I have promised myself that I will move more and walk more in 2013. And not one to wait patiently for a date on the calendar, I started yesterday by walking down to the pond. It has long been my practice to walk to the pond or to the cattle guard at the end of the drive at least twice a week. But I remember earlier years when I walked each and every day, as long as there wasn’t ice or snow on the ground. I need to return to those days!
However, yesterday I learned a little lesson about safety. So I’m amending my resolution to read “I will walk every day, with my walking stick and phone”. No, I didn’t really have an accident. I just stepped in a hole, twisted my knee a bit, and walked back to the house ever so slowly in pain. But on the way back up the hill I thought of my friends who have fallen recently and seriously injured themselves. I thought of the three or four times that I have fallen and broken a bone or two. And I thought a lot about how much easier my return walk would have been with the help of my walking stick!
So…from now on I will be a little more prepared and a little more careful before I walk about. Can’t share photos like these if I fall and can’t get up!
We’re going to pay more taxes next year.
We’re going to drink less milk unless we want to take out a loan.
We’re going to experience more frequent natural disasters.
We’re going to get sick more often and stay sick longer.
We’re going to get fatter.
We’re going to hire personal body guards to protect us from crazy people.
We’re going to send our children to “secured facilities” instead of schools.
We’re going to learn to speak Chinese if we want to work in California.
We’re going to settle for adopting American children because the Russians are keeping theirs.
Wow! There is a price to be paid for being a news addict on vacation! If I listened to many more predictions for 2013 I’d be wishing the Mayans had been more accurate.
I suppose what keeps me sane and optimistic is my love of history. I pulled a few 1919 issues of the Caddo Herald out of my files this morning for a quick comparison:
One article deplores the farming practices of the day and predicts “a heavy cotton acreage would be a great calamity to farmers this year”.
Another speaks of conflicts between the Dept. of Labor and the machinists union. The Secretary of Labor states, “If we cannot make progress by the peaceable process of discussing and voting, we are not likely to make any progress by the riotous process of cursing and shooting.”
A report of the flu epidemic: “The flu situation in and near Caddo seems to be worse than the first epidemic.”
Pros and cons of the Road Bond issue: “If you want to see a beginning made in hard surfaced roads you should vote for this issue. If you want to continue in mud and slush, in sand and hills, vote against the issue. It is your privilege.”
Women’s rights: “Attorney General Freeling has ruled that women cannot legally sit upon a jury in any court in the state.”
Weather report: “Last Sunday the predicted tropical storm raging in the Gulf of Mexico struck the Texas coast taking a heavy toll of lives (164), devastating property- moderately estimated at $15,000,000- besides causing injury and suffering to many thousands of people.”
I could go on and on. There are numerous reports in 1919 of deaths by accident and violence. There are dire warnings about health habits, political dealings, and economic practices. In other words, the basics of the news could be lifted from any particular year and mirror what is happening now and predicted to happen next year. It is comforting to me to know that somehow our ancestors muddled through anyway.
Yes, doom and gloom will surely be a part of 2013. Borrowing from Karr, “The more things change the more they stay the same.” Our ways and means have changed since our great-grandparents’ time, but not our basic nature. So we should not be surprised if the outcome of our actions is somewhat predictable. But knowing that bad things will happen doesn’t mean we have to adopt a “woe is me” victim mentality. Good things will also happen and if I were to go back through the papers I could report the anniversaries and births and celebrations and other positive events that made the news. Our expectations for the New Year are all about attitude and perspective.
Of course, despite the dire predictions of the national news media there is always one reliable source of positive prophecy- advertising!! If you pay attention to commercials you know that there is an app to solve any problem, a medication to relieve any pain, and a perfect product to restore us to the beauty and energy of our youth! And the whole world will benefit if we shop, shop, shop. Retailers just know that 2013 is going to be the best year ever!
So we must return to the newspaper for advice. A simple declaration from the Oklahoma State Bank, 1919, says it best: “The New Year should be given the best chance if the best results are expected.”
I don’t like winter, so I was shocked to see how many people were out shopping yesterday in spite of the cold, ice, and OHP warnings. I’m not sure what they thought was so important about shopping the day after Christmas, but I watched their actions on television from the warm comfort of my couch.
I did however venture out today, despite the fact that I felt grumpy and tired.
