M. L. King, Jr. Day — Another Holiday

Another holiday means another day when offices are closed.  They aren’t all closed, but the important stuff like mail delivery is out and banks aren’t open.  Mail can be tossed in boxes, of course.  Cash money can still come in hand if someone has an ATM usable account and the means to get to one.  On the whole, however, as with any holiday, it was best to be prepared to not be carrying on ordinary living.

Given that it’s mid-January, at least in the Northlands, there’s a second reason to be more or less prepared to not be carrying on ordinary living, namely, the weather, and this year is no exception.  Indeed, a government-type of office called Friday afternoon was already closed on the basis of expected bad weather.  By sunset not only was there considerable drop in temperature, but it had started to snow.

One might say today’s holiday was a day of convenience (maybe a convenient matter).  Although some people have just started getting “after holiday” organized again (we must keep in mind here that technically Christmas decorations are not due to be taken down until the traditional arrival of the Three Kings/Wise Men, January 6), there is sure to be much less squawking about anything if it’s also convenient.

It’s good there was a Martin Luther King, Jr., for many reasons.  This year the holiday is on his actual birthday, which doesn’t always happen.  Although he would be quite old, if he had not been killed, he could have been still alive in the natural order of existence.  And, maybe most important, it’s to be considered that a great legacy of the whole matter is good results from there being a holiday at this time at all.

What’s done with things can be valuable.  🙂

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Cold Weather At The Old Folks’ Home

Born and bred in the Northlands doesn’t mean someone must stay in the snow/ice belt, but people do.  Children, of course, need to stay with parents, and children account for a hefty percentage of the population.  Adult population is another matter.  Many stay for the sake of a job and a measure of income, especially if around what’s called “middle-age.”  Only a few are in a good position to leave, which means dealing with the weather.

Zero and sub-zero temperatures (Fahrenheit) are obviously more likely the farther north one goes (or for that matter south in the southern hemisphere).  The area underfoot is In the more temperate area, and “zero” only happen sometimes (right now underfoot).  Since it only happens sometimes, and since the people in an old folks’ home often do not do much like hold down a job, they are among those who often aren’t well prepared.

There’s less going places (never mind hanging around outside congregating regardless of nice selling points like a lovely view) and more of a rush to get in if there’s some need to go out.  And, that “getting in” includes getting beyond the halls, which, especially near the entrances, aren’t much warmer than the outdoors.  Chilly halls also put a damper on necessities, like going to a laundry room or even getting some snacks from machines.

There can be a serious strain on the heating system if it is getting a little old, but if it is a big building there is less chance of something like pipes freezing up or electricity being knocked out for an extended period (especially when a place has a back-up generator). Reasonable older people also try to avoid driving if roadways are bad, so getting things like food or making it to things like doctor’s appointments are very common problems.

To be remembered:  snow covers a lot of dirt.  🙂

All Those Christmas Cards

Holiday cards were a great invention.  Writing out stuff even if it doesn’t take much of a hunt for the right words is time consuming, which isn’t too much of a concern only if there’s just one or two messages to send.  If there are many, even if the same message is used for all, doing such can even create other problems from writer’s cramp to the likes of spilled coffee.

Furthermore, written out stuff doesn’t usually immediately create the quick cheery personal state that charming or lovely pictures can create.  The written word can create thoughtful and touching moments, but not the nearly instantaneous happy or peaceful feeling that comes with a good image.  Words, no matter how good they are, have to be mentally processed.

Seasonally, people often hang cards around amid other decorations; but, once it’s time for the decorations to come down, it seems a waste to just throw the cards away.  And, there is always the added factor that a person who sent greetings might not be around at a future time.  A card, then, could be a gentle memento of that person worth saving just for a recollection.

Some people do save the cards.  There are various ideas “out there somewhere” of what to do with them, including things like putting them (or at least some of them) in an album or pasting them on something for decoration.  If pasted on something like a plain paper box, a coat of shellac over it will help keep them from tearing up.  Just a bit of thought needed in this.

Time to say Happy New Year!  🙂

Christmas Cincinnati! …??

Cincinnati is still known to some as “The Queen City of The West” even though it is no longer in “The West.”  (After 1803 the area wasn’t so much “The West” anymore, although it was still west of Boston, New York, Washington, D.C, etc.)  Electric light bulb stuff blossomed into use later, and an electric gizmo sits at the edge of downtown Cincinnati to announce “Cincinnati” that is seemingly suited for an earlier time.

The “gizmo” is a huge (much larger than ordinary houses) series of lights that spell out the word “Cincinnati.”  It sits relatively close to the north bank of the Ohio river and presents itself mostly in a sort of southwest direction so that it would be a word to be seen by up-river boat traffic rather than people downtown or on the south bank.  The thing is, there is ordinarily very little boat traffic on the river up or down.

