I fear that I am becoming an old poop!
I know that I remember the “Great Depression” and maybe that’s what is coloring my outlook. Incidentally, there was nothing that great about the depression! I remember that several of Dad’s old shipmates from World War I would arrive at our door and stay with us for a few days — or weeks — while they looked for work. That was a courtesy extended by some who did have work.
Whatever the reason, I am left with a reluctance to spend a bunch of money for anything except food, clothing or shelter. I do enjoy a bit of comfort or convenience with the necessities, but I think more than a few times before I unload my purse on anything to decorate my home or my yard. After all, the spirit of the holiday lies within, doesn’t it? It goes against the grain for me to empty my purse to buy blow-it-up plastic stuff to celebrate Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas or Easter. I await with disinterest blow-up hearts for Valentine’s Day.
Ed and I used to share a pumpkin to carve for Halloween. We always preferred a genial grin and then begged a candle stub from Mom so our creation could grin at night as it sat on the window sill — inside! Now, those who use real pumpkins outside are apt to find them smashed on the sidewalk by spoil sports before they get a chance to spread holiday cheer.
We always had a Christmas tree — inside. We were convinced that Santa brought our tree along with the goodies under it. Then we got older and fingered Santa, but even then we were not allowed to decorate the tree until Christmas Eve. I guess the theory was that the magic glow of Christmas stays fresh for the big day that way.
We had hard-boiled eggs to color, decorate and hunt at Easter, and there was a centerpiece on the table filled with jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Once Ed and I each got a chocolate Easter egg with our name on it!
We exchanged Valentines with friends at school, but that was it. Friendship was a bigger deal on May first when we made baskets, and hung the on the doorknobs at our friends’ homes.
Thanksgiving wasn’t such a deal. We had a big dinner every now and then anyway. Except for the year Dad won a turkey raffle and we made a pet of “Obidiah,” we didn’t name our Thanksgiving dinner nor shed a tear when the bird emerged from the oven done to a golden brown.
So, you will find no bits of plastic in my yard or in the house this Halloween. At Christmas you may expect a wreath on the door, but the bulk of my spending money (discretionarry funds, isn’t it?) will be spent to fill boxes under the tree with each box bearing the name of one of my nearest and dearest.
I figure my old poop license must be in the mail.
I fear that I am becoming an old poop!
- Liz Ciancone
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
LIZ CIANCONE: Mourning a death is a personal exercise
One does not properly “celebrate” an assassination, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded that there are a lot of nuts out there. Coverage this past week of the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination still has the power to disturb, but all the theories won’t undo the facts.
LIZ CIANCONE: The greatest invention ever? Frozen orange juice
We were talking the other day and someone posed the question: “What do you think has been the greatest invention of all time?”
LIZ CIANCONE: Even mild forecast can give you the shivers
The local weather report the other evening included a bit of folklore. Our weather guru said that the story is that if snakes have not crawled off to winter quarters by late October, we were in for a mild winter.
LIZ CIANCONE: Extra hour gives more time to reset all the clocks
At the risk of becoming a bore, I really hate daylight saving time.
LIZ CIANCONE: Baseball’s cool days equal cold hard cash
I was driving to the grocery the other day and was startled when a few ice crystals rattled against the windshield.
LIZ CIANCONE: What songs are on your personal hit parade?
Is it possible that you could rattle off your 10 or 12 favorite recordings of all time on the spur of the moment?
LIZ CIANCONE: Finding a little quiet time harder than ever
Two things I especially miss about living in a small town like Yorkville are the quiet and the dark. Both offered an opportunity for quality quiet time to just think.
LIZ CIANCONE: If only we could see next fad coming
I’ve never claimed to be a smart investor. In my defense, I would need a crystal ball, or a double deck of tarot cards, or maybe a Ouija board to anticipate what gadget or fad would be the next to tweak the public fancy and earn me a million dollars.
