Let People Know you Love Them- Today.

I think tomorrow might be a good day to rest. Sunday is a traditional day for rest. I might even sleep in til 7 am if the storms don’t come rolling forth.

I remember my Grandmother Stewart was not a sleeper. If she slept five hours it was something. Many times when I stayed there Grandpa would still be snoring (I think he had sleep apnea) while Grandma was already up stirring around. Grandma made him wake up and start a fire during the winter though, and as soon as I would hear him clanking that old wood stove I would extricate myself from under the five quilts I was entangled in upstairs and come running down to the heater.

Grandma lived to be 100, so I guess she was the exception to the rule about needing plenty of sleep to live a long life. She never napped much either.

Grandma died in December 1999. I was supposed to be a pallbearer, but I’d had a heart attack and a stent just a month before she died so I couldn’t help carry her as I had done with Grandpa in 1993. They played such a large part in my childhood, but as I became an adult and had my own family my visits were infrequent. I think we all run into that pattern of life as we live it.

You regret the time you might have been able to spend with your family, much more when they are gone. I apologized to Grandma once for this, and she simply said “Don’t worry about it honey, I understand”

As I approach 65 I am beginning to also understand. We have what we have when we have it. Live it that day, that week, that month. There is time enough to love if we take it, because it does not take much time to show it in the present. A hug, a kiss, a word, a touch. An unexpected tenderness or an emotion expressed. It’s better done now than wishing it done later. Believe me, I know.

At the least a long peaceful sleep

I’m afraid from where I sit, I really don’t know much about the Universe. I’ll freely admit it.

The Universe is big beyond my imagination. It boggles my mind to even try and contemplate it. I watched one of those fantasy mock ups which takes you from our planet out into the Universe. Everything keeps getting bigger and bigger, while Earth gets tinier and tinier. There’s a star out there, they say, which will hold a billion of our suns. A billion! Damn…that just blows my tiny fist size compilation of gray matter.

It’s hard for me to believe that human beings have books that we wrote which tell us all about how the universe came into being and why. How the Universe was created. Religions say these books are divinely inspired. Maybe so. I won’t step on anybody’s beliefs, I promise you that. I’m for people believe whatever they want to believe and me believing what I believe and let bygones be bygones, and live and let live. I’m very tolerant about most things. I can’t stand loud boom boxes, and could do without constantly barking dogs, but even with those I’ll let most the instances flow by like a river as long as they are not too extreme. I despise human actions which result in harm to other human beings.

Science has come a long way over the centuries and we have what I believe are some relatively (no pun intended) simple theories about what makes the Universe tick. We think they are pretty deep and informative, but I’m not really so sure about that. What we think we know might not even be close to right. We may be way wrong. Humans are smart in a human way, but perhaps in a Universal way we are still just babies.

There’s umpteen theories about what happens to us humans after we die. We place a huge amount of emphasis on those theories. I think I’ve read about most of them. I’ve read about some of them extensively.

I lay there at night sometimes and I think, and I puzzle and I worry and sometimes I pray and sometimes I don’t. I try my best every day to do what my conscious tells me is right, especially over the past 5 years or so. I try to take care of my grandchildren in a kind way, and I love them and my children and all of my family. That’s about the best I can do.

So…I’ll take what I get when my time comes.

I expect at the very least to have a long peaceful sleep.

Washing the Car- from 2016

Washing the Car

I had a dream last night. In my dream, me and my brother Mike, Ted, Matt and Stacy were all over at the old house on seventh street. It was a beautiful day like today, and we all had our cars lined up on the curb of the road in front of the house. Dad had his bucket and his car washing “mitt” ready and we were all going to wash our cars!

Now, there’s really a lot of truth in that dream.

One of the Sunday afternoon rituals for many, many years was to wash our cars on nice sunny days.

We used to go over to Mom and Dad’s house on most Sundays for lunch. That was a ritual which began farther back than I can remember. We started that tradition when they lived on 8th street, back when our kids were very young. Mom and Dad moved to South Carolina for about five years and then moved back down to Georgia in the late nineties. After they move back we resumed our regular Sunday visits.

Mom would cook dinner most of the time, occasionally we would order some food, especially when Mom and Dad began to get older. Some days it was hectic, especially after mine and my brother’s children grew up and got married! But it was our get together time, our family time, our sharing time. Looking back from where I am now, it’s time that can never be replaced. Time which was as precious as gold. Only we didn’t know it then.

My Dad’s house was situated right next to the road, and his outside water spigot was near the front of his house. He always kept the right supplies right there on the edge of the front porch. A coiled up hose pipe, a bucket, a fuzzy mitt and a bunch of car washing liquid.
As I mentioned earlier, my brother and I would park our cars out front when our kids were little. If it was a sunny day, we’d break out the hose pipe and have a go at the cars. I was always the more reluctant of the two of us to wash the car, so I usually went last. After I was through, my Dad always did an examination of the car.

“You missed a spot here” he would say

I usually had, because I was in a big hurry to get it done. I’m not a big fan of hand washing a car. Car washes are more my thing. But I did it for Dad.

As my kid’s, and my brother’s children grew up we continued the “car washing” tradition. All the boys have at one time or another…and most many times, lined their cars up in front of that house and washed the road dirt off of them. Most of the time, we’d hook up Mom’s old vacuum cleaner with a drop cord and vacuum out the dirt too. We had clean cars.

I hadn’t hand washed a car since my since my Dad died in May of 2010. As I said, I’m more of a “car wash” kind of guy.

But in the dream I had last night, my Dad was chewing my butt out for letting my car get so dirty. I was first in line, since I’m the oldest, and I couldn’t get that damn car washed to my Dad’s satisfaction. “You missed a spot” he repeated again and again. And I had! Mike and Ted and everyone else behind me were getting mad. “Can’t you get that thing clean” I heard somebody say “We ain’t got all day”

I woke up with that last phrase echoing in my head.

So after I got back from eating breakfast with my brother and sister in law this morning, I got my bucket, my towels and my soap, and pulled my car into my driveway between my house and my neighbor’s house. I got my little step ladder so I could get the top good. I washed it one time, but I wasn’t happy. I had missed a spot. I washed it again, and then one more time after I had let the warming sun dry it out good enough to see the teeny tiny spots I had missed the second time. At one point, I thought I could actually hear a voice coming from my car saying “Oh baby…rub it right there”

Well…it WAS a dirty little car, after all.

Then I took the full size towel I had brought out and wiped that car down from top to bottom. I looked it over once, twice, three times. There were no spots. Not even on the windows, because I had done them inside and out.

I turned around to look, but my Dad wasn’t there to inspect my work.

At least not in person. I could hear him inside my head though: “good job son, I knew you could do it” Finally!

On days like this beautiful day, I sometimes wish I had continued to live in that old house over on seventh street.

Or maybe instead I wish this house I live in, in which I have lived in since 1987, had a water spigot situated more conveniently for car washing.

But that was then and this is now, and the one thing you have to know about life is that it changes, and keeps on changing.

How would Mother Earth act if you were poking her with a sharp stick?

In 1950 I was born. It’s also the year that most scientists believe a new Geological era, the Anthropocene era, began:

From the Guardian:

Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – needs to be declared, according to an official expert group who presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress in Cape Town on Monday.

The new epoch should begin about 1950, the experts said, and was likely to be defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete, and even the bones left by the global proliferation of the domestic chicken were now under consideration.

The current epoch, the Holocene, is the 12,000 years of stable climate since the last ice age during which all human civilisation developed. But the striking acceleration since the mid-20th century of carbon dioxide emissions and sea level rise, the global mass extinction of species, and the transformation of land by deforestation and development mark the end of that slice of geological time, the experts argue. The Earth is so profoundly changed that the Holocene must give way to the Anthropocene.

“The significance of the Anthropocene is that it sets a different trajectory for the Earth system, of which we of course are part,” said Prof Jan Zalasiewicz, a geologist at the University of Leicester and chair of the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA), which started work in 2009.

“If our recommendation is accepted, the Anthropocene will have started just a little before I was born,” he said. “We have lived most of our lives in something called the Anthropocene and are just realising the scale and permanence of the change.”

Prof Colin Waters, principal geologist at the British Geological Survey and WGA secretary, said: “Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planet. The concept of the Anthropocene manages to pull all these ideas of environmental change together.”

So there it is. We have very little time left to save our planet…at least in a form that will comfortably support life I.e., people don’t spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week trying to just survive. I understand it’s hard to wake up every morning and realize in the course of our everyday lives that the changes taking place in our environment are grave. After all, there’s jobs to go to, TV to watch, politics to argue over and social media to put it all down on. It’s important that the governments of our world begin to cooperate immediately to save life on Earth as we know it.

I write my Congressman and two Senators on a bi-weekly basis about this. I’m getting ready to become much more seriously involved in getting information out there…to us, to you, about this situation.

If someone were trying to burn down your home, how would you react? The Earth is the home of all life that we are aware of in the Universe, and it’s being “burned down”. If we don’t pay attention now, our children and grandchildren will be right to condemn us for our inaction.