Good Riddance, Old Year!
How much of the joy we feel about the arrival of the New Year is forward-looking, and how much just relief that the old year is OVER?
This is a closer view of the entry gateway shown above from slitely different angles.
If you didn't watch channel 7, you might think me mistaken, but I spoke with my friend Ingé by fone and she noted the same thing.
Here you can see part of the group around the Fireman's Monument, and a path sign. The paths are named for trees or shrubs.
And whose equally brilliant idea was it to show Dick Clark, a ruin of his former self, struggling to speak? It's been four years since his stroke, and it looks as tho he will never recover. We may be fond of him, but it really is depressing that he is still so disabled. It's time for him to retire and not remind us all at the start of a New Year of the fragility of life.
The "Jo Bros" are, I heard someone on TV say, "huge" now. I have seen them sing only one song and was not impressed, so was willing to listen to a second. I didn't know whether they were going to sing when I saw them on 7, so watched to find out. They had apparently already finished their part of the nite's entertainment. Did anyone at all sing Auld Lang Syne? I didn't notice if anyone on ABC even played the instrumental portion I was so furious with their not following the ball down the pole. If you're going to do away with traditions, why keep Dick Clark? Of the three (following the ball's descent, singing Auld Lang Syne, and offering Dick Clark's commentary), if the producers had to drop anything, it should have been Dick Clark. I am not again going to watch ABC on New Year's Eve. Did NBC or Fox follow the ball down? sing or at least play the music to Auld Lang Syne? Or is the whole country going to hell in a handbasket?
Some small percentage of the monuments in the cemetery have been vandalized. You have to wonder what would impel a person to do such a thing. These are old graves. It's not likely the person/s smashing the stones had a personal grudge against anyone memorialized.
I spent a solitary New Year's at home doing housework and reorganization. My sibs called, as did my friend "Don Pon" (the second term is an anglicized shortening of his long Italian last name), but I have serious reception problems within my house. I may need to get a better cellfone. Within my house, there were only my cats and three possums, two full-grown (maybe a mating pair) that I had not seen together before, and the littler one. My cats don't bother with the possums, tho they have killed rats. Nor did they worry about the raccoons, and the raccoons, which are perfectly capable of killing and eating any cat they catch, didn't bother them either. How do cats distinguish among outside interlopers, and decide which to kill (or run from) as against which to ignore and allow to share their food? I have no idea.
I had a VERY happy New Year starting last nite, because my kitty Tammy, who had ripped the back door of the kitchen open and run away at least two months earlier, came home. I heard soft yowling while on 1 (that is, my first floor), and turned the sound on the TV off, then searched for the origin of the sound, but didn't find any kitty not already expected to be in the house. I actually cupped my hands behind my ears to help with finding the source of the sound, and tilted my head downward to the right, and thus also necessarily up to the left, to find out whether the sound was on my same floor, above, or below. But I could not tell.
Then, after tending to other things for awhile, I put some cans out into the recycling bag in my back vestibule, and a cat appeared at the bottom of the stairs in the basement and yowled at me. Tammy? Or was it Martha, who had run away even longer ago? I walked down into the basement, and found that Tammy was there, willing to be approached, and petted. I then carried her upstairs (with my hand clutching her scruff all the while I cradled her in my other arm). She was very happy to be back home, in from the horrid cold, and I was very happy to see her. The other cats did not fuss nor hiss. I had worried