Here I sit, coffee in hand (and hand on keyboard) for this, my final Morning Ramble of 2016. As has been quite frequently the case through out the year (and other years before it), I was rousted out of bed at an indecent hour by an insistent cat who claimed to be near death’s door due to starvation and neglect. I stumbled to his food dish to find that it still had a little food in it. His real complaint was probably with the quality of the food or that it wasn’t fresh out of the bag. He seems to only enjoy eating food if he watches someone scoop it out of the bag for him. After that initial meal, whatever is left in the bowl apparently becomes inedible swill. I’m sure if he had an opposable thumb, he would pick up his tin cup and rake it back and forth across the bars of his cell in protest. Luckily, he does not have opposable thumbs. Or a tin cup. Nor does he live in any kind of cell. I’m pretty sure he thinks he owns the place and only lets us stay here due to his largess and sense of charity. Plus I think we are a source of amusement for him. And what tyrant is complete without lackeys?
Speaking of indecent hours (which I was way back at the beginning of this post), I wonder where that term came from? I grew up hearing my mom using it and, based on the context in which she used it, I gather it had something to do with a body (particularly my body) staying out later than a prescribed time, or getting up at an hour that was much earlier than anticipated (never an issue in my youth) or that was far later than anticipated (a much more likely occurrence in my youth). When I heard the phrase as a child, I speculated that it might have something to do with one’s state of dress if awoken too early. At three in the morning, one is not likely to spring out of bed wearing a top hat and tails. But ironically, coming home at three in the morning whilst wearing a top hat and tails would also be considered indecent. As a child, after pondering it awhile, I probably just shrugged my shoulder and marked it down as one of those weird things parents say that don’t really mean anything.
Well, it is the last day of 2016 and it is mandatory by law for bloggers to wax poetic about the passing of one year and the arrival of the new one. As I’ve gotten older, the bar for what constitutes a good year has gotten lower and lower. (That is, if the bar referred to is part of a high jump competition. If it is the one in a limbo competition, then the bar has gotten higher and higher.) But the point I’m trying to make is that at my current age, a good year is one that I make it to the end of. It is one in which my doctor doesn’t diagnose some new age-related ailment or condition that I have (or will soon have). It is one in which someone that is close to me doesn’t pass away or become very ill. It is one in which I remain employed throughout. By those measures, 2016 was a very good year for me, though I did lose a couple of relatives who were very old. So, I have no grievance with 2016. I did not do all that I wanted to, but that is my fault, not the year’s.
As for 2017, I plan to give the little tyke a chance before beginning to judge him. I would want someone to do the same for me. Imagine laying in a cradle and some old codger shaking his finger at you and saying, “You’d better not behave like that ne’er do well that was born last year! By golly, I’ll give you a good drubbing!” And as the wide-eyed innocent on the receiving end of this threat, my first thought would have been, “Drubbing? Sheesh! What century are you from!?”