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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Not as Merry a Christmas

It's been a while since I've looked upon Christmas as a merry time, partly because I see some hypocrisy in waiting till one particular day in the year to be yelling out, "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men." It seems to me that if this worthy admonition has to be proclaimed far and wide, it should be done -- and in these times needs to be done -- every day of the year.

Also all the materialism of the gift frenzy has turned me off ever since I was old enough to have a job that allowed me to buy presents for others, only to find out that it was much too difficult to find things that the recipients really wanted or needed, while the things that I received weren't items in which I had any burning interest.

And I was never going to have enough bucks anyway for my purchases to have one iota of effect on the U.S. economy.

But every year I still put electric candles in my windows to observe the season and because I like the look.

But this Christmas has been less merry than usual for me and my wife, because I have been alone for two weeks, while she has been way down in Florida tending to her mother and to her stepfather, who, in their early 80's, entered the hospital on the same day. He needed an operation on his back and now he is already up and around and driving. But her mother is another story. She had a stroke, and after a few days she was well enough to go to a therapy center. But the people there were apparently not dedicated enough to keep an eye on her food and what-not, and two days ago she had a relapse and had to go back in the hospital, and she is doing much better now.

In spite of her numerous trips here, there, and everywhere, it was the first time that my wife and I had to spend Christmas apart, and it looks as if she may be there for another several weeks to see about providing some sort of care for her mother.

I have been criticized by several people for not going down there to help. I could say a lot in reply, but my simplest answer is that thereby my wife would have not two but three elderly patients on her hands -- I am only five years younger than her mother -- because, as she said, I would just be miserable there.

I guess people could say that i don't have the proper appreciation for the dire experience of being hospitalized.

Actually when I was in the Air Force, I spent a period in the hospital that lasted far longer than the average hospital stay. I was in there for two whole months, recovering from a bout of regional ileitis or regional enteritis, and in all that time no one whatsoever came to see me. That was because I was far from home and also from my home air base. This was in California. But that didn't bother me a bit, because I had things to occupy my mind.

It's hard to beat always having things to occupy the mind, as long as they're not too crazy or unpleasant.


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