Friday, March 18, 2005

Waxing Nostalgic

Every now and again, I find myself in a nostalgic mood glancing back over the years to a time I perceived was more enjoyable to the life I live, now. Why is that? It’s a bunch of hogwash, really. How many times have we heard people say “the times were much simpler, then”. Well, of course they were. Hideousness can be quite simple. Things are better now, comfort wise, than they have ever been. Hey, I’m not that old, but I can remember a time when air conditioning was a big time luxury for private homes. We didn’t have it – and we weren’t poor, either. My father was a retired military officer who had an excellent job with New York City. We owned a two story, two family house with tenants that paid us rent. We did ok. But, still, when summer time rolled around and wet slick vapor seemed to boil off the sidewalks, it was time to head down to our “finished” basement (you know the deal, wood paneling, wet bar, etc.) to cool off. How fashionable. It’s hot out, so lets crawl into a hole in the ground so we won’t succumb to heat exhaustion. We had a TV down there (black and white) and since we lived in New York City, we had a whole seven channels to choose from. No air conditioning in the car, either. Nowadays, I complain if my wireless internet connection is coming in at less than 2 megabits per second.

No – these are the “good times”. But I still wish for that long ago Christmas. The tree. The presents. The people long gone. My dad’s 96, now and my mom called, today, to let us know that he had to be taken to the hospital for pneumonia. He seems to be doing better and responding to the antibiotics they’re giving him. But I feel very sorry for the old man. I know he wants to be in his own bed with all the familiar things. My mom’s making sure he gets everything he needs (she’s bringing him a care package from home). He’s eating well and I have little doubt that he’ll be home, soon. But still. I wonder what nostalgic thoughts go through the head of someone born in 1909 while they lie in the hospital. I wish him a speedy recovery.


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