January 25th, 2022

Just Pondering: Looking to the New Year

By Allyson McCaw on December 23, 2021.

Well here it is almost Christmas and the New Year is staring us in the face.

I know that for many of us we really don’t want to reminisce about last year as it was so tumultuous. And news is not so great for the future as we head into 2022. However, I was made aware this week of the fact that yes, this pandemic will be historic and we will all have stories to tell to our grandchildren about how difficult it has been. But I think of my grandparents and great grandparents and the terrible hardships they endured in their generation. It put things into perspective, for me at least.

This week I came across my mom’s old recipe cards and I see in the corner of the stained and torn paper that mom has written “Momma’s very good.” It got me thinking about those years in the 1930s with the Great Depression and then rationing during the Second World War that my grandmother was probably trying to get ready for Christmas with little-to-none of the supplies she needed. How heartbreaking to think she wanted to make treats but was rationed on her sugar. This smacked me in the face when I had just finished griping about not getting my order from Amazon for a pair of shoes! Especially when I have 15 pairs in the closet.

I think also of parents putting their sons on a train to fight a war in a foreign land, not knowing if this would be the last time they would hug them. Then they waited. For days, months, years to hear of news. I really cannot image the anguish. Then I was also reminded by my hubby that the world was still recovering from the First World War when the Spanish flu hit. Good grief. Can you image having your son return from the War just to lose him to an unseen enemy? It is mind boggling.

For a very long time we have been spoiled. Very spoiled. We have gone to the grocery store and bought way too much food each week. We have picked up a phone and ordered supper in an instant. We shopped online, visited with friends and family via Face Time. We really have not gone without anything in this digital age. The COVID years have definitely changed our privileged living, but I think it has also given us a chance to re-evaluate a whole lot of things.

So as we reflect and rally ourselves against this potential fifth wave, I suggest we maybe should be grateful that even as difficult as our past year was, perhaps it came with blessings, too. Let’s remember our grandparents and great grandparents. Let’s reflect on their journeys and I am betting they never moped about or complained that their shoes weren’t in the mail!

Happy New Year and stay well.

Allyson McCaw is a Medicine Hatter

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