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.  🙂

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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.  🙂

Thanksgiving Time … (Old Folk’s Home)

A suitable thing here would be a picture of a harvest feast and eloquent thoughts about such matters; but, as has been noted, getting pictures in place is a rather complicated accomplishment.  Eloquent thoughts aren’t too easy to come by, either.  The pictures are available, including one of a Pilgrim Thanksgiving and crop displays; thoughts might also be found. However….

As some folks might be interested in holiday thoughts at an old folks’ home (aka senior retirement community), what’s here are some pertinent thoughts.  These are applicable to other holidays as well, such as Christmas; but, that’s not a holiday for everyone.  Up in Dayton (Ohio) a feast meant for all comers was first established decades ago by a well-to-do Jewish merchant.

In some places a gathering of residents is not too important.  Able-bodied people go to chosen places.  If the places have people who don’t get around well, a festive gathering can make life a little nicer.  The term “senior retirement community” offers a clue as to what’s at hand but not always.  The place underfoot is called that but dinners are big deals, especially holiday.

The real places for special dinners to be arranged are places like battlefronts, nursing homes, homeless shelters and perhaps some jails.  Setting one up in a church is not a bad idea, but it doesn’t really suit universal holidays (like Thanksgiving), nor does it do anything for people who have slipped from the mainstream ideas of society, the best reason for having one.

May everyone have a good Thanksgiving. 🙂

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. 😦

Hallowe’en — Call It Upheaval Time

All Hallows Eve, of course, is at hand, to be followed very soon by the switch to Standard Time.  Once people are sort of reorganized the nicest American holiday, Thanksgiving, is on the scene with it’s re-scheduling of work hours.  Given recovery from that, it’s time to rush around for Christmas and New Year’s, then it’ll be a switch again to Daylight hours.

The point here is that even among the young and able-bodied all that to-do wrecks attempts at a dependable routine for getting things done.  It’s much more so among the slow and forgetful elderly.  A new ATI newsletter came in the mail again for reading (and reporting, maybe follow-up), but it has barely been scanned to note proposed events.

The trees in view at the old folks’ home are in different stages.  One’s lost all it’s leaves.  A beautiful one will not lose any as it is an evergreen.  It is beautiful enough to be an official holiday tree, but it isn’t.  Several have leaves turning red, orange and yellow, but as of yet that’s not a big percentage.  Most are green waiting for frost to change things.

It IS autumn, and it is a sad beauty, but beauty nonetheless.  Why it’s to be disturbed with assorted turmoil has yet to be explained.  All due respect to Christmas, Thanksgiving’s justified.  An old folks’ home is not meant to house children, but someone had an idea for a kids’ Hallowe’en “trick or treat.”  Well, it WAS different from fire department EMT visits.

If the world ends, it may not be as expected.  😦

Diwali And Hallowe’en Reflections

As the western world drifts into a time of fear and trepidation called Hallowe’en, it’s said much of the eastern world is variously and deeply involved in a happy time called, among other things, The Festival of the Lights.  The origins of that are ancient.  That description has been used otherwise and is uplifting just by the ideas of the words, the holiday aspects aside.

It’s pretty clear from such things that ancient man could see that sunlight decreased (and of course increased) as time passed and could in effect compensate as if to say, “Yes, the light is getting less, but we can create our own light.”  Meanwhile, the knowledgeable western world that manages to go into space maintains ridiculous aberrations like Hallowe’en.

There’s no real way to prove that spirits (souls) don’t exist after death; and, even if they don’t, a day set aside to remember those who once did exist isn’t unreasonable.  It’s a moment to be grateful for good that has been given in the past.  There’s also no way to prove that if they do still exist they couldn’t be among the still living in some way.  Hallowe’en’s “unserious.”

Some aspects of “The Festival of Lights” reportedly include notions of a harvest event, as in the western world’s Thanksgiving.  At least that’s reasonable as other aspects may be.  The point here is, how many “westerners” have been “introduced” to the sensible customs (not to mention much about the centuries old wisdom) of those in the eastern world.  (Too few.)

Editorializing isn’t good, but it can be useful. 🙂

Temperatures … D*mn Annoyance … (Old Folks’ Home)

      Special 9

The “outside world” has a state called “temperature” which often is a unique consideration in the old folks’ home.  A guideline exists which says that when the world around has temperatures above a certain number of degrees, that’s bad for health, etc.  Old folks are more susceptible to such a thing, so individual HVACs are great to have in a place. 

Okay, so with individual heating, ventilation and air, one sets whatever temperature is best.  Keeping that, however, can be a pain.  It has to vary some, of course.  The thing that causes a problem is when what’s outside shoots both a little over and a little under that, based on whether it’s day or night.  Cold mornings aren’t a really good thing. 

While a little above and below should be ideal, all hinges with how long it’s above or below.  Bottom line here, when it’s sort of ideal, it is necessary to find something like hourly forecasts that are fairly reliable to find out just how long, then remember to poke in heat or leave it at air conditioning before bedtime.  That can be a daily chore. 

In the winter, the heat stays on all the time.  The summer nice time is the problem, as if there is a heat wave it is the air conditioning that stays on all the time.  (Weather currently is lovely considering it’s August, and it is not really right to be bitching about it.  But, it’s tricky to get the mobility scooter in the corner for the buttons.) 

One can always find something to gripe over. Wilted rose