Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Black and White and Shades of Grey

All my life I have been taught there are only two sides to every confrontation: black or white. My father did not consider the shade of grey as an answer. Dad considered grey as the color for those unable to stick with a position. Everything was wrong or right. However, with the disappearance of the core family unit and the values our ancestors used to pass down to each new generation, black and white have left the building leaving an entire rainbow of color answers.

Black = wrong, White = right, Grey = possible to be right or wrong only if no one get offended.

What other personal responsibilities formally taught to us by our families have we neglected to pass on to the next generation? Manners, correct enunciation, personal accountability all have gone the way of the flightless dodo bird, extinct due to lack of interest in their continuation.

What other little expected behaviors we all grew up with have suddenly disappeared? Chewing with one's mouth closed, wearing appropriate clothing for the event and location, and cutting in front of people in line are the first few that come to mind but I'm sure, given time, we all could come up with dozens. But what began this major shift in attitudes? Do we attribute this to the hippies back in the 60's? Or did it come sooner - as more families began chasing the all mighty dollar instead of growing their children.

I have two children in two different times of their lives, but they have been taught the consequences of their actions since they were old enough to talk back. I know they will tell me the truth, whether I am ready for it or not. They accept their punishments for their misdeeds and strive to learn from their mistakes.

I can think of thousands of prisoners who could learn something about personal responsibility.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Hint of Fall in the Air

The past few days have been blissful here in the South. Mornings arrived with a chill and a hint of the coming change of season. They continued as clear days without the wisp of a cloud anywhere in sight until finishing  in glorious color with sunset and the return of a chill. These and many more wonders are the reasons Fall is my favorite time of the year, especially in this neck of the country.

Soon it will be apple festival time and craft fairs and funnel cakes will abound. Friday nights will be for high school football and Saturdays for watching horse shows and playing with my ponies. Sundays are for family and church and catching up. Which will bring up back around to Monday and more work waiting and resting up for Friday again. The cycle of life spinning another year from the threads of life.

I don't tend to get much work done in the fall. Outdoors brings so much more than the house, which I will soon be resigned to when winter begins his reign sooner than I will be ready. But for now, bring me fall. It brings the contentment my heart longs for, the harvest of the summer complete. Time to make preparations for my winter projects.

The years fly past faster every year. The children grow and begin going their own ways. Helpful Hubby and I both grow older and greyer each birthday and Christmas morning gets later every year.

But maybe I am only entering my mid-life crisis. I will accept that. Soon I will be at the jumping off point, and I can feel myself gathering to scream inside. I have a year to get ready for the big one so if I am going to crazy it needs to be soon. Maybe after fall - I can't miss my funnel cake fix.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Random Thoughts As Labor Day Approaches

It is the first of September and summer is officially over, at least in our neck of the woods. School has been in session for a month, the children have settled into their routines of school, homework, activities. Soon the leaves will start changing on the trees and (hopefully) cooler temperatures will invade North Georgia. Oh, Fall - Nature's Paint Explosion. How I love the crisp air and clear smells that define my favorite season.

Soon it will be Apple Festival time, and the Fair will come to town. We will take part in traditions born long ago and carried on today for reasons vastly different from their original meanings. The Fall Fair was a time to come together, to celebrate a success harvest to provide food during the coming winter and to fellowship before the cold and snow kept everyone confined and apart. Today we go to the fair to eat cotton candy and ride the rides. Oh how the times have changed.

This summer went by faster than anticipated. I can barely remember the Fourth of July, it seems more than just two months ago. Helpful Hubby and I didn't take a formal vacation, preferring to steal days here and there along the way to run off to the lake or just hand around the house. That, I have decided was the wrong thing. The act of booking a vacation and planning where to go and what to do is cathartic. Without that wholesale clearance process that accompanies a vacation our brains begin to clog with useless, out-dated information.

Europeans as a whole take the entire month of August as vacation. Why can't Americans get away with the same thing? Because after ten days the men would drive us all crazy! Maybe the better policy would be three vacations a year - one with your family, one by yourself or with friends and one with your significant other only.

Sounds like a plan to me!