One can well imagine a time before cars and planes were common when shipping did heavily use the river.  People on a relatively long haul on the river might seriously appreciate such a sign off in the distance.  There are people around who can see it, such as on the south bank, but that’s far from the same thing.  It’s brightly there every night, and they are people who really don’t need it as a sign a trip’s over.

Sometimes the colors of the lights are changed, like at times the display has been done in red, white and blue.  Well, it’s Christmas time and the message sent downstream these days has been done in red and green.  It’s very cheery and fitting, but it does seem like it would go best with the whole expression Queen City of The West, which, as sadly noted, doesn’t have the impact it once did unless one’s in Boston, etc.

It’s sad when beautiful things lose out.  😦

ATI Newsletter: A Different Christmas Event

It seems things have changed with the Aviation Trail news.  It used to be that every so often (like quarterly) a four page report came.  Now one page comes once a week.  This week’s was read.  There’s a Christmas-y thing in it.  Just incidentally, the newsletter has quite a bit in it, but it’s just not the same.  One sheet is not like opening a magazine even if it’s only four pages and not slick.

One big news of the week is, of course, the wreath-laying ceremony come this Friday to commemorate the December 17, 1903, flight at Kittyhawk by the Wrights.  A fly-over is planned and refreshments are to be had (time:  10:10 – 10:35 a.m.).  It’s open to the public and hosted by Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.  It’s called The First Flight Ceremony and is a regular event.

In addition, a dinner is planned for December 16, the annual First Flight Dinner, to honor the Wrights, and it’s also a commemoration for the 100th anniversary of McCook Field.  McCook Field was in operation from 1917 to 1927 and had that rather famous and clever big hangar sign saying, “This field is small – use it all.”  It was named for Civil War General Alexander McDowell McCook.

The dinner is the time of the annual Trailblazer Award, which this year goes to what eventually came into being (these days) from McCook Field.  The dinner features a “re-enactment” (if one wants to call it that) of the 1903 Wrights Christmas dinner, including turkey and stuffing, whipped potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, spice cake and other goodies as well as coffee and tea.

Christmas events can be many things.  🙂

December — Year’s End — Taxes

“December,” of course, creates a sense of “the end.”  In addition to being the last of the calendar year, in about the third week it’s the time when the old “natural growing season” ends and a new one starts in the northern hemisphere, where a good many people and allied traditions live.  Admittedly, the change is reversed in the southern hemisphere, but that’s just as monumental.

Apart from the matter of the calendar, the start and end of the natural growing season is certainly not the only way to reckon a year.  Any day (like a birthday) noted for a reason and considered an annual point is also a year and a valid way to establish a routine for living.  Whether many people do or not is beside the point.  It’s probably rather difficult in many respects but is still doable.

The growing season business with some eventual religious embellishment may be the reason for a bang-up ending to an annual cycle, but there’s also an underlying murmur that makes it important to note the end of a year.  The big thing “in the air” more or less unspoken (even ignored as much as possible) is none other than taxes, especially if there are some that are to be paid in January.

The calendar year wouldn’t make much difference if it weren’t for the taxes firstly and for some people religious events.  The seasonal changes are important to those involved in certain things (like food production or clothing sales) but not really for society in general.  A late Christmas present is still a Christmas present and an extension of the spirit of it.  Taxes, however, are cold, hard facts.

It’s easy to lose sight of things.  🙂

Time Change Again

People handle the time change in different ways.  Some adjust everything.  Some adjust as little as possible.  Some like the idea.  Some grin and bear it.  Some bear it without much grin because they must.  Some have no experience of times without it.  Some spent a lot of life without it and pick what they prefer based on experience.  It’s a social mess.

One thing some folks often don’t consciously realize (although they may sense it) is that clock time isn’t sun time except in some very narrow bands.  That is, “high noon” (i.e., 12.00 p.m. give or take a few seconds) should be when the sun is directly overhead.  It’s a number of minutes different from that as one gets closer to the edge of the time zones.

Living beings (humans included) react to the natural environment.  If being in or out of the sunlight is important, clock time can be a hindrance.  On the other hand, in some cases even sunrise and sunset don’t matter much, never mind exact “high noon.”  At least two religions base some activities on “natural” or sun time.  It won’t be forgotten.

The first morning into Standard Time (in this case, yesterday) is always a joy regardless of the weather (in this case, overcast with heavy storms promised), personal problems (in this case, health), etc., as the pressures of life aren’t as immediate.  Joy can even be there for a day or two more.  Maybe that effect can be of value to existence in the end.

At times it’s hard to find the bright side. 😦