up.  By 5:15 p.m. the place was out of sight and out of mind for all of them.  Service people were done even earlier.  Doctors, nurses, social workers and aides had checked out patients and clients long before “closing time.”  Mail carriers, inspectors and the likes of any exterminators were all done, too. 

The old folks would just have to get along as best they could for the next three days.  In an emergency, there would be the pull cord or a neighbor’s door; that is standard anyway.  If a pipe broke and an area flooded, maintenance calls are legitimate.  And, the old folks were gathering here and there to assess matters well before the staff left.  Some old folks’ homes don’t have near as much in the way of service. Someone shows up in the office for a few hours a couple of days a week to do things like get the mail and the rent.  Some places may have much more staff.  Wheelchair or no, the old folks are on their own. 

Things do end. 

Annual Landmark Moments

The seasonal shift is in play.  It kicked in about a week ago and is established firmly now.  It’s officially winter in the northlands (summer in the far southlands) for a dozen more weeks.  The start of winter included melting snow dripping as water in the middle of the entry way of the old folks’ senior citizens’ retirement community underfoot.  It could not have been much of a wintery cold, if by that is meant freezing temperatures.  But, that’s just in Covington, Kentucky.  Snow is supposedly substantial both east and north and maybe west.  There was no intense study of the matter to date.  

The (a) calendar shift is also in play.  It’s still officially 2010 in many places (like the United States); but, 2011 is immediately sort of in sight, so much so that a lot of people have to be reminded that it is still 2010 for two days.  Calendars for 2011 are at hand, but they can’t be put up yet.  They are just laid down at some convenient place in readiness.  Something that must be done before the end of the year must be done immediately.  There are still two days for it; but, one, Friday, the day before the start of 2011, is pretty much of a lost cause.  A morning thing might make it to whatever end. 

At the moment there is also some minor shifting, like people are shifting to be ready for a holiday.  Supposedly one should have a small feast of some kind of pork and sauerkraut at the witching hour of midnight New Year’s Eve for good luck in the coming year.  Some people will likely forgo that.  Another supposedly is to be at some kind of a party shouting, horn tooting and the like. Still another minor shift will be a shifting out of the last of the Christmas effects.  (Things are theoretically supposed to be left rather as placed at least until after the New Year’s celebrating, which can cut down on some decorating.) 

There are official times for change. 

Short Work Weeks

Today the management of the apartment building underfoot dutifully sent out a newsletter for January.  They deserve credit.  Due to New Year’s Day, it’s a four-day work week after a four day-work week last week.  There were surely a few unfinished things from last week, yet they did get out the monthly newsletter, a thing certainly not every place provides.  Such a thing is not really difficult to do, if people know what they are doing.  A format is already set up.  The only thing needed is to fill in a few pertinent details for the month.  It shouldn’t take more than two hours a month at the most, but places don’t do it. 

In many respects the old folks’ home retirement community under discussion is better managed, at least at present, than many places that are available to and intended for a population of elderly (and sometimes disabled) people.  Even so, some people move out over petty details.  And, other people come.  There are four new residents on the newsletter’s list. There are nearly always new people around, but the newest obviously moved in during the holiday season.  Vacant apartments  may have been vacated a month or two earlier; but, a move in had to be recent, which means the move from elsewhere was recent. 

Finding and acquiring housing is difficult enough in itself, but trying to do it at a time like the present, especially in an area where the weather, with the likes of ice and snow, can make things even more messy is a sizable activity.  Yet, such things do get done, just as the newsletter got done, when people are dealing with those that have some sense of responsibility about getting things done. It is not found everywhere.  Some places may get back into the swing of things at about when the next holiday arrives in January.  And, people blessed with some efficiency during holiday pauses in life should be appreciated. 

Every day has twenty-four hours.  

Holiday Confusion

Well, it’s December 27 (2010) and one has to figure out which way to go.  One line of reasoning says it’s a couple of days before New Year’s, or more properly speaking, a new year is about to begin.  It’s only a new year on calendars that are in use.  Someone’s fiscal year might be different.  The new year in the “real world” of nature comes around December 21 in the northern hemisphere and at about the same time, given six months’ difference, in the southern hemisphere.  Does one follow the supposed ancient Chinese proverb of, “Pay all debts before the new year begins?” 

