Thursday, January 5, 2023

Go Fishing?

     I took the garbage out early this morning and discovered a rare event in January.   My driveway had numerous earthworms.   Unbelievable!  Multiple days of rain and warm temperatures must have signaled Spring had come.  Since the ponds and lake are still unfrozen maybe I should take up fishing again.  

    In spite of this weird weather my local Greek Peak ski area has remained open.  Even through several rainy days.   I drew the line on skiing in the rain for several days but out of curiosity I visited the area today to see for myself the state of the slopes.   I was amazed to find that a few of the slopes had enough snow base from the snowmaking to make reasonable paths to the lift.  Kudos to Greek Peak for investing in snowmaking capacity.   To heck with the idea of fishing!  Tomorrow I will hit the slopes for a fix.  Who knows?  My geezer friends might show up too.


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Wash Out

   Recently the weather has been weird for January!  Unusually high temperatures and many rainy days.    Although my local ski area has been open through all of this, I find no incentive to hit the slopes.  To say the least that is unusual for me.  Commonly over the past 22 years I have  been on the slopes 10 to 15 days before the first of January.  This year by only six abbreviated days of skiing were completed.          The geezer skier community has been devastated by this turn of events.  Most of us have taken the wait and see approach hoping for colder weather and snow showers.  All of this tries our patience and can be depressing for those of us know that we have limited years to enjoy our sport.   

    Our skiing community of geezers not only enjoy the skiing but delight in our coffee breaks swapping stories and socializing.   Hopefully in a few days the weather will change and our ski and socialize routine will resume.   Meanwhile I am being domestic,   Time to take down the Holiday decorations, do some interior  odd jobs, work on the income taxes and editing my Silo History document.

    Happy New Year everyone.  And we will keep soldiering on trying to be optimistic for the rest of the season. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Growing Up

    Today marks the 53rd  anniversary of Sesame Street on public television.   It was inaugurated in 1969  to counter a previous decade of ugly cartoon television programming that featured extensive violence.  Children were averaging 27 hours a week soaking up inappropriate behavior.  Sesame Street offered on public television was structured to teach children basics of behavior as well as simple language and math skills.  In the context of my family I had children born in the 1960's who did not have the benefit of this show.   My son was especially behaviorally influenced by the cartoon.  I remember that Popeye stoked him up so much that I was concerned about how much of that roughhousing would rub off on him in his interaction with other children.

    All of this leads me to thinking about the environmental changes for each generation of children.  I grew up  in the early 40's in the radio era.  We had comic books and adventurous radio serials.  With radio being the dominant entertainment we were left to our own imagination rather than graphic visuals.  Movies filled the role of television.  

    Generation by generation children will have different technologies to influence their behavior.  In the era of cell phones and computers my grandchildren are being exposed to great wonders and great dangers.   There will always be challenging parental management of their screen time and content.  I hope that we as a society will seek the best for the young minds we are entrusted with.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Reset

     I am participating in a book study regarding the Ten Commandments that has inspired some interesting thoughts.   The latest discussion was about honoring the Sabbath.   Frankly, I had not previously spent much time musing on the meaning of sabbath.  However the study did spark a surprising reaction.   The upshot is that I have begun to see sabbath as engaging in reset. By the term reset,  I mean to pause and rethink where I am going in life and relationships.

    It has been refreshing as sabbath should be, to see things with new eyes.   I have always moved merrily along for years without analyzing whether I am on the right path.   Here I am in my late eighties now recognizing that I have lived almost my entire life always engaged in striving to be productive whether at work or in volunteering.   I have concluded that I need to back off some things and take on fresh adventures at lower stress levels than in the past.  To that end I have already resigned from one activity and taken on a new one that gives me more comfortable socialization.

    Of course in this blog I feel obligated to comment on my skiing aspirations.   The new season is coming in a month or so.  My body is beginning to show the challenges of aging.   I made it to the slopes last season for 80 days.  In my reset mode, I am not sure I am up to that much activity this year.   I guess I will have to reset my goals and be less obsessed with numerical records and simply see skiing as an opportunity to refresh as needed.  

