Bad things in the shadows…


When 2010, a truly crummy year,  came to pass, the calendar and every single one of the 365 crummy pages – save a few – couldn’t be dumped fast enough.  2011 seems to be stacking up much the same way.  When the stroke of midnight comes on December 31, whatever bubbly is in my glass will be hoisted to the year ahead, not the year just past.

Enough with the whine.  The kids know, and without any prompting from me, that life simply moves on without consideration for our views and the literal calendar pages are not at fault.  Jobs, politics, daily living, it’s all there.   Ellen copes with a teaching system that wrestles with the same pressures every other school district struggles to overcome.  Reid has an agency job that makes break-neck pace seem like a Studebaker in the slow lane.

So they see the sunny side while their dad sees bad things the shadows.  I feel badly they read the constant griping and moping.  There damn well better be better days ahead.  Time seems to conspire against us, however, like wave after wave on a shoreline.  But when you talk to each of them, there is a sense of youthful optimism.   At their insistence we will deal with what comes when it comes.  That doesn’t mean I won’t kick 2011 in the rump as it heads out the door.

————–

September 19, 2011

Ellen/Reid: I’m getting a lot of questions about whether I am about to get caught in the bank’s web of 30,000 job cuts.  The honest answer is I don’t know.  My ratings have been good but beyond that how things will play out is anyone’s guess.  The bank has done an admirable job of softening the blow by near-continual stories in the press as well as alluding to the situation in the bank’s own communication mechanism.  As you say, Ellen, retirement isn’t that far off.  One would just move on to something else, wouldn’t he?  Numb’s the word.  There is no other way to accept what might, or might not, be coming this way.

Reid, I feel sorry about your travel situation to NYC.  I’d just make sure to let your boss know that you are sorry about the situation.  What she said to you and what she thinks could be entirely two different things.  Make sure she knows.  Everyone misses flights; I’ve missed my share, too.  It’s just the vagaries of travel.  It has happened to everyone, especially when you live in a big metropolis where getting to the airport can be dicey in the mornings, what with cabs and trains and clogged traffic and people honking.  You’ll be all right.  It’s just the way it is for the working traveler.

Our all-knowing legislature has seen fit to table discussions on the incredibly dire education, jobs and economic situations (North Carolina unemployment is nearing 11%) down here while it opts to take on far more important matters: a constitutional amendment to define a marriage as between a man and a woman.  What this ultimately will do is ban same-sex couples from legal unions along with other rights afforded heterosexual couples.  It is total and complete lunacy.  Of course, they cite biblical passages as a way to punish the minority citizenry.  Hey, I’m as far from a Biblical scholar as one can get but fire-and-brimstone zealots seem to be equally as far away on the forgiving spectrum (which is my loose interpretation of a forgiving God).  They even twist the discussion as something of an employment thing (man-wife unions create jobs) which I totally don’t get.  Even the business community has come down on the side of same-sex neutrality because bias is bad for business.  Thankfully, Presbyterians don’t share such religious heavy-handedness either.  Tolerance seems to be pretty old school these days.  It’s up to you but I’d hope you two have at least a small dose of it.  There seem to be bigger things on God’s plate these days.  We just don’t seem to get it down this way.  As you would guess, the zealot way is to tell those in disagreement to take their views elsewhere.  Some people are.

There is nothing new in your grandmother’s situation although the planning is already afoot.  Ralph and Gayle have picked out mom’s clothes and jewelry for her service.  I’m okay with that.  I’ll handle the obituary.  On one hand it does make sense to deal with the inevitable although it makes me a little uncomfortable, maybe sad is a better term, since the event has not come to pass.  Perhaps it is just the way things are.  I’ve been trying to get my emotional arms around the whole darn situation but nothing has mentally jelled for me just yet.  I keep going back to this idea that we should remember your grandmother as she was, not as she is.  When push comes to shove for me whenever the inevitable occurs, that wouldn’t be such a bad mindset or approach for the two of you, either.  Not to be morbid about it but it is just pre-planning in a manner of speaking.

Okay, gotta run.  Ellen, sorry to see poor old Henry’s face the other day.  Poor guy.  What a sweetie.  Since I work at home now, perhaps there’s no excuse for not having a dog.  But if I got one, that would make two in the household.  Get it?

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