“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).

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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 🌹
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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Youth Does Have a Shelf Life – Nobody Warned Me

There’s a Rolling Stones‘ song “Time is on My Side.” When I was very young, I believed that. As a matter of fact, I embraced this fallacy until about four years ago.

Truth is, time is never on your side. It is always the enemy.

On some level, I think I was caught up in the great Baby Boomer deception. We were to be the perennial teenagers. Continue reading

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New Tennis Shoes – A Whiff of Nostalgia

Ahh… the smell of new tennis shoes.

My granddaughter got new tennis shoes today, and while lacing them for her, I got a good whiff of that brand-new sneaker smell. I don’t know whether it’s the fresh canvas or pristine rubber. There is just something special about that aroma that really took me back to another time and place. My first memory of new tennis shoes is when I was six years old. My brother, then 12, helped our cousin with a landscaping project. With some of the money he made, he bought me a pair of red, Keds-type sneakers that I had been wanting. How I loved those shoes! I believed I could actually jump higher and run faster in those wonderful red shoes. Continue reading

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