    I think that everyone whether they are religious or not or young or old, could benefit from interpreting sabbath as reset.    Seeing things through new eyes can reinvigorate and heal body and soul.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Shrinking Fritter

     My regular season ski companions often chide me for eating my apple fritter at coffee break.  I am known to consume a fritter on a daily basis without fail.  They usually remark on the size of the fritter!  For years my supplier has baked the fritters in house at the store and they were huge.   Not so anymore.   With the rise in inflation in the economy there is a trend to keep the price of food item the same but reduce the amount in a package without changing the price.  

   My fritter has succumbed to the change.  Now my fritters are shipped into the store from a central bakery supplier.   The size is so dinky compared to the originals that even the clerk at checkout noticed and sympathized.   Alas, I will have to adapt to this new era.  Perhaps it will be a good change to reduce my calorie consumption.  It makes me appreciate each bite I take with my coffee.  I now slow down and savor each morsel.

    In the bigger picture of the effect of inflation on maintaining our diet this is  a metaphor for the pain many families suffer.   Higher prices reducing buying power for many families increases the struggle to provide nutritious food.   For me the shrink is merely an inconvenience.   However, for many it can be hunger pains at the end of the month.   I have consistently provided food banks with monthly support out of my abundance.   Readers out of your abundance I would encourage you to do likewise!


Current Size Fritter - Previous was 50% Larger

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Blind Spots

    A few days ago I was observing a conversation that had some disturbing elements to it.  A group of acquaintances was discussing the havoc to their second homes in Florida.  The range of damage ranged from minor to significant.   During the conversation I heard little sympathy for the permanent Florida residents that had lost everything and were homeless.   They all seemed completely focused on their losses.   I guess that is to be expected.  However it got me to thinking of how blind we who have comfortable means can be about those who struggle.  I know that I am no paragon of virtue in helping people, but I do hope that I have an awareness that will prod me to do some good.   Maybe if I had lost a second home I would be more sympathetic to the vacationers!

    In that same conversation I must say  I was appalled to hear remarks to the effect that brown and black skinned folks were  getting an unusual amount of help and relief.   The implication was that they were especially privileged.   A colleague remarked afterwards, that if that was the case were these folks ready to swap places.  The same group also were vehement climate change deniers.    I could not be silent on that and tried to point to the data to the contrary.   Sadly it made no dent in their convictions.   I guess I have to accept that sometimes people will believe what they want to believe and remain blind to the obvious.  However, when we cannot mutually accept truth in data I have to object.

    I know that I have been pointing fingers and feel that I will have to be more introspective on my own blind spots.   I trust I will be able to hear and absorb other points of view.   

   

Friday, September 23, 2022

Rapid Change - The Equinox

   Never get too complacent!  In a flash things can change! My wife and I thought we would escape the Covid virus since we were well vaccinated and quite careful about out exposure in public.  Last week that changed with Nancy coming down with Covid first followed by myself a few days later.   Gratefully we are both nearly 100% recovered.    It was a change in our routine we didn't anticipate.

    Today, however there is a change in the seasons that is predictable.  It is the Autumn equinox.   Equal day and night length.    At this juncture we will be sliding into shorter days.   Leading up to this time and beyond for a while, we are in the period of most rapid changes in the day length.   For Math geeks it is a matter of maximum slope on a sine wave!     Beyond math I alway notice the change of seasons by the change of the angle of the sun filling my windows each morning.  Perhaps growing up on a farm where weather was a big factor in our success raised my sensitivity to my environment.  

    I know that there is a stereotypical view that senior folks are opposed to change.   I have no desire to be labelled that way.   That said, I do like certain routines but there is nothing wrong with tweaking or even abruptly changing things to bring a refreshing view to ones world.   Looking forward to an Autumn of brilliant colors, crisp morning air and the transition to ski season in December.