Random Thoughts Collection, From Serious to Whimsical

Over 60

There are times when for all our sakes restraint is necessary – in this case, for any object that’s expensive, dangerous, noisy – and air polluting.

It’s impossible to figure out the rationale behind the huge sales of gas guzzlers and pick-up trucks – especially when we face increasing global disaster from greenhouse gasses. We ignore the warnings; but we’re accustomed to selfish extravaganzas and continue to pleasure ourselves in the face of dire predictions including thosefrom the recent U.N. International Panel on Climate Change.

Just this past summer, note the soaring extremes in heat waves, floods, droughts, megafires, hurricanes, and unexpected record changes in climates globally. How long before we open our eyes? Even with improvements in fuel mileage, with large vehicles there tend to be parking problems, bullying, temptation to speed, and more. As cars are shrinking in size elsewhere, only in America… Why?

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And why is there so much hate fomenting among us? This nation, once united, is now represented by acute dichotomies – socially, racially, politically, and even in gender. We don’t build bridges any longer; we destroy them. Lincoln’s threat about a house divided has never been so close to proving true. Emotions replace logic. We are now faced with examples of injustice, crime, greed and insensitivity (especially to all immigrants). Isn’t it charitable to recognize and respect differences? Can’t we accept those differences and become a “We” again?

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And yet, when serious devastation occurs – as happened with our Father’s Day floods – something miraculous happened; the news media spent weeks revealing the kindness of volunteers who sprang up everywhere (some even victims themselves) to help those hardest hit. Church groups, governmental agencies, and everyone but the insurance companies were out giving aid where aid was needed. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this outpouring of communal love continues?

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What is it with this #me too business, which began with valid intent but now appears to resemble the Salem witch trials out of control? We hear words like “revenge” and “rage,” now dividing the genders to focus on this one kind of wrongdoing as though other crimes never existed. Who protests child cruelty? Random shootings? Rape of the earth? Drivers on drugs? Every religion has is own guiding “Ten Commandments” in one form or another. For a healthy society, shouldn’t they all be respected and command equal attention?

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What happened to the original birth of Halloween, when people dressed up as ghouls for a Christian holiday, to remind us of our mortality and a way to redemption – preceding two great religious days: All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The original name itself – All Hallows’ Eve” – leads us to focusing on things at first religious and then to some extent supernatural.

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At first, the custom was to dress up in a devotional spirit like our most admired saints, but that changed over time to the totally secular portrayal of spooks and anything ghoulish for the pleasure of scaring and begging for “trick or treat.” Today, still fun, it’s become a more a commercial event, and if you haven’t been made aware of it for months in advance, you’ve been uniquely isolated.

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One delightful result of the celebration of hauntings comes from literature. Public libraries possess shelves with scary classics, like W.W. Jacob’s “The Monkey’s Paw,” Washington Irving’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and Edgar Allen Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-tale Heart.” Bram Stoker still frightens us with “Dracula’s Guest;” H.G. Wells wrote “The Red Room,” and even Mark Twain gave us a delightfully suspenseful “A Ghost Story.” Check them out, read them (aloud, if possible) to round out the holiday.

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Finally, to cap the season it might be tastefully enjoyable to conclude with a Spooky Boo-Nana Cup:

Ingredients: peanut butter, 1 pkg prepared chocolate pudding, 3 small bananas (peeled, cut in half), and 15 dark or milk chocolate morsels.

Directions: Drop ½ spoon peanut butter into each paper or plastic cup, already half full of the pudding mix; decorate each round-topped banana half with 3 morsels (for ghost eyes & mouth); insert the decorated banana half into each pudding cup – and serve at once. It fits the season, and it’s delicious.

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