I will not admit to being sick. I will only acknowledge that I woke up feeling “not well” and that it took me about half an hour to be sure that I would not need to return to bed. I took my usual remedies, forced myself to do a few chores and finally managed to feel better by noon. I went out for a couple of errands, returned home for a nap, and am now convinced that what I experienced today was my first bout with “winter house” allergy. I know many of you complain about a variety of symptoms in the winter that mirror mine. I get a terrible headache, stuffy nose, watery eyes, cough, and feeling of lethargy if I stay inside for more than a few days. I have learned over the years that this is caused by a combination of heated dust, dry air, and lack of water. I usually sleep with a humidifier but have not done so for the last couple of nights because of the extreme cold. I will most certainly turn it back on tonight! I also need to take my antihistamine and drink more water. I tend to drink too much coffee and tea and hot chocolate when I’m at home. I know you did not need a detailed account of my condition, but I offer it as a suggestion for those of you who may think you have a cold, but don’t seem to get well in a few days as one would expect. Many people don’t think they have allergies in the winter because all of the vegetation is dead.
People in our county are either crazy or extremely hardy souls. I went to Walmart this afternoon and although I realize that I may have felt more chilled because I didn’t feel well, I was just flabbergasted by the sight of so many people who were NOT wearing a coat! One woman walked out of the store in a t-shirt and walked at least halfway across the parking lot before reaching her car. She didn’t appear to be the least bit cold, while I was shivering in my sweatshirt, coat, and gloves!
The only bright spot in the day was watching the birds. As I said, I fell asleep on the couch after my return from Durant. I usually fill the bird feeders around 4 o’clock, but was an hour late today. However, just as they usually do, flocks and flocks of birds appeared within five minutes after I got back inside the house! How do the birds know that I have put out their dinner?
No, winter is definitely not my favorite season. I don’t like to be cold. I don’t like to be sick. I don’t like to be afraid to drive. But this too shall pass and I am already thinking of warm spring walks in the garden.
The Durant Daily Democrat
October 23, 1983
Graveside service was held Friday in the Temple Emanu-El cemetery in Dallas for Pauline Segal, Durant, who died Thursday in a Dallas hospital.
Rabbi Gerald J. Klein officiated.
Mrs. Segal was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Siegel, one of the pioneer families of Oklahoma. She was born in Caddo and had been a lifelong Bryan County resident.
Surviors include her husband, Sidney of Durant; daughter Mrs. Margie August, Dallas, and Mrs. Alan Gold, Houston, and four granddaughters.
Honorary pallbearers were Milton Loeb, Sr., Norm Alweis, Edwin Wood, Jack Holmes, Dr. Robert Bass, Dr. Z. H. Lieberman, and Dr. B. B. Coker.
The family has suggested that memorials be in the form of contributions to the charity of your choice.
The Bible tells us in Genesis that God blessed the creatures of the sea and the air and said, “let the birds increase on the earth” (NIV)… and so they have. According to the most recent count there are 764 different bird species in the United States, and nearly 10,000 in the world. Like any other thing that is counted the results vary somewhat according to who is counting, but the figures are close enough to be awe inspiring.
It is the hope and ambition of many people to see some specific number of birds in their lifetime. They keep a careful “life list” and there are specific rules about what birds can be added to it. They may locate and record birds in their own county, state, or region, or even travel the globe to add to their life list. Others are in search of a specific, elusive bird such as the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker or the Inyo California Towhee, both endangered and rarely seen by humans. Some are treated to the sighting of an unusual bird because of changes in migration patterns or other events. The appearance of a bird off its usual migration path, such as the Friday sighting of a Forked Tail Fly Catcher in Austin, can cause quite a stir in the bird watching community.
Some of you are now thinking things like “nerds”, “blah, blah, blah” or “so what?” I’m not a true bird watcher either. I don’t keep a list. I seldom participate in bird walks or the annual bird counts. I don’t know many bird calls and I have to keep a book handy to identify even the most common birds. I just like to photograph nature and birds are easier to find than bears! However, I have learned from reading about birders and their activities that their life lists and the annual bird counts benefit all of us. There is a balance to nature that must be maintained and birds are a key part of that balance.
Bird counts are great indicators of changes in global climate and predictors of changes in our local weather patterns. Birds change their migration paths because of drought and the resulting loss of major food sources. Counts may alert local game rangers to the presence of a new predator or environmental change in a region. For example, an invasion of feral hogs can destroy so much vegetation that it causes birds and other animals to go elsewhere for food. Counts also help scientists keep track of species that are becoming endangered.
