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.  🙂


What Year Is It?

The year called by many “2017” was most likely very good for some and very bad for others.  Those for whom it was good may hope “2018” will be better; those for whom it was bad surely at least deep down inside seriously (if not desperately) hope “2018” will be better.  Regardless, it’s the year “2018” only for those who calculate time from the Birth of Jesus Christ era.  There was time before that, lots of time so lots of years on the records of whatever people such as the biblical Three Kings or Wise Men with gifts.

Were they kings or wise men?  They saw a star, so most likely they may have been at least astronomers if not sages or seers, but they could also have been kings, and they did think to bring meaningful gifts.  Since they “saw a star” they were aware of the changes “heaven-ward” and surely operated on calendars of some sort using other numbers for the year (unknown at this desk).  Apart from that being a bit interesting if it could be learned, it seems important to recall there are other numbers for years.

Today humans can get off the earth and soon may be going to other planets ordinarily where a year is not 365 (or whatever) days.  Scientists have calculated, for example, that one year (trip around the sun) on the more distant planets such as Neptune is more than a known human lifespan.  In the case of Neptune it’s 165 earth years.  One could live a standard human life and not be a year old.  Planets closer to the sun, such as Venus, have years that have fewer days than the Earth, just 225 Earth days for Venus.

A big to-do about an Earth-based “new year” is no longer really appropriate since it’s not the monumental thing it was before space exploration.  And, that’s not to mention much about the actual limited area of Christianity, which, especially in earlier days, consisted of people who didn’t live somewhat world-wide as they have for several generations now.  That doesn’t mean an Earth-based new year should be ignored or even somehow be re-numbered.  It just means it needs to be remembered things are different daily.

Good wishes for the new year to all. 🙂

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.  🙂

Back From Grandmother’s House

The very old song about going to grandmother’s house for a holiday has never been a reality for many people.  Only some are blessed with a grandmother who has an actual house.  For many, grandmother’s house is an apartment or a nursing home.  An actual grandmother’s house may very well have things (and ways) that are a generation older than a grandchild’s home if it was established to raise the child’s parent (again, some).

To go to an actual grandmother’s house, therefore, would perhaps amount to going to a somewhat different world, maybe even including additional people that are family if there are a parent’s brothers or sisters still “living at home.”  A grandchild’s return home then, would be to a more modern existence even though the world at large might be more or less the same — war, peace or whatever else might be filling the daily news reports.

In the (personal) distant past going to grandmother’s house might take a five-hour drive, later reduced to four when the highways were improved.  Something like a plane trip was out of the question not because of the attendant cost but because there wasn’t much in the way of airports.  Someone had to drive it, which someone, if it be just one, had little energy left if there was also need to return home the next day.  (Family’s important.)

Perhaps the best experience in the whole business is/was not the arrival at a memorable place and subsequent hugs, although those are special.  Neither is it any special event concocted for the gathering, although those can be charming, enlightening experiences.  Perhaps the nicest experience comes with the dark of night at hand in a moment when, after hours in a car, the city lights of home are a panorama across the highway view.

One should always want to be home.  🙂