Dickens and Do-Overs

I can’t help wondering if perhaps Charles Dickens’ inspiration for “A Christmas Carol” was not just looking back over his life. Was there just that moment when he wished that all he had lived through was but a dress rehearsal for the real thing? Was there not the slightest hope that it was all just a dream from which he learned what he needed to know.  He then awoke, and instead of it being Christmas Day, it was actually the first day of the rest of his life.

My first real understanding of this Dickens’ tale was the animated Mr. Magoo version. I could never forget his relief and utter jubilation upon realizing the horrors he had seen were but a dream.  The spirits had done it all in one night, and he had not missed Christmas Day.  He was given a second chance to make everything right.

As someone having a bout of wisdom once told me, “The worst thing about life is the learning curve.”

If only life could be like Ebenezer’s bad dream, from which we could simply wake and begin anew.

Now, for the proverbial “call to action:”

If you liked this piece, please click “Like,” leave a comment, “Follow” my blog, – better yet, share the link with friends, family, or colleagues you think would enjoy it. It’s the only way a writer can gather an audience. Thanks very much! Nancy 🌹
Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Adulthood, Authors, Christmas, Growing up, Literature, mid-centurians, movies, pop culture, Success/Failure | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

National Engineers Week

If you live, work, or have ever sought shelter in a building that is structurally sound; If you regularly cross a body of water, cloverleaf interchange or similar high overpass, confident the bridge will not fail;

If you can turn on lights, keep warm or cool, and dry your hair because of energy generated by a massive dam/hydroelectric source;

If you have enjoyed hike and bike trails and other municipal or National Park amenities;

If you drive cross country, or just take your child to school via a network of strategically designed streets and highways;

If you can flush your toilet, never doubting that waste will be carried far from your home and appropriately treated, so we can live free of waste-borne diseases…

Thank an engineer.

February 17-23 is “NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK.”

Celebrate the security of the safe, healthy society they create and maintain.

Posted in Engineering, history, news, Science, technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pearl Harbor Day

For the post-baby boomer generations who were taught the U.S. barbarically, mercilessly bombed Japan in 1945, it’s not your fault.  No one ever told you the Japanese were not always the cool, car-building, techno-genius, anime-creating society you know them to be.  So, please look up December 7, 1941.

The “date which will live in infamy” was essentially “9-1-1” before September 9, 2001.

Posted in american history, americana, Baby Boomers, Generation gap, history, mid-centurions, Patriotism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Loss Was Always A Baby – Not a Clump of Cells – A Baby

On this date in 1977, after waiting and praying over the long holiday weekend, I was officially told by my obstetrician that the baby I had carried for five months had died in utero.

I had not felt her kick for about a week. A visit to my doctor on the Friday before Memorial Day detected no heartbeat. In those days, they did not have sophisticated sonogram equipment in the doctor’s office. The most reliable instrument was the stethoscope. My doctor listened intently. Then, diplomatically called his associate in, telling me Dr. Sparr had “much better hearing.” Yet, even the doctor with the best hearing could find no heartbeat. Nevertheless, Dr. Stephens sent me home with some small hope that my baby might just be turned in an awkward position, and perhaps by Tuesday morning, that would change.

We did spend the long weekend praying and trying to find those familiar kicks – to no avail. Continue reading

Posted in Adulthood, Baby Boomers, family, health, Motherhood, Parenthood, Pregnancy, values, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I Love Collies

After quite a dry spell – not so much writer’s block as, at worst , starter’s block; at best, finisher’s block, I realized I had to write something – anything. So, with nary a nod to nasty politics, I thought I would start slowly with an elementary school style essay on why I love collies.

Without further ado… ahem…”Why I Love Collies” by Nancy Krenrich:

It should come as no surprise that this Baby Boomer grew up watching “Lassie.” I was too young for the Jeff episodes with Tommy Rettig (1954 – 1957). It was the Timmy shows (starring Jon Provost) that I watched every Sunday night.

It might be that my love of collies is hereditary. I have seen a picture of my big brother (before I was born) holding what appeared to be a tricolor collie puppy, whose name I am told, was Tippy. My mom never had pets, because her mother was not a fan, and was appalled at the very idea of actually keeping and feeding them. Heaven forbid they should be allowed in the house! So, any affection for animals would likely come from my father. After I was born, we had a sable collie named Sandy until my parents divorced. Mom got my brother and me. My dad got custody of the collie.

Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, american history, americana, Books, cultural history, dogs, Growing up, Literature, mid-centurions, Nostalgia, pop culture, retro, television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Barbed Wire Fences and Other Baby Boomer Country Memories

Yesterday, I saw something I had not seen in years – a barbed wire fence.

