FOR AULD LANG SYNE

 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And auld lang syne

I guess poet Robert Burns was in a sentimental mood when he penned this ditty in 1788.  Bet he had no idea it would become the anthem heard round the world on the day the ball drops.  This song about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year is certainly apropos.

Writers and Bloggers are busy doing their Year in Review. The media and talking heads will all be serenading us daily with their particular take on the Year That Was.

For many, 2016 was a tough year, full of national tragedies, political upheaval, personal trials, and of course, unexpected deaths. The image of PBS Journalist Gwen Ifill’s smiling but now silent image on the 6 o’clock news still unnerves me.

I like to think the metaphor for my life is….Like a song and as I reflect back on this year …a song is playing somewhere in the background.  Kinda like…Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life.

Like most recent New Year’s, I found myself soundly asleep in 2016 when the ball dropped.  Only to be awakened shortly afterwards by a phone call from the One Who Remains Nameless or more recently daughter J or one of the grandsons who revels in the fact that he is now old enough to stay awake until midnight.

Yes, Virginia, there were the years of dressing up in my finest glad rags and hitting the town for the passage of the Old into the New…but like most things life/time  intervened and the need to go cavorting out in the streets with all kinds of drunk, high strangers has ceased to appeal to me.

I do know quite a few people who find themselves on their knees in church at midnight, but I often wonder about the safety of those folk when they leave the church en route to home and come face to face with an errant drunk driver coming back from da club.  Much like those unfortunate souls in Charlestown who met their untimely and tragic end while trying to save a soul…in church.

Despite my Rip Van Winkle entrance to 2016, the year proved to be one of challenges for family, close friends and even Moi!

It began with my 90+ father’s unexpected trip to the ER and an ensuing 12 hour wait and see game played by the hospital staff only to be unceremoniously tossed out of said hospital because my father’s PCP thought “he would be better off at home”. Despite documented lab and test results to the contrary showing a need, in the words of the treating Resident, for if nothing else a few days of observation.

The months that followed became somewhat tortuous for my father who up until that time was spry, sharp of mind, and except for occasional bouts of arthritis in his knees a poster child for AARP.  I mean the man mastered the computer many years ago and regularly emails, searches the internet, and googles with the best of them. His collection of scrapbooks documenting important stages of his life is a hobby with a purpose that keeps his mind sharp and old age at bay.

Watching his cognitive skills decline as a result of an unfortunate happenstance was difficult, but more difficult was the way the medical profession responded to his condition.  I don’t want to belabor this issue but several tersely written letters from me to the appropriate folk at higher levels of Medical Authority did not go unnoticed and I think helped to speed up the diagnostic and treatment phase of his condition.

The pen IS mightier than the sword.

Right on the heels of my father’s illness, my body began to flirt with what became a 4 month descent into uncertainty and downright fear as I struggled with an unnamed illness that resisted diagnosis.  Fortunately, in the capable hands of my PCP, Dr. E, I was finally diagnosed by Summer’s end and began the ascent to recovery.

During those dark months of my illness, I watched as my closest friend struggled with her fight against the big C.  She is and remains the definition of a Trooper, and became my hero as I watched her undergo devastating chemo treatments, return to work the next 2 days infusion intact, without missing a beat.  All the while maintaining her part time Vendor business and being the Matriarch of her large and needy clan. Fran is the definition of a Shero and watching her fight became my Will to overcome the demons that had invaded my body.

Troubles don’t last always….

2016 had its bright moments as well.  Much of the goings on at the White House with the first AA President and his Lady Michelle were designed to take our minds off the dreary, nasty battles between the candidates fighting for the title to become King.  Watching First Lady Michelle and the President host galas, state dinners, and musical performances at the White House was a great distraction and mood lifter for many of us.  Even if Congress thwarted the President’s attempts to bring about Real Change…the first couple showed America…when Others go Low…they go High… AND  dang it..they know how to Par tay.

And now we are about to be Trumped…I’m not sure exactly sure what that means, not being a card player, but it has some ominous undertones.

However, Readers, I remain hopeful that the same spirit that brought us Hamilton, Memes, Drones, Bacon flavored ice cream, Kengen Water, Quinoa, Turmeric, Bathroom signs proclaiming P…People Room and Garth Brooks concerts where all tickets start out at $67 only to be resold  online for up to $2,000…is a Country/People that can Survive Anything!

Happy New Year !