We went to see the birds at Hagerman yesterday. Our visitations have become much more numerous over the past few years, and we have learned to appreciate the differences in the seasons by visiting in the winter as well as the spring. Yesterday we met with our son, who is much more serious about bird watching than we are, and has a wonderful device called a “spotting scope”. One of the refuge’s guides was also there with a group and he had a spotting scope. Definitely handy for identifying birds! We already have two pairs of binoculars but may have to add this piece of equipment to our arsenal. As usual, I digress…we went to Hagerman and were amazed by the increase in bird activity since our last visit. There were ducks and hawks and vultures and herons and gulls and geese. It is amazing to watch as thousands of geese fly overhead!
At Robert’s suggestion we also stopped by Loy Lake Park on our way home. The lake was covered with ducks that quickly retreated deep into the shadows of the vegetation on the other shore. So I didn’t get many pictures of them, but we did enjoy watching them for a while.
We will probably visit the Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge again soon. If you have any suggestions for another good bird watching area, please let me know. Of course I often see the best birds in my own back yard!
I did not take the time this year to write each and every one of you a note on a lovely Christmas card. Perhaps I didn’t even send you a card. But that does not mean my feelings for you have diminished…only that my budget and time management have changed. I still think of you often. I still pray for you. I still fondly remember how we met and why our relationship has meaning.
I was thinking yesterday about two elderly people that I’ve known most of my life. BTW- I reserve the term “elderly” for someone over 85. I haven’t seen one woman in about a year, the other in about six months. Each was once a part of the circle of people I saw on a regular basis through mutual interests. Their ages and health conditions have since changed and they no longer get out much. I miss them both, but the reality is that I have neither the time nor the inclination to pay them a visit. I don’t think that makes me a bad person, just a typical one. I remember my grandmother’s group of frequent visitors getting smaller and smaller as she got older, especially after she quit driving and attending group activities.
I ran into a former colleague yesterday. I haven’t seen her, except on FB, since she left work. But I could have talked with her all day. I still feel a fond connection to her. I still care about her and about her children. I still want to know what is going on in her life. I feel the same about several people with whom I previously shared a workplace. One of them sent me a card yesterday. We haven’t physically seen each other in over twenty years, but I was thrilled to hear from her and to see the family photo she sent!
Geographic distance is not the deciding factor in whether or not a relationship is maintained. I have friends in many other states, but we manage to converse by mail, phone, email, FB, and once in a while in person. I have local friends and even family members that I seldom see, simply because we lead very different lives. We have different schedules, responsibilities, and activities. But one event or tradition brings us together from time to time to renew our relationship. My cousins are a prime example of this. I love them- we are joined by blood and memories- but we do not see each other often unless there is a reunion or funeral.
A friend recently commented that she limits her friendships on FB because she doesn’t have the time to “like” and comment on the lives of too many others and she doesn’t like to wade through all of the trivial stuff that some people post. I agree that some of the things that appear on the site- ads and posters and games and such- get to be just so much “clutter” at times, but sometimes a status comment or an inspiring poster is just what I need for the day. I would never limit my list of friends for fear of getting too involved with FB. I simply try to use my time wisely- check for prayer requests, note important events, share what I want to share and move on.
So…rest assured that whenever and however we met, either physically or virtually, I am thinking of you and wishing you well during this traditional time of greeting. And I hope that you have a healthy and happy time renewing relationships with your own circle of friends and family members.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I love/hate this time of year! Love to send cards and gifts. Love to get cards, packages, and letters in the mail. Love to see dozens of cheerful emails. Love the happy messages and wonderful photos on FB! Love driving around town and seeing the sparkling decorations.
Hate, hate, hate listening to whiny, stressed out, grumpy shoppers. Hate the unpredictable actions of rude drivers! Hate long lines. Hate feeling guilty about eating too much!
So today has been a mixed blessing! Finished some tasks. Talked with some friends. Got some wonderful mail. But also barely missed being in an accident, overheard a conversation I’d rather have skipped, and took twice as much time to get home as I had planned. Oh, and ate too much chocolate!
Maybe tomorrow will be more relaxing. Off to Hagerman to spend some quality time with the birds and our son.