Joan's Jottings


Current Events
October 30, 2016, 2:54 pm
Filed under: life

Hi.  My name is Joan and I am a news junkie.  I admit that upon rising, I turn on the local news and catch up on events as I start my day.  In the evening, the TV once again gets fired up.  Time to catch up on what has transpired both here and globally. In addition to televised news, these days one can also catch up on all sorts of happenings on social media.  I find additional stories of interest on Facebook, where you can also read commentary on events as they are posted or re-posted.  There are a few hot topics saturating all forms of media these days.  Some items are “heavy” (also referred to as hard news) and others much lighter recaps of current events.  I have a comment (or in some cases two) about the top stories of our day.  To read or not to read, that is your prerogative.

  1. The Presidential election-Clinton or Trump?   We should always be choosing the leader of our country of over 300 million inhabitants from the cream of the crop.  In this election, we scraped up our selections from the bottom of the barrel.
  2.  Police Shootings of unarmed African-American males: I believe there are instances where police officers make grave errors based on race, but what I find much more disheartening is the black-on-black crime (often murder) that occurs every day in nearly every large city in this country.  Let’s form groups and forums about that and find ways to abolish this practice, and in turn save the lives of young men and women who deserve better.
  3.  Healthcare:  I admit, I was fired up when Candidate Obama said that he would reform healthcare if elected.  After paying astronomical premiums and co-pays for many years, I was looking forward to better management of healthcare in this country for all Americans.  ObamaCare was a huge failure on this front. Forced healthcare is not the answer, and the middle class reaped little to no benefit from these policies.
  4. Technology: I own and use a cell phone as we no longer have a land line. I communicate via text and email, however my preferred method of communicating will ALWAYS be face-to-face whenever possible.  And, oh, I still hand write thank you notes.  And one more oh.  I will always choose my Canon over my iPhone, and I prefer to be behind the camera.  Not a huge fan of the selfie.
  5. War, Refugees, Mass killings of innocent humans: (This can easily be kept to one sentence.)  Did we as a species learn nothing from World War II and the mass murder of six million Jews?
  6. Brad and Angelina: The millions of readers of PEOPLE and The National Enquirer magazines could have predicted the end of this union from the get-go. Hollywood and marriage go together like Hillary and Donald.
  7. Saturday Night Live: The Donald has been dissing the show in recent rants, but outside of local and world news, there is no better place to catch up on current events than Saturday nights on NBC.  The show just began its 42nd season on the air.  ( I was a sophomore in high school when the program was launched.) I am pretty sure that “The Apprentice” lasted nowhere near 42 seasons, and if elected President, the most you can serve is eight years.  Be sure to tune in next Saturday for what is sure to be the last debate between Donald/Alec and Hillary/Kate.
  8. Kardashian: I would NEVER have any comment on anything Kardashian except for the fact that the reality show has been on the air since 2007 and is in its 12th season. WTF?  Lest you misunderstand my acronym, that stands for What The Freaks???????

If you made it here, I thank you for taking your precious time to read this post.  There are some topics, such as gun control, trans-gender issues and same-sex marriage, that I choose to refrain from posting commentary, at least in a public forum. Some things are just better kept to yourself or at least within the confines of your own home. I also apologize for exceeding my goal of keeping my comments to just one or two sentences.  My gift of gab (or what my husband might refer to as the “flapping of my gums”) often prevents me from closing my lips and remaining silent, or in this case, keeping my fingers off of the keyboard.  I can’t help it.  Some subjects just get my goat more than others.  So, life will continue to provide current events, and I will continue to tune in and every now and then utilize my God-given right to speak and write.  Once a news junkie, always a news junkie.



The End of an Era
October 23, 2016, 11:28 pm
Filed under: family

All good things come to an end, right?  I would guess so.  My position in HR at the company I have been employed with for over 10 years has for the most part moved on to corporate headquarters.  This finale was not in my control.  Another era has reached its natural end and this one is my choice.  When my son, now eighteen, was just weeks old, my neighbor told me about an article she had read about writing a journal for your kids, a sort of ongoing biography of their life.  I thought this was a brilliant idea!  Since I was a bit behind already, I decided to start from the beginning with the decision to have a child. ( I was 37 years old when we chose the parenthood path, and my spouse an elderly 47.)  I backtracked and wrote about my pregnancy and the early arrival of the boy. Once we settled into a routine (easier said than done with a baby who barely slept for the first five months of his life), I began more regular entries. My goal was to write at least every two weeks.  I wrote about milestones like first steps, first word and potty training.  As he got older, I wrote about school, vacations, friendships, bullies, discipline issues and the untimely passing of my spouse, his dad.  I wrote about my own illness and his diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes at age seven.  I wrote about sports, cub scouts, family and our butting of heads. (Strong extrovert versus stubborn introvert resulted in some interesting spats.)  I did not always live up to my goal of writing every two weeks, especially as he got older and life got busier, but once I did sit down to write, I tried my best to get caught up on events.  The journal entries document what I call the “good, the bad and the ugly.” There was no editing to make things look pretty or less messy or even less tragic.  I wrote about life as it occurred.  In addition to the journals, I have also documented his life in film-both print and video. We possess nearly 15 photo albums containing hundreds of photos. Each photo has the date, place/event and names of subject(s) on the back. Several years ago, I had the videos converted to DVD’s as technology evolved.

With end of eras a sort of theme in my life these days (think death of a parent, empty nest, job change, etc.), it occurred to me that it is probably time to write the final entry in this rather lengthy biography.  The boy, now a young man, is technically an adult and a freshman in college. He drives, has a part-time job and is a registered voter.  His almost fully developed brain does have the capacity for memory, so the need to jot down events for posterity is really no longer valid.  I wrote the final entry yesterday, eighteen years after I penned the first.  I am not completely certain that my son will take the time to read all ten volumes of journals, or flip through a photo essay of his younger life, or spend an evening or two or three watching home movies, but that really doesn’t matter to me.  All of this was a project of love.  Love for my son, love of the written word, and love of photography.  Every life has meaning and every person has a story which deserves to be documented for the ages.  If my son does not take the time to revisit events in his life, perhaps a future spouse and children might.  I hope they find it a good read.