No, I’m not going to ramble on too long about the weather, but it certainly affected my weekend. I can’t remember the last time I shopped for ornaments while wearing a T-shirt, or went home afterward and watered the garden. There were still butterflies on the chrysanthemums! And just a bit unsettling to walk into the office this morning, December 3, and turn on the fan because it is hot and stuffy. Craziness…
People are already crazy as well. There was an irate woman arguing loudly with a clerk at Walmart Saturday. Kids arguing with parents and begging for toys at Books-A-Million. Kids crying at Hobby Lobby. A kid having a major meltdown on the sidewalk in front of Dollar Tree. Parents bribing and cajoling. I’m just lucky I no longer shop at actual toy stores where arguing and crying and bribing get really serious! Praying for parents everywhere.
And the ride home from shopping…oh my! “Lord, please continue to keep me safe from crazy drivers!” will be my prayer for a few weeks. Everyone is in a hurry and distracted by their phones and kids and food and cigarettes. If I see a person actually driving with both hands on the wheel I automatically assume they are over seventy years old or their phone battery is dead. If they are driving the speed limit they must be a local and know where the OHP usually parks!
I spent most of the weekend on little but time consuming projects- putting up the tree, which involved moving some furniture; setting up my second aquarium (for the fifteen baby fish born last week), which involved moving some more furniture; wrapping presents, writing out cards, cleaning, doing laundry. My father came to visit on Sunday and we discussed laundry, something that would never have concerned him when mother was alive. He now understands that not only does he generate a lot of laundry for one person, but it affects his time and also his water and electric bills. Funny that men don’t think of those things unless they are operating the appliances!
I also spent some time Sunday afternoon at the cemetery. As many of you know, I take photos of headstones for out-of-town descendents of Caddo citizens who need documentation for their family records. I have hundreds on file, but still get requests from time to time that require a trip to Gethsemane. I often have strange, rambling thoughts as I walk among the markers of those who have passed from this life. There was a report on television earlier about genetic testing that can be done to help determine how and when we might die. Of course reporters always want to know what someone might do differently if they knew the exact date of their death. People who are given only months to live often make drastic changes and are suddenly penitent or charitable. I can only hope that most of us would live our lives joyfully and wisely each and every day, no matter when the Lord plans to call us home. Doing anything else just seems like a lie…"I’m just living this way until I find out how long I have left and then I’ll do what I should be doing.”
Sad to say that the weekend ended with documentation that someone has been lying to us here in Bryan County. 60 Minutes reported some serious problems with the seventy hospitals owned and operated by Health Management Associates, which includes MCSO. The hospital was mentioned several times and even photographed. (Why can’t good news from our area make it to the national media?) Of course the allegations of Medicare fraud and “admission quotas” were both refuted by company officials, but the papers shown and the physicians interviewed gave credibility to the story and it made me wonder what is really going on behind closed doors. There were no problems with patient care cited for any facility, just the accusation that we are all statistics in a scheme to generate more profit. Why does that sound familiar?
And my final ramble is about those profits. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. As we approach the holidays and listen to the news and reach into our wallets many of us feel concerns about the future of our nation and our families. We are being warned of the new fiscal cliff that we are all going to fall off of into the great abyss of poverty and despair. Well, if I recall correctly, the cliff has always been there in one form or another. We have always been victims of the whims of government. We have been taxed beyond tolerance while watching others jump through loopholes. We have faced uncertainty and despair. We have dealt with deceit and disaster and disparity. We have moaned and complained and… somehow endured. We will do so again. We will pray and protest. We will adapt and change. We will not simply act as lemmings.
Some like it hot…but no one likes crazy!