Lots of things happening this week as we approach Christmas. The local ski area did open this past Friday but unfortunately I was dealing with an upper respiratory infection. Thankfully not Covid! Conditions at the slope were a bit sketchy to say the least as reported by my usual companions at the area. Ended up staying away for the entire weekend due to illness and limited terrain. At eighty six, maybe I am slowing down a bit. I can't remember missing an opening day in a long time. Looking forward to a go at it tomorrow since I can ease into the year on the alpha slope. Just viewed the webcam to note they are grooming.
Prior to the past weekend and this week I received a surprise call that my new car had just come in. Totally surprised that it has arrived so soon. I ordered it in October and was told due to shipping issues it might be March before it arrived. Arranged for a pick up on Monday. Now into a steep learning curve to familiarize myself with all the gadgets and gizmos on this vehicle. The operators manual is a major epistle! For now I am working on the basics and not fiddling with the fine tuning of my preferences. My new vehicle has almost all of the special safety features now available. I think we seniors need to get all the help we can as we reach the latter years of our driving. My thought at this point is that this vehicle will outlast me so I ought to go for the best while I can. In my volunteer work I use my vehicle quite a bit as I transport Red Cross blood from blood drives about once a week with a round trip of over 200 miles. Adaptive cruise control makes the journey much easier.
Eighty years later Tuesday as a nation we paid homage to the armed forces personnel that perished at Pearl Harbor and saluted the veterans of World War II. Even though I was only 6 years old on December 7, 1941 I have the day seared in my memory. I awoke to the announcement of the attack on our tiny AM radio playing in the kitchen our farmhouse. I understood the horror of the situation myself as well as read the distress of my parents. As I write this, I fully visualize the scene in that kitchen as vividly as if it was today. From that day on I was constantly reminded of the ugliness of war and at the same time learned that sacrifice of all of us was necessary and patriotic. As kids we no longer could expect toys. Sugar was rationed! No candy. Gasoline and tires were rationed so limited leisure driving if any. We as children learned to be innovative in our play. Also I am proud to say that we contributed to the war effort in many ways too. We took our pennies and quarters to school to pool our money for purchase of war bonds. Early in the war there was a need material to insert in life vests. On our farm we had lots of milkweed growing in our pasture as was true of other pastures. We picked the pods when ripe, put them mesh bags, and hauled them to school where they were shipped off to be added to life vests. While it might seem that era was painful, contrary to today's political structure the nation came together as one. Together we vanquished our enemies. Post WWII the armed forces returned to build a better world. God bless them.
As an endnote I am remembering the veterans of WWI that I have had the pleasure of skiing with. While skiing may be considered a very individual sport, it also brings us together in a community of shared experiences and pleasure. Yes, quite a week for this old guy. Happy Holidays all!