Each generation, if they are so blessed to live a long and full life, gets to witness the bookends of change. It may have seemed simpler long ago, or maybe not. When I recall my grandmother, a child of the Great Depression, a proud woman who literally broke her back for menial pay, was old and toothless by age fifty, and never owned a car or a home— it does not seem simple. It just seems hard. But what I remember about her is how happy she was, how funny she was, and in her constant pain, how she never complained.
There were three channels on TV when I was a kid. I listened to my hero “play” baseball on the radio. As a kid in the city, I remember that people came outside after dinner, lined the city streets until dark. They talked.
Our beautiful planet completes another revolution around the sun today. Each year it seems quicker, but I know that it’s just the way it goes. Both my sons are men now, need a shave, and sometimes the day seems to drag for them. But I know that’s just how it goes.
At some point before Melanie and I raise a glass of champagne, I will walk by the TV and notice it is 36 inches bigger than the 19-inch black and white model of my youth, and the remote channels from the skies, over 2000 choices. I will recall my relatives, long gone, who warned me that if I sat too close to the TV I would go blind.
Thank God they were wrong. I can still see, and as I turn my back on the TV to sit in our sunroom to converse with Melanie and the boys, I will have my last laugh of 2017. I think that a half-century later I still only watch 3 channels.
It’s a glorious ride, and I am grateful for another year.