Then there’s the line of “tradition” (somewhat misplaced) which says there are “twelve days of Christmas,” and December 27 is the third day of Christmas.  The twelve days of Christmas got a severe blow about thirty some years ago when at least some of the Christian churches decided to downplay the holiday called the Epiphany (January 6).  The old idea was that the three Magi of Biblical story didn’t arrive until sometime after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. That arrival was celebrated January 6.  And, the Christmas tradition had to extend to the arrival of the Magi, with January 5 being the twelfth day of Christmas. 

Lastly, there is the “path” that includes none of the above.  That might be called something like pure secularism if just the biblical story is left out. That is, there’s no celebrating of Christmas, so there’s no twelve days thereafter business; but, New Year’s is still noted somehow. In addition, there are other calendars in use by some people that set the beginning of a year at a time other than just about now (like sometime in the spring or autumn).  When both of these are in play, it is a “path” that’s entirely different.  And, not to be left out there are composite and/or abbreviated ways, as in Christmas, but no twelve days. 

It helps to determine trends. 

How Worthwhile Is Christmas?

On a part of the earth – rough estimate, less than a fourth – the calendar date of December 25 of any year is not only in the darkest time of a year, it also is in a cold time and subject to snowfall and ice.  It’s easily a dismal, dangerous time and place.  As has surely been noted many times over, it’s easy to see why at least some people there would treasure a story such as the Bible’s Christmas tale as commonly related.  While it may be historically inaccurate in a number of ways, it’s more or less a situation to which they can personally relate and it has a happy ending. 

The Christian faiths are found many places in the world; but, it just may be that the story of Christmas does not tug at the very being of people elsewhere.  The celebrating, if any, may be due to religious belief, convenience, custom or other causes.  And, a good many people wouldn’t consider celebrating it at all.  But, in that smallish part of the world, the holiday lifts spirits just on the basis of story.  It also lifts spirits (at times) in other ways; but, the point is, for many people it’s an especially “positive” idea.  One has to wonder what the world would be like if there were no Christmas. 

Now, the above is a sociological (and psychological) thing; but, as the holiday is held in some places (like the United State), it’s also part of well ordered living to an extent.  A member of a family would like to have something. It can be a thing to receive at Christmas or at a birthday (whichever comes first).  Life can be two things per year rather than an any old time extravagance.  It’s also a specific for recalling special people out of the ordinary course of events, such as a sister or brother who lives some distance away. He or she may not be in contact at other times; but, an extra effort may be made at Christmas.  

A holiday can be good even without faith. 

Christmas Message: Get To Work!

There is no question yours truly has been a little more “under the weather,” as they say, so that not even one entry herein was written for some days.  It’s not that Christmas has taken so much extra time or the like.  A few greetings were sent, period.  Someone was sent to the bank – even that took less time than it might have taken. The equipment was out for a while, but not a really long time. Trips to the outside world weren’t a thing like fifteen minutes of cigarette time.  They were more like two minutes at the most to get a good idea of exactly how cold it was out there.  It is just a case of not feeling well. 

If one looks for “signs” in life, there was (?) a message today. There is a carrier for the newspaper that brings papers for building residents at about 6:00 a.m.  Today extra copies were left.  Well, carriers can ask for extras or the circulation people can make mistakes so carriers have extras. One good use for extras is street corner sales; but, it’s a bit cold outside so they became “complimentary” copies left on the counter – three still there at noon yet, and offered to people around by a neighbor.  There was no interest; that the paper was suggested at all can only be a “message.” 

So, what’s the message? Christmas Day edition or not, daily papers are a daily log of current events for an area, town-sized versions of a diary.  And, the lady encouraged the taking of one; they’re a good thing to have (she thinks).  One either turns it down or politely takes one.  There are likely several  “messages” in the business, but the most obvious, with a newspaper on the lap, is “There is this daily diary for consideration.”  It doesn’t take much to change that to “there is a diary to be considered.”  Even if one is more under the weather than usual, one can give it a try, with an appreciative eye to those that read it. 

Holidays end.