Well, I’ve been without my own computer for two weeks. Nick put in a new video card, so let’s see how well that works.
This beautiful country of ours is 241 years old today. My grandmother, Margaret Kelleher Lear, would have been 102. And I had a little girl named Lily in my line at work who turned 2 today. I forget how old George M. Cohan would be……ah, 139. Happy Birthday to all you Yankee Doodle Dandies.
Well, without my computer, I have missed posting about Meriah’s Senior Awards night, her graduation, the visit from my mother-in-law and niece… and saying good-bye to a wonderful, blessed, loving woman: my Aunt Marie. To me, she was always “Aunt Bee” or “Aunt BeeBee”… guess I couldn’t say “Marie” too well when I was a little one.
Suffice to say, the last two weeks have been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster… and a reminder of how much things change when you aren’t paying close attention. Robert and Michael are both grandfathers! And I believe Kelley is a grandmother…. and when did Joel and Brandon get to be so damn tall?
And when did holidays become more about retail sales and commerce than family and celebrations? When I was growing up, corner stores and grocery stores were maybe opened to 11 am or noon on holidays, so people could get their newspapers or last-minute extras or forgotten items. Places like Aames, Caldors, K-Marts… they didn’t open at all, believing holidays were about family time, not super-sales. Since the 4th of July was also Gram’s birthday, the family descended on Amenia for at least the day. We’d sit on the old stone wall at the top of the drive along 22 (South Street) to watch the parade, then hold our own parade in the long, semi-circle drive that swooped down to the old house. There are gates at the tops of the drive now… they look like cattle gates. And the old house has a new stone-look facing. Barely looked like the same building. But I am starting to stray into the contrasts between memories and what is there now, and I wanted to focus on the change in people…. society… What happened to us? Presidents’ Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day….. they were set aside to remember IMPORTANT things: men who led this country selflessly, the day we said “NO MORE” to a mad king on a distant throne, the end of a long journey and start of a new and better life, the men and women who gave their all to defend the beliefs this country was founded on. I remember watching James Cagney as George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy”…. as much a celebration of Cohan’s love for this country as of his life in general. Flags flying high, bands playing, families TOGETHER. These are not days for rushing to the stores and supercenters to get the best deals on whatever! The commercialization of it all sickens me.