Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Days

Well, I missed Beethoven’s birthday this year—December 16th seemed to just come and go.  But Ludwig, we love your stuff, especially that 9th that you completed but never heard yourself. Deafness in a composer is the definition of cruel irony, huh?

And then December 17th came and went, and I embarked on my 78th year—78 . . . wow. What can I say? I ain’t middle-aged any more. Nice celebration, though . . . lots of family members, lots of hugs, a lot of love flowing about. Nice.
And now we approach Mrs. Schmidt’s 76th—Thursday to be precise. Wow! My child-bride turning near middle-aged.  It’s amazing this one day at a time thing. Before you know it, serious history has come and gone.  And it’s the history thing that grabs at us. Our grandson has been writing papers on contemporary history—you know, the New Deal, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs. For him, ancient history; for us the stuff of our lives.  His paper on the New Deal was a great piece, but the thing that struck us most is that he could have been writing about today, without the Roosevelt rescue team. I see republicans today playing the same role as the Hooverites did in 1930—“let’s do nothing and maybe all this crap we brought about will just go away.”  And when our grandson asks us questions about the Cold War, or that JFK fiasco, the Bay of Pigs, or the mess called Vietnam, our memory banks tend to go into overtime, flooding us with that time—sitting around drinking martinis, after our work building deadly intercontinental missile systems, and arguing about whether it would be better to head to the hills (the Sierra’s) or head for the coast if the Russkies and the Americans got into a full-out pissing match involving nukes because of the Cuban mess. Yeah, those were good times, huh? Saber-rattling it was called, but when the sabers turn out to be hydrogen bombs that can reach cities within a few minutes, it seems of a different order.
So, we hope for Mrs. Schmidt’s birthday, to get rid of all those memories for at least the hours of celebration.—dinner at our splendid Italian restaurant, Gianni’s in Concord. It’s a place we hold dear as a special celebration venue—great food, hospitable company, great staff helping us to enjoy special evenings.
And then on to Christmas, where the sparkle in our grandchildren’s eyes is real, and their smiles sublime.  On Dancer, on Prancer . . .
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