It evoked memories of a brief, yet, impactful time of my childhood. We lived, for a time, with my grandmother who lived in a rock house in the country, and had farming neighbors.

I remember waking up to roosters, catching lightning bugs, and slinging “supper” leftovers across the fence to the chickens and cows. It was a time when a simple plastic paddle with a wire handle, called a “flyswatter” was used, not just as an insect weapon, but, also like a switch, to threaten us kids. Continue reading

Posted in american history, americana, cultural history, family, Growing up, Humor, mid-centurions, Nature, Nostalgia, retro | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In-law Christmas

This next weekend is usually designated as what I used to affectionately call “in-law Christmas,” when you gather with the non-alpha in-laws to celebrate the holiday (as opposed to the real festivities with your actual family).

For further clarification, the “alpha in-laws” are typically the woman’s family. I’m not sure why that is. It likely harks back to that old adage my grandmother often cited, “A son’s a son ‘til he takes a wife. A daughter’s a daughter all her life.” While that is not always the situation, fortunately, it worked out that way for me. My family was the alpha. I’m not sure I could have survived had it been otherwise. There were three sisters-in-law, and having only a big brother, I never really understood how to relate or get along with sisters. Besides, two of those women viewed my husband as the “baby brother.” And my mother-in-law? She was my brunette Marie Barone of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (impeccably portrayed by the late Doris Roberts). I never questioned the precept governing alpha in-laws as long as it was working in my favor. Continue reading

Posted in Adulthood, aging, americana, Christmas, entertainment, family, Humor, mid-centurions, Motherhood, Nostalgia, Parenthood, pop culture, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In-law Thanksgiving

This weekend is usually designated as what I used to affectionately call “in-law Thanksgiving,” when you gather with the non-alpha in-laws to celebrate the holiday (as opposed to the real feast with your actual family).

For further clarification, the “alpha in-laws” are typically the woman’s family. I’m not sure why that is. It likely harks back to that old adage my grandmother often cited, “A son’s a son ‘til he takes a wife. A daughter’s a daughter all her life.” While that is not always the situation, fortunately, it worked out that way for me. My family was the alpha. I’m not sure I could have survived had it been otherwise. There were three sisters-in-law, and having only a big brother, I never really understood how to relate or get along with sisters. Besides, two of those women viewed my husband as the “baby brother.” And my mother-in-law? She was my brunette Marie Barone of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (impeccably portrayed by the late Doris Roberts). I never questioned the precept governing alpha in-laws as long as it was working in my favor. Continue reading

Posted in Adulthood, Aging, americana, Baby Boomers, cultural history, family, Growing up, Holidays, Humor, Motherhood, Nostalgia, Parenthood, pop culture, television, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“First Man” – Not a Movie Review, Just a Baby Boomer’s Perspective

I finally got to the theater again to see a first-run movie – First Man, and unabashedly admit to having thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I loved it, and intend to see it again. Unfortunately, if social media is any indication, at least one of the stars (Claire Foy) does not share my affection for this land of the free; home of the brave that spawned the courageous men and women profiled in the story. However, that attitude was not evident in her performance. Additionally, there was some controversy over omission of the flag planting. I don’t know if there was conscious intention to deflect credit for this amazing accomplishment from the United States, in an effort to promote globalism. I hope not, and I am especially glad I resisted my first impulse (based on that controversy) to boycott the film. I would have only cheated myself out of a great movie.

But, as the old writer cliche goes, “I digress.” This is neither a film review, nor an essay on Hollywood Meets Politics (and why we wish it wouldn’t).

Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, american history, americana, celebrities, cultural history, Education, entertainment, famous people, Generation gap, Growing up, history, Humor, mid-centurians, mid-centurions, movies, news, Nostalgia, pop culture, retro, Science, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Paul McCartney – Yesterday and Today – Stories Now Told

I just read the GQ article “The Untold Stories of Paul McCartney.” https://www.gq.com/story/the-untold-stories-of-paul-mccartney Writer Chris Heath’s interviews with Paul revealed many things even this lifelong fan never knew about the former Beatles/Wings/singer/songwriter/icon for a generation.

I was pleased and relieved to realize the energy, intellect, excitement, and mental clarity we perceive in Sir Paul is, apparently, an accurate impression. The 76-year-old is definitely still all there.

Heath unearthed far more than the sweet story behind “Let it Be” of how Paul’s mother Mary came to him in a dream – oh, so much more… I found, especially interesting, the insight to the Wings’ song “Jet.” While the title was for a pony they had named Jet, Paul seemed to suggest that early in his marriage to Linda, his father-in-law was a “kind of a nuisance,” and might have been the “Major” in that 1973 song.

Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, american history, celebrities, cultural history, entertainment, Fame, famous people, history, mid-centurions, Music, news, pop culture, Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments