Remembering and Wondering

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

Linda Nidiffer

I am having commitment problems.  I can’t seem to make a decision about what to write.  Invasive thoughts seem to take over and I can’t decide on one topic.  Take time for instance.  I understand that I must be punctual and that one hour is different than all the rest, but what happens to time over time?  When we are kids it feels like Christmas is never going to get here.  As adults Christmas is coming is too fast. There is never enough time to get done all the things that “must” be done.

I remember as a kid watching Autumn shed its flamboyant garb and leave in its place bare to the bones trees on the backdrop of gray skies.  To relieve the monotony of those dull days Thanksgiving was to be a treat.  Sometimes we had two Thanksgivings; one with Mom’s side of the family and one with Dad’s side of the family.  It was always fun to have the families come to the farm to be thankful.  However, there were always the extensive preparations for a feast that had to be factored.  Mom was a big believer in work before play.  One year the work of the day was almost too much.

Our water came from a well and had to be pumped into the house.  We cherished thatelectric well and pump system because when we arrived at the farm there were only hand pumps.  I remember leaving water nearby so that you could prime the pump and bring the water up much faster.  Of course, that water was always cold so if you needed hot water it needed to be heated up on the wood burning stove.  Yes, we lived like the Amish for a while.  I remember thinking my arm would fall off before I would have enough water to wash the dishes or do laundry.  

One year the electric pump failed right in the middle of Thanksgiving!  For once all of the adults left the farm right after dinner and my sister and I were responsible for the cleanup.  Mom left with the admonition that cleanup needed to be done before they got back.  My sister and I hauled water from a neighbor’s outdoor spigot.  We lugged enough water to see us through the next day.  Then it was time to heat the water to do the dishes, pots and pans.  We hustled and complained to each other about fairness and the lack thereof.  We made our way through the mountain of dirty dishes and collapsed.  Those 3-4 hours were some of the longest in my life.  Mom said it was a “quick trip” for the adults.  How is it possible for the same time span to be so differently perceived?

I didn’t think that I would write about that day today.  I was going to write about the anticipation of Christmas and how my Jewish mother loved the celebration of Christmas more than most Christians loved it.  Invasive thoughts are to blame but no matter how you are perceiving time Christmas is coming.  Get your work done and then you can play.