LIZ CIANCONE: Congress deserves to be fired for actions
I don’t like to write about politics. I’m not interested in trying to convert anyone to my preference, and hope the same courtesy will be extended to me.
LIZ CIANCONE: Choosing a wedding date is personal
It wasn’t that long ago when I sat at the “society desk” at The Tribune-Star. I learned that August was second only to June as the favored month for weddings. And, every so often, there is a program of providers of everything from flowers to wedding cakes and gowns. I suppose this is to assure that the happy event will be done “properly.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Weather throws a wrinkle in the ironing
I’m convinced that Mother Nature is throwing me a curve ball — high and inside, at that.
LIZ CIANCONE: Game used ad slogans to craft good stories
Years ago I received a special game for Christmas.
LIZ CIANCONE: Today’s headlines, tomorrow’s history
Someone once said that a newspaper was a rough draft of history. It was probably Dr. Beatty, my favorite history professor.
LIZ CIANCONE: School supplies these days just don’t add up
School bells rang yesterday to begin a new school year. I really wish I was still of an age to trek back to that proverbial “little red schoolhouse.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Puzzles do make the best games
I come from a family of game players. Mom and Dad would pass the evening hours with a cribbage board sitting between them on a table.
LIZ CIANCONE: Taking comfort in the familiar
I find that change just isn’t as much fun as it once was. There is comfort in the familiar — an old pair of shoes or a mattress which seems to have lumps in all the right places. I’m falling into a rut. I tend to do things in the same old way, eat lunch at the same old places and see the same faces in the usual spots. In general, it means taking life as it comes, easily and comfortably.
LIZ CIANCONE: Cooking with love may be the difference
A lot of us when faced with the question, “What’s for supper?” wish we could turn it over to our moms. Somehow every mom is remembered as a super cook. Maybe that’s because our fondest memories of food center around the supper table of our youth.
LIZ CIANCONE: TV reality shows have a colorful history
We rarely turn on our television set until time for the evening news, and sometimes we turn it off at the end of that half hour. If I were a male, I would be a curmudgeon.
LIZ CIANCONE: Another beloved dog goes to heaven
We are short one granddog. This past week, “Indy” could no longer use her back legs and she went to that great dog kennel in the hereafter.
LIZ CIANCONE: Withdrawn society not very social any more
My Best Friend and I went out for lunch the other day. It was a sit-down place with our own “server” (in my day I was called “a waitress”) and everything offering personal attention. The manager even came over to ask if everything was all right.
LIZ CIANCONE: Technology, new fabrics made ironing much easier
As surely as Tuesday follows Monday on the calendar, ironing day followed wash day on Mom’s housekeeping chart.
LIZ CIANCONE: Looking back at memories of ‘history’
I was reading a whodunit the other day. The protagonist was trying to solve the mystery of what had happened to a local citizen soldier who had disappeared during the war.
LIZ CIANCONE: Smell of fresh air gave way to dryers
Remember when clean clothes smelled like fresh air and sunshine rather than fabric softener and dryer sheets?
LIZ CIANCONE: Courts see a different appearance than cops
Have you ever noticed the transformation between the arrest of an accused lawbreaker and the first appearance in court?
LIZ CIANCONE: We always want more than we need
Washington seems more preoccupied with the unemployment rate than they are about the constant stalemate. Still with thousands out of work and the unemployment rate hovering somewhere between 7 percent and 9 percent, it does deserve more than a passing nod.
LIZ CIANCONE: Old age is in email of the beholder
My Best Friend isn’t much for writing letters, so email has opened a new world for him. He can dash off a few words to a high school friend or his college roommate — now living in Florida and Washington State,
LIZ CIANCONE: A memory test from the oldtime radio days
For some reason, I seem to be the go-to source for all sorts of obscure information out at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
LIZ CIANCONE: Friskey no doubt was in favor of gun control
I once owned a gun. Actually, it was Dad’s gun and I was allowed to use it. He bought an air gun which shot BB’s to protect our home — in a way.
- More Liz Ciancone Headlines
- MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight