Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Here's to 2017

Barbara here. I'm late, I'm late! My Wednesday post was due at midnight, and is now twelve hours late. Blame it on the surfeit of wine, turkey, latkes, company, and activities of the past week. When Hanukah and Christmas festivities come at the same time, my usual quiet life is turned upside down. There were six of us staying in my little house that I normally share with just two dogs. There were bodies (live) in every room, bed, sofa and chair, and the din of chatter from morning until bed. At every new sound, my big baby dog barked, prompting the other to add her trademark scream.

There were fourteen people and four dogs crowded into my cozy living room and around my dining room table (well, the dogs were underneath) for latkes and turkey at "Christmakah", and to give you a visual image of under the table, Eva was the smallest of the dogs at 40 pounds. The largest was a Golden the size of a polar bear.

It's been a chaotic week but in our busy day to day lives, it's wonderful to have this time to reconnect with family, to put aside the pressures and demands of our regular work and to spend time taking walks, going to movies and out to dinner, and catching up on the news and adventures of those we love.

My Work-in-Progress sat on the bookshelf in my bedroom completely ignored, although the occasional pang of guilt flitted through me as I bustled past it. It sits there still, but its beckoning call grows a little louder. Maybe tomorrow I will pick it up. I will have forgotten my place in it and my train of thought, but I hope this forced separation will usher in some new insights, a brilliant new plot twist or a fascinating character. All that wine and plum pudding should be good for something, right?

In his post yesterday, Rick did a good job of saying good bye and good riddance to 2016. Not humankind's finest year, and with climate denying billionaires in charge who are interested only in power and profits, with little professed concern for the public good or the health of the planet we all share, 2017 is not looking great. I won't add to the doomsaying, but will merely urge everyone to think of one or two small things they can do - a couple of reasonable, achievable resolutions they can keep - to try to stem the tide if not turn it. Many good deeds cost nothing. Smile at clerks and waiters and strangers in the street. Shovel an elderly neighbour's driveway. Carry a harried mother's grocery bags.

Donate to a charity or two. There are many trying to alleviate the suffering around the world. Even modest donations can add up to a real difference. Many of them allow you to pay a small monthly amount instead of a bigger lump sum.  Check the provenance of the goods and food you buy, and try to avoid companies that exploit workers, use forced labour, or damage the environment.

I could go on, but I need to get this blog up on the site. So I will end with one last resolution that I will try to keep. To remember my Wednesday blog before the actual day is half over, and to be as entertaining and informative as possible. Here's to good intentions!

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