It turned out that when the experts predicted on the Weather Show that it was going to snow, it was actually true. Never mind all those rivers of color denoting rain here snow there and sleet occupying the middle. The way to handle it was to go to bed while the mischief took place and wake up to about 18 inches of the white stuff. As if the cancellations (Snow Day for Fiona, no lunch downtown for me) were all we had to endure. Betsy had Jim shovel out his jeep to take her to the College, but then the College sent her home. Jim decided to rebuild the collapsing basement stairs so we could take out the old washing equipment and install the new on Thursday, meaning that the shelves next to the stairs, a home-made pantry of sorts, needed to be removed and rebuilt. Fiona and her friends decided to build a snow fort; Betsy began to shovel and Teddy went out, rolled in snow, came in for a treat, and repeated this several dozen times, altogether assuring us a regularly renewed carpet of melting snow on our oak floors.
Not to be disrespectful, but it was a time that tried my soul. I heated up my vegetable soup and moved back here into my Grandma refuge and began plotting the rest of my day. Some of my friends like to talk about how different everything is now from the way it used to be the Good Old Days. But I’ve thought about that from time to time and have concluded that every generation is born (squalling baby with mother), lives a childhood (when the culture is infused into the budding personality (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven; all good children go to heaven; cleanliness is next to Godliness) next, learning the facts of existence on the planet at this particular moment of our million year history (the obedience of dogs, the power of waves, the clouds that have rain in them, the animals that live underground, spring, summer and fall.) I could go on, but you get the idea, because that isn’t the end of it. Sex follows these formative years and stamps us anew and the culture has begun a real onslaught. (First comes love, then comes marriage; then comes Betsy with a baby carriage.) The excitements and revelations of growth end with the baby and we complete the picture of the mature human being with Work (A stitch in time saves nine, early to bed and early to rise–you know the rest. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.)
But wait. Isn’t this the strangest thing? Nowadays the baby and Mom are sent home after one day in the hospital to a home where there is no mother to instruct her. The baby goes to the pediatrician, who decides what’s good for the baby. The little kid goes to nursery school, the growing child must not waste a lot of time playing outdoors, because he or she must study math and read simple stories. In certain elites the child learns to call adults by their first name, and never be polite to old men who are on a walk and want to be friendly. What they learn about the world is nothing you and I ever heard of before, and technology is beyond comprehension. Mothers work a couple of jobs, take the dogs for a walk, husbands cook up a good stew or sauce for the Mom’s dinner. Mom and Dad may not have gotten married, not seeing any sense in it; gay people want to get married. The world is topsy-turvy, upside down. You bet things aren’t what they used to be. How could they be? And those of us past our time keep right on living. This is what I think. I think we just ought to march a bit in the passing parade; offer a hint now and then that might smooth something over; enjoy the show.