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Monday, January 6, 2014

Thoughts on Christmas and New Year's Day

I wrote this on New Year's Day morning on a legal pad—I'm just getting around to retyping it.

It's been since October, 2011 since I've attempted to do a normal job. I just cannot work with the consistency that work in our society demand. Since then, the flea marketing that I have done for most of my adult life has evolved into my son's second job of selling via eBay, craigslist, and occassionally doing flea markets, with most of those being one's where a church (interestingly enough, in my area, usually sponsored by “liberal/progressive” churches affiliated with centuries old denominations). My son deals with the complexities of eBay selling smaller, higher priced items, and I dealing with large and inexpensive items, and getting purchases packaged and delivered to the various shipping companies. Even then, in my area, there are no worthwhile flea markets when it's really cold outside, and I can no longer consistently handle doing flea markets when it is really hot in the summer.
To that effect, life is somewhat more out of my control than at any time since I was a child. I depend on my son. From that, Christmas, oddly, was quite pleasant this year. For most years, I had an inward guilt about not being able to make it a sufficiently nice Christmas, or worse, having overspent enough to make the next few months a little bit more miserable. Now, that type of thing is just totally out of my control.
Last evening, somehow, I wound up watching a tv program on aging on one of the community access channels in my area. I didn't catch the name of the program in the beginning, but the content drew me into it, and, at the end, the credits told that it was produced by the University of Hawai'i at Manoa Center on Aging. Come to think of it, I don't remember them having the apostrophe between the two “i”'s as U. Of Hawai'i insists on being the correct spelling, but that's irrelevant. It some ways, it was kind of discouraging, seeing people in their 80's talk about taking walks and traveling, and having younger relatives question whether it was a good idea at their age. I say that as, while at this time I am “only” 60, walking and traveling are too painful to wish to do, except as necessary.
One off the wall statement in the program was that, in speaking to many older persons, when asked what they were proudest of in their life, there was a significant division by race. Whites indicated that they reached a point where they could travel or do what they wanted; blacks were proudest that they had survived. Now, it needs to be noted that what today would be an elderly black person lived a portion of their life when society in this country was overtly racist in many areas. I also realize that many blacks perceive society, even today, to be more antagonistic than I as a white person perceive it. To me, it wasn't clear whether this program and the interviews behind it were done nationally or in Hawai'i, where the subject of race is quite different than in the contiguous 48.
The program touched on belief in the sense that two of the people being interviewed were a non-orthodox Jewish rabbi and a Catholic monsignor. Additionally, a woman who was Jewish made a comment about, when she was a girl, she asked a question about Judaism to an older person and was told females didn't have to concern themselves with those things.
Further, the program asserted that older persons do not become more conservative politically with age. That should make me feel better, as I have moved from conservative to so radical no successful politician would want to talk to me, but, being a tv program, all it has time to do is assert, and give a short glimpse of the facts, which, of course, may be distorted. Of course, I live in Virginia Beach, whose history is highly affected by a woman who started as mayor as a liberal and left office decades later as so conservative some of the monied people were in a rush to have her out of office.
On Christmas, there was present opening first thing in the morning. Grandson is almost 8—an age where he can understand, anticipate, and get overly excited, but still control himself somewhat when told to. Later in the day, I watched some back-to-back episodes of a program on HGTV called, “Hawaii Life”--they didn't use the apostrophe. It really isn't what one might think the program is about.
The name of the program came from the name of a real estate agency, and the program was their agents showing persons looking to move there some houses—actually three in a half hour. Wow—did whoever owns the agency pay to have this program done, or do they get paid to do it? What advertising! I bet I can guess the reaction of their local competitors who have more normal real estate agency names.
As I said before, life has moved so that I help my son with a merchandising business. It has gone from flea market items to more of coins, jewelry, and vintage/antiques. I am writing this while sitting in the town hall of a small town about 1 1/2 hours from where I live. There is this auctioneer that has an auction in this town hall on New Year's Day and the 4th of July. I am guessing that this room seats about 125, given that about one fourth of the floor space is filled with tables of old stuff, as is the stage, except for where the auctioneer and the secretary are sitting. I am here at 9 in the morning. Auction will start at 10. It's going to be a long day, I'm sitting in a chair, my son is looking at items with a white glove, jeweler's loupe, and some little electronic thing that differentiates real jewels from glass. Last time he was here, he got some antique furniture. We've sold some, but still have quite a bit. I talked him out of bring a car hauling trailer with us, but we did come with a pickup instead of a car. I hope everything he gets is (physically) small. He's 31, and about the youngest person in the place acting like a buyer during the inspection time.
On the wall, one of the items is a round outdoor thermometer, which, in the middle, has the logo of Dr. Pepper, with the words underneath it, “Hot or Cold”. To me hot Dr. Pepper sounds disgusting, as I sip on a cold cola on a cold day.
If anyone is curious about what we are selling, my son's eBay store can be searched under the code name, “navygamer”. The items on norfolk.craigslist can be searched with “757-735-3639”. My son also has an online store “”.

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