I’ve decided to remember my best New Year’s Eve’s.
It’s the late Seventies or early Eighties and I’m thinner (139? Jeezus I think I’d sell my soul to the devil to weigh that again.) I only have one disability to deal with, not six.
I had attended at least one really cool party at my best friends from high school’s house where I made the aquaintance of great music and rum and coke at the early age of fifteen. The party had been so cool that even without the booze, I decided to start having parties of my own. My best friend also continued the cool party thing (I forget if she and I ‘traded off?’ or what happened once I began to go to college, but I seem to remember parties at both her and my house going on for substantially the same guest list for a time. )
My parent let me have a party in the house, (liquor included after my friends and I were of age) The partygoers always knew where to go to get their own soda and snacks, so I wasn’t physically running around playing hostess after the initial setup.
Good music, some actual dancing in the big kitchen/family room when the table and chairs were relegated to an inoffensive (and safe ) corner and a bunch of truly congenial people. Sometimes they didn’t have much in common with each other (except knowing me). One thing they all seemed to do was make an effort to be friendly with those they didn’t know…and to enjoy getting along with some profoundly different people, at least for that evening, and take a shared pleasure in teasing me or joking with me.
“So, that money you were supposed to pay me to be your friend? Where’s the check? Hey, by my calculation you now owe me $ 7,324.62!” Others’ thought this so humorous, they chimed in as well.
“Yeah, you shorted me last month!”
“Don’t tell me the darn thing’s in the mail! I don’t buy it!”
And, inside my head, the wistful wish that the evening would end with a kiss from someone I admired. Never happened, but it was always part of the flavor, inside my head. The Future never clued me in that hey, the love of my life *was* going to show up, but not until 1985.
Things that never happened at my parties:
Sudden, uncomfortable public breakups.
Tragic post party drunk driving accidents.
And best of all my parent *stayed away* for the majority of the party, so I truly ran the thing myself. She understood that one of the coolest things about having the gathering was being mistress of the house for the duration.
So, particularly for the guests of those parties who are not around anymore, as well as the rest I hold dear…For Auld Lang Syne…
Happy 2006 folks…you’re all one of a kind.
Like I’ll get these…but goals have to be put out there or they will never be achieved (gosh I sound like my maternal parent today)
1. A widespread embrace of the concept of Visitability in home remodeling and new home building, where everyone recognizes that adding one accessible bath and one zero step entrance (even as a side or back door), does not alter the image of a home, and makes it a place where the older or more infirm among us can live in their own homes longer and enjoy their independence longer, thus sparing unecessary assisted living and/or nursing home costs for awhile.
2. Bipartisan support and prioritization of the Money Follows the Person Act, that outlines and proves that spending the same government money on in home care, rather than institutionalization of a disabled or elderly person will be *cheaper for the government* and more cost effective, not to mention a more pleasant and dignified experience of age or disability than many nursing home residents have.
3. That more people would read and/or post comments at Ragged Edge Online/Edge Centric. It’s a wealth of information about crips et al.
4. the “Ouch” weblog. Same notation.
5. That I have the time/$$ to buy more valuable nonfiction works.
6. That the just passed Medicare/Medicaid cuts can be rescinded.
7. That more accessible travel/entertainment venues spring up.
8. That *access* for people with disabilities stops being a grudging, *grit their teeth and pay for it,* response from businesses, and or transportation companies.
9. That ables understand that Western Medicine/Alternative Medicine/Religion *won’t* cure us all, and should not be used as another method of making the problem of disability [and the disabled with it ] Go Away.
10. May all the bloggers I’ve met while bouncing around the Internet have an amazing 2006.
Warning: The following is a post by a religious skeptic.
comments will be moderated and if necessary deleted.
Reflections on Jesus of Nazareth:
This time of year, there’s a very hopeful story that gets told in many many places.
A story of a miracle child, born in a stable, a child who would change the world and be known (among his other names) as not the God of War, but the Prince of Peace.
As he grew up, he asssociated with prostitutes and tax collectors.
He threw the moneychangers out of the Temple, which I read as strong opposition to mixing the interests of banking or business with the interests of faith.
He opposed the Pharisees, the strictest, and harshest judges of the day concerning what was the “correct” way to worship God, and they in turn, saw him as a true threat to their position and power.
He was quite vocal in his concern for the poor.
His words in the Bible do not support the idea that God just sets us up here and then we are on our own to either prosper or fall by our own strenghts and limits.
I would like to deal just in facts, but there is one point that keeps me from completely discarding the idea that this man could have been the Son of God.
When the leader of their faith was crucified, it was public knowledge that the Romans and the leaders of the religious communites wouldn’t lose any sleep at all if *all* of his disciples were rounded up and spent *their* last hours hanging from a cross.
The story goes that they fled the city the day after the crucifixion.
Human nature would, I think tend to support the idea that these guys fled the city, headed for the hills and their sect would have become just one more obscure offshoot of the mainstream Judaism of the day.
I know that the faith grew later, because of the inclusion of the Gentiles and the Roman choice under Constantine to make it essentially the state religion of the Empire.
But *something* brought those disciples back and fired them up to teach again. Something that predated Saul of Tarsus miracle on the Damascus Road [for the fact based, a possible epileptic seziure?] followed by his vision of Jesus
That’s a fact. And staying public, under the Roman threat violates every sensible survival instinct I can think of. *What* that something was is a matter of individual faith.
And it is that something that brings me back to the miracle baby in the manger.
If it is true…if a Nazarene carpenter is The Son of God…
We need Him right now.
“Oh, come O come Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear…”
The world is at war, doing rotten things in the name of God.
The poor are poorer every day.
Those who have are *openly* careless of those who have less.
But there has been a kind of silence from Heaven before during other difficult times.
The many wars that have preceeded the present conflict in Iraq.
Deity may not answer in the way we wish.
But the hopeful story of the season is that God made a miracle before, with a child and a stable.
And the faith of many is that that Child is the answer to all of the difficult questions.
If that is your faith then, Merry Christmas to you.
If it is not, then, ponder the idea that hope is a gift we get and give…and that miracles have been known to occur right here, on earth in front of our eyes.
This morning the sunrise hit the clouds and made the oddest sort of light. The clouds were heavy and pink and something that should have lit the sky further felt like a new sort of dusk.
The weather’s in the sixties here, and dry in the city.
At lunch I had an opportunity to stop and take a breather and stare out the windows in the office cafeteria…and because of the angle of the building, I could look south, and nearly see Pike’s peak in Colorado Springs, and in turn, look north and catch a glimpse of something that might have been Longs Peak…with a long string of mountains in between shades of blue, brown and purple holding up the sky…with high clouds and sunlight and blue skies that reminded me more of Canada in July than December in Colorado.
It’s not the snowy postcard Christmas. But it’s got a beauty all it’s own.
And yes, I’ve got to get all the positive mileage I can get out of this weekend. Because I won’t be with family…and with just a few friends… It’s expected, I suppose, that I pretend that isn’t difficult.
But it is…My family actually comes close to the storybook, Norman Rockwell sort of Christmas…and to be watching from a distance…is painful.
So, I’ll let the scenery speak to me and distract me from being lonesome
But I swear to Any and All Belief systems, if I hear “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” just once more, someone’s musical device will be a twisted hunk of metal in the bottom of my trashcan.