Wednesday, December 31, 2008

There's Hope

Happy New Year. What a year it's been for the world - exciting, tragic, sobering, hopeful. I've been especially reflective lately. Knowing that both my parents are now gone, that I've reproduced and weaned another generation that can replace me, there's nothing standing between me and the grim reaper except for fate, luck and the quality of all my habits. I'm feeling this with a kind of semi-cheerful pragmatism. The odd result is that I've been crazy busy in my kitchen, bulk cooking and freezing enormous amounts of healthy, comfort food like some babushka survivalist. (Note: If there is some apocalyptic event and you're in the neighbourhood, come to my house, maybe I'll offer you a few meatballs...)

I'd like to leave this year with a little Christmas miracle. For years I've had a friendly feud with someone close to my family. He's a well to do, republican American working in a high level finance position. A right wing capitalist through and through. He's criticized Canada's bad weather, too left politics and even the Queen on our cash (which being a complete Anglophile, I quite like, only I wish she was holding a sword with alchemy skulls or a magic wand or something cool...uh...I'm digressing).

A few days ago, I had a conversation with this lovely man and I'm still trying to put my gaping jaw back in place. He spewed forth one of the strongest criticisms against the Bush administration I've heard yet. But more surprisingly was a bit of a turnaround, complimenting some European countries for their social programs and 'taking care of their own' not like the rampant greed and corruption he's seen in the states. I was filled with the same warm fuzzy feeling I would have had if I learned about a litter of puppies being safely rescued from a well. By God, it's a Christmas miracle! my right wing friend becoming just a smidgen left of centre. And being a little 'left' is really about compassion and humanity. So with that thought, I've changed my mind, if it all goes down badly and armageddon is upon us, I will DEFINITELY give you some meatballs AND my vegetable barley soup, but only if you promise not to make the fake gagging sounds like my kids did today.

Happy New Year everyone, peace, contentment and love to you all, see you next year.


my croft said...

you can sign me up for anything with barley.

so glad we had the opportunity to meet -- and get on -- in 2008.

all the best,

wv: huncemis

andrea said...

Yes Virginia, there really IS a Santa. Another good one.

dinahmow said...

It's been raining all night;folks are remembering February's flood...I may need barley broth and meatballs!

It IS a glowing moment when rigidity softens and bends a little, isn't it?

Peace and love to all your loves,Ellen.

Kim Hambric said...

I, too, have seen the softening of several right-wing, hard-headed capitalists. It is indeed a Christmas miracle.

It would be much too far to travel for some meatballs. Besides, the hubby has a generator he is dying to use. Everytime the lights flicker he is ready to run to the garage to get the thing. The hubby would hate to have his freezer stash thaw out. He is my own personal babushka -- he learned it all from his babushka.

Angela Wales Rockett said...

That IS great! (Just sorry my country had to get so bad that even this guy's offended.)

And I will definitely be over for some of those meatballs!

Happy New Year, Ellen!

katie jane said...

Well it's true, we could all do with a little more compassion for each other. Mostly, the people I encounter here in the states are just plain RUDE to each other, and I, for one, am tired of it. I don't think there are very many of us left living that can remember a time when our country didn't have enough of everything. We have all been so blessed with more than we could ever hope for here, and mostly everyone takes it for granted. We do need a wake-up slap in the face. Happy New Year to you too!

Caroline said...

Sounds like you've been cooking up a storm!

And its good to hear that at least someone has seen that greed has a downside...

Ellen said...

Melanie: The feeling is mutual, if you ever find yourself out this way, the soup pot is on.

Andrea: That's what I was going to title it, but I couldn't remember 'Virginia', kept thinking it was Margaret, which I knew was wrong.

Dinah: Thanks. Oh no! hope no floods for you and refrigerators washing up on the roads again. Crazy.

Kim: I'm jealous! I'm thinking a pet project (like I need another) would be to hook up solar power with a generation to keep the deep freeze going in case of emergencies. But that would require lots of research and learning. bleh, rather just doodle, paint and watch the telly.

Ellen said...

Angela: I'm sorry too, here's hoping for better days! Please do come for food, I'm still cooking, there should be enough for Western Washington soon. I'm a little obsessed actually.

Katie: I just watched 'Awakenings' with my family yesterday. I thought this quote was great,when Dr. Sayer says this -

"What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug - and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter. This is what we'd forgotten - the simplest things."

Caroline: still at it,now I'm attempting to bake bread today, which I've only done once before and it failed. we shall see...

Melody said...

Those meatballs sound delicious....I'll be right over!