Grandparents-Relics From the Past

A red heart with the words i love grandpa written in it.

âš½ I read recently that grandchildren see grandparents as a relic from the past.  I certainly hope that is not true.  Being a grandparent with great-grandchildren, I was surely taken aback by that statement.  I have what I consider a healthy relationship with my grandchildren, and they have never given me the impression that I am a “relic from the pastâ€.  Just the opposite, they have always conveyed to me the feeling that I am a relevant part of their lives and they love me very much.  As all grandparents know, watching grandchildren mature into adulthood brings a lot of satisfaction and deep affection.  I never recall conveying to my grandparent that they were not a vital part of my life, just the opposite, I tried always to let them know they played a vital role in the adult I had become and that I always looked to them for guidance in how I reacted to the ups and downs life placed in my path.  The most important thing they taught me was that religion should be firmly entrenched in my core values and should be a guiding light on how I treated the people I encountered during my travels on this wonderful planet.  I closely watched how my grandfather Hale handled life’s many obstacles and was always impressed by his calm demeanor and trust in God to help him thru difficult situations.  I never recall thinking of him as “oldâ€, but wise.  He and grandma had six children, two of which are still alive (ages 96 & 91), and 17 grandchildren.  Each of us went to him when we had a problem that needed solving. When he passed away in the early 1970s, each of us knew we had lost a major player in our life.   Nope, I don’t believe grandparents are relics.  I am more inclined to believe English Poet, Charles Lamb, “Here cometh April again and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than everâ€ðŸ˜Š.

âš½  I’ve been thinking about going a week without making any negative comments.  Now, I know that will be a difficult thing for me to do, but I think it’s important to try.  I have never thought of myself as a negative person, but I’m beginning to have self-doubts.  What brought this on was a couple of weeks ago my wife and I were having a disagreement and she said to me, “Sometimes you make me feel stupidâ€.  My heart stopped for a moment, as if I’d dropped a piece of her fine china.  Was I really that type of person, one that could make the most important person in my life feel that way?  Did I make other people feel the same way?  Do I value my opinion more than someone else’s? 

I’ve given this a lot of thought since that happened, and I believe I need to try to be a better person, to listen more attentively, and be more appreciative of the needs of others.  I have concluded that I need to be a treasure trove of happy feelings, focusing on being energetic and always remember; do good, feel good.  I believe that people that reminisce have happy feelings, so I’m gonna try to do that more often.  I’m hoping that by being happier I’ll be less inclined to be critical.  As Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to beâ€.  I can ride that horse 😊.        

âš½  There is a theory floating around that what you enjoyed doing when you were 10 years old is something you would enjoy doing today.  I don’t think so!  As a 10-year-old I was pushing a bike rim with a stick as fast as I could, pretending I was racing someone.  I also played dodge ball, Pick-Up-Sticks, Jax Rocks, Chinese Checkers, and various other games for days on end, but I haven’t revisited those games in more than 60 years.  About the only thing I can think of that carried forward into adulthood, and is still with me today, is the enjoyment I get from human contact.  Even as a young lad I enjoyed the company of others, often preferring that to being alone.  Today, as a retired person, I spend a lot of time with just me and my lovely wife.  But I kinda suspect that’s what happens when you get old.  We do visit family and friends often, but most of the time we are here at home alone, doing chores and taking walks.  Since early March we have practiced the social distancing recommended by the CDC because of the COVID-19.  It looks as though this will continue for quite a while.  We were totally unprepared for this pandemic and that is very disturbing.  Our hope now is that scientists will develop a vaccine and a drug to treat those that already have it.  I fault our leaders for their lack of foresight and believe history will judge them harshly.  I suspect that we will come out of this situation with 90% of our normal life restored.  How could it ever get back to normal after something like this?  Even though I worry a lot about our current situation with the coronavirus, I am more worried about something, if it does occur, will be more worrisome.  That concern is about climate change and the lack of our concern about it.  You see, when we get to a certain point in the pollution of our air and water, we no longer have the option of correcting it. 

How can we, as logical human beings, convince ourselves that we can take a trillion barrels of oil, vaporize it into our atmosphere, and expect that it will do little damage to our existence?

In February 1985, I was sitting at my desk at the office, the phone rang, and it was my ex-wife, yelling that the house was filled with smoke.  She had started a fire in the fireplace and failed to open the draft, so the smoke couldn’t escape up the chimney and spilled out into our home.  I jumped in the car and sped home to correct the situation, opened the doors and windows, and turned on the overhead fan.  Within 45 minutes, the smoke was gone and life got back to normal.

The point is, when our world is filled with a carbon induced haze and a vent that will allow it to be removed cannot be found, it will be too late to do anything constructive to resolve the problem.  We should not lose our focus on this approaching disaster.  Some people in our government tend to ignore the data and believe there is no such thing as “Global Warmingâ€.  Here is the definition of Climate Change:

Climate change occurs when changes in Earth’s climate system results in new weather patterns that remain in place for an extended period of time.  This length of time can be as short as a few decades and as long as millions of years.  Scientists have identified many episodes of climate change during Earth’s geological history and more recently, since the industrial revolution, the climate has increasingly been affected by human activities and driving global warming. The terms are commonly used interchangeably.

Ok, time to get off the soap box and wrap this up.  Right now, there are approximately 8 billion humans on earth and by 2050 there will be 10 billion of us.  At some point in human existence a decision will be made to limit the pollution of our environment and hope things get better.  Wanna bet what they will think of our spendthrift ways?

The Dalai Lama said, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room†

We can all make a difference!