Well, it’s almost that day of the year when we turn over a new leaf (or snowflake if you’re lucky enough to live far enough north to enjoy the miraculous white powder).
In any case, lots of leaves have been turned over this year that many of us did not expect! Job losses, especially in the service and food sectors, mandates from new czars formerly known as governors, isolation from nursing homes and hospital patients, mistreatment or murder of citizens based on the color of their skin, Marxist style riots dubiously based on claims of racial profiling, conflicts of electoral processes with questions of electoral integrity, a Supreme Court confirmation liberals detested, deaths of dear friends or relatives with the Wuhan Virus (I am NOT racist against Chinese – I MARRIED one! Wuhan was simply where the virus started.) Yes, lots of changes none of us could have predicted.
So now there is another “leaf” to turn over. We pray that things will begin to return to “normal” with the virus vaccine roll-outs from Pfizer and Moderna promising that we may see a flattening of the pandemic curve after a year of spikes and information overload that reported too quickly on social media what would best be left for biologists to work out over a couple years.
The election should be finalized January 6th with Congress certifying the results of the electoral college, and we may have a politician for president who used to be a good compromiser with opponents in the Senate. We’ll see if he is as good at getting compromises from extremists in his own party or in getting concessions from conservatives who think the election was stolen.
Conspiracy theories filled the “fake news” on both sides of the liberal/conservative divide. They rivaled Hilary Clinton’s “vast right wing conspiracy,” but put the blame on her camp this time round with the Democracy-Alliance attempting to overthrow the next mid-term elections. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” = “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Anita and I walked around our neighborhood and enjoyed the Christmas decorations, especially those that acknowledge Jesus’ real purpose in coming to earth. He was uniquely born to die, not as an accident of activity or disease. His express reason for creating a body inside Mary, using her DNA, was so that He could go to the cross and pay a penalty for our sin and selfishness, giving of Himself freely to redeem us into eternal life. So now, though the outward man perishes the inner man can be renewed day by day until we pass from this vaporous short-term existence into the Real Life that Jesus initiated for us by rising from the dead.
Our subdivision, Copperfield, put out Luminaria by providing everyone in our 433 houses with paper bags, sand and tea lights. Though slightly sparse (only five per house), it gave a sense of community to our neighborhood that has been missed this year with no Clubhouse activities and restricted pool use. The display turned out very effectively to show we are all responsible for the light we shine.
Our Christmas tree has so many ornaments collected on our travels that we only use a few of the usual generic bulbs. The tree that went up just before Thanxgiving Day will probably stay up through January. Christmas is not even celebrated in some places until January 7, and Candlemas, the celebration of the traditional view of Jesus’ presentation at the Temple is not until February 1. Besides, the lighted tree with all its memorial embellishments makes the dark wintry nights feel just a little brighter as the days begin to slowly lengthen since the winter solstice is past. A friend in Johnston, Rhode Island used to leave their Christmas tree up all year long, just covering it with a sheet to keep dust off . . . unless someone came to visit; then they would reveal the tree in all its glory whether the month was May or July! Here are a few of our “annual” ornaments.
So now another year ends and another begins, as we count the years. (We have not always counted this way, and even now, other cultures . . . count differently.) Several people have asked me what I do in my days now that I have officially retired. These days, memberships, subscriptions, and a dizzying array of content to watch and listen to abound. In fact, I still have not begun to clean my basement (now my excuse is that it is too cold 🙂 ). Enjoy your time with your family. Stay safe and healthy into the New Year, and we will see what Father has planned for us in 2021.