Reflections on the nature of change

Short Stories of Now & Then


‘Change’ is simply a word, but one often drawn by circumstances into determining the results of various, sometimes serious, concerns. It might be needed to address a problem of conflicting opinions, to settle a ‘getting used to it’ situation when something is new or differing or attend to righting injured feelings wrongly channeled.

There are people who like change, more perhaps than those who don’t, and they will often encourage such action — declaring there is always room (you know) for change.

Take the seasonal daylight time period we’re now observing. If change is so simple, how does one convince scowling-eyed pets that breakfast at 6 a.m. will be “a little later” now, and they should curb the inclination to bite the hand that feeds them? Maybe a little snack slipped in cleverly at the beginning or near the end of the time span will sweeten the wait a little.

Should we worry about the recent weather flip-flops that arrived on the heels of that other thing impounding us earlier this year? I clearly recall a day in late March 2020 (Monday, March 23) I awoke to a snowstorm in progress. It was of a noticeable proportion; no surprise — certainly not welcomed, but verily expected. Soon, after that we literally ‘cooked’ during an extraordinarily long heat wave stretching throughout the next few months.

Flash forward five months to the day in late October 2020 (Monday, Oct. 19), when a snow fall of noticeable proportion was expected, well maybe not… but did arrive and left its inching mark: a clear indication of a winter to come.

But…WAIT. There’s more… somehow a few leftover hot days recently begged to be reckoned with. “Good”, we agreed. But they are all gone now… aren’t they?

“Has anything like this ever happened before,” you ask? Don’t bother to check. It did, during the hot, dusty dry years of the 1930s. There were not the same bookends of cold weather as this year, but the hot weather was very much like what we experienced this past summer.

I was still a tiny tot in those days but remember clearly mom asking me to go check if dad was okay out there in the ‘back forty’. It never took me long. I didn’t have to trot very far to stand in the lane and listen. Soon I could hear the distant resounding “horseshoe” sneezes that assured me he was okay. He was just reacting to the constantly dusty air and it was all I needed to know.

I have the same reaction to dust today. Anyone caring to listen will know I, too, am okay. But don’t expect to hear a resounding stream of “horseshoe” sneezes.


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