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Talking About a Revolution 

IMG_0094Don’t you know
They’re talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper…
While they’re standing in the Welfare lines/
Crying at the footsteps of those armies of salvation/
Wasting time in unemployment lines/
Sitting around waiting for a promotion/
Poor people gonna rise up/
And get their share.
c1982. SBK/purple rabbit music

Many folks think that we have come a long ways Baby and that the circumstances of America’s poor, disenfranchised, Not the talented 10th (or the Well heeled 10%) has improved since Tracy Chapman penned this song in the 80s.

I wonder.

Having been a card carrying member of the Movement during the 70s, And a poor person (I was a college student in Los Angeles working 3 part-time jobs, an unwed mother (now pc term Single Mom), a culture seeking, I love My People sistah who volunteered many wee hours growing food, cooking stew , sewing dashikis, teaching reading, tutoring and Workin’ for the People of Watts.

Often in the company of members of the Real Black Panther Party who were laser sharp serious about feeding hungry children in the city of the Angels only a stone’s throw from Holly weird, Shoppers- paradise-Rodeo Drive and right up the road from the Happiest place on earth.

Is it possible that things really do change while remaining the same?

Fast forward to 2016 and the country is immersed in holiday cheer, spending $ like water for a day that is supposed to honor a King/healer/leader/ Teacher and not an obese man in a redsuit.

Uh uh, here she go humbugging Christmas.

Readers, Like many of you, I luv the holidays and all the lights and carols and decorations and eggnog and gift giving/receiving and baking and hosting and TV specials and excitement on the faces of little ones opening their gifts on Christmas eve…

Remember I’m a Boomer and grew up in a Black household modeled after Leave it to Beaver, Father knows Best, and My3Sons. We DID Christmas thoroughly and enjoyed it.

But that does not mean we and America get to take a pass just because it’s the Holidays and the cofers of capitalism need replenishing.

And before you think it..I’m not talking about the seasonal well meaning middle class gestures of throwing some loose change (do they take debit cards now) in the armies of salvation kettles, or buying a pair of socks for the angel tree.

Hunger, Virginia is a 24/7 proposition. Being poor for too many children is a lifestyle handed down from previous generations and like crack, it’s hard to break the cycle.

Like Dredlocked wearing, folk song singing, visionary Tracy Chapman says…
Oh you better run/run/run//run/run …talkin’ bout a Revolution.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nite!

BLACK LOVE

READERS: Many folks Talk about it, Blog about it, Post FB pictures ( President Obama and First Lady Michelle mostly) about it, BUT what does it REALLY Mean?

.. HE grabs your hand tightly as you cross the street headed to the 7:30 A.M. Service and seats you in the pew behind the friendly, devout, notafraidtositclosetoeachother,  80 year old couple and you both share a knowing look as you ponder will that…could that…pray that it will be US in another 20 years.

…He posts your picture on ALL his Social Media sites after you crack the glass ceiling at your job proclaiming your success to the www.

…He buys you a month’s worth of Meat and secretly stores it in the recesses of the freezer even though you are trying to become a Vegetarian; he knows you will be craving a steak,chop or burger soon.

,,,He knows your affinity for Capt D’s, Feather & Fin, Popeyes, Bojangles, Mickey Ds, Cookout, and other purveyors of grease-soaked foods and keeps a collection of newpaper coupons handy in your glove compartment.

…He plugs himself into the 50″ Sanyo every Sunday and travels to Fanatic Football Land but not before fixing you a mound  of pancakes, bacon and homefries.

…He lets you eat the first half of Chunky Monkey/Butter Pecan from the carton  while bingewatching House of cards and doesn’t complain about the uneaten (slightly wet) chocoate chips/nuts you leave in the carton.

…He  expertly and flawlessly sings your favorite Temptations song at Karaoke nite while the entire bar makes a collective sigh.

…He is short on cash, but “acquires” some New tires from Questionable sources for your aging vehicle

…He fries your favorite fish, runs you an epsom salt-lavender scented bath, puts your 80s mixtape in the player, chills a bottle of Red Stripe, and leaves the house so you can have some Me Time.

…He gets your voicemail and goes to Kay jeweler to purchase the sapphire ring and pendant set YOU selected earlier for your birthday/anniversary/mothers day/ Christmas/Valentines day…

…He responds to your BLACKPEOPEMEET post with “Hello Beautiful” even before he meets you for the first time, and after the first meeting, greets your phone calls with the same quiet,sincere, straight from the heart greeting.

…He avoids commenting when you load the shopping cart with jalapeno cheetos, famous amos, triple buttered microwave popcorn, chunky monkey, frozen jalapeno poppers, and an assortment of other waist expanding goodies.

TO Be Continued… Don’t forget to leave your comments!