There’s just no way to keep up.
The calendar is changing faster than seems humanly possible.
At the end of one year, the beginning of another, many people like to take stock and put some things in perspective.
Guess that’s natural and though I don’t often take time to pause and reflect, now might be as good a time as any.
Considering the year gone by, I would have to rate it as being a pretty good one, given the fact that there were no major incidents disrupting life as I know it. No major illnesses, no major car repairs; and, also on the plus side, coming to work each day for a job I still enjoy doing.
This past year even included a much anticipated and enjoyed vacation to New York, with a visit to Niagara Falls and the chance to meet April the giraffe, her baby Tajiri – remember, the baby that took about three years to get here as everyone watched the livestream over the Internet? – and the giraffe daddy Oliver at an Animal Adventure Park a little over an hour from my parent’s home in upstate New York.
The added bonus for me on that visit to the park, they also had wolves and since those are my first love (sorry, giraffes) I was able to just stand there and enjoy being in their presence. Plus we had a little rain and thunder that day too so it was awesome all the way around.
Another big plus for the year, my daughter got engaged, the day after Christmas in 2017. The wedding is still a couple of years away but that’s okay; more time to plan. And shop for wedding dresses. And look at venues. And figure out the guest list. And 5,000 other things you start to think of when you hear the word ‘wedding.’
Happily, her fiancé was able to make the trip to New York with us so he could meet his future grandparents-in-law. We couldn’t wait for him to meet my mom – Judd stands well over six feet tall and my mom can’t hit five feet on her tip toes so it was quite the picture when she tried to hug him for the first time.
Looking ahead, 2018 might be the year I finally break down and get a smart phone. The small, outdated, no camera, no keyboard phone I have been using for years still works well. But, I have practically erased the letters of the alphabet from the corresponding numbers and it’s getting to be kind of cumbersome to hit the 3 key three times to get an ‘f’ and the 7 key four times to get an ‘s’ – just probably would be better if I broke down and joined the rest of you in this century by getting a phone that can also connect me to my email.
Sometimes I think the resistance comes in wanting to be able to disconnect for a while but my daughter really wants to put me on ‘Find Friends’ so she can keep tabs on me. Not that I travel far, she just wants to know that I am safe and sound at home when I am supposed to be. She also worried when I had to go out of town for Friday night football games, always checking to see if I got there, did I make it back safely, etc.
One good thing about technology, I love to check out the weather conditions and webcams around my parents. Each day I go online to get our local temperatures and rainfall info here in the Central Valley, then head to New York to see what’s happening. There’s a webcam probably five or six miles away from my parents in the next town over so it has been fun to watch the progression of the seasons, from the green of summer to the colors of fall to the snowy white of winter.
It’s one of the best ways to see the snow – on a computer, without having to put on a hat and gloves, and without having to stand in 10-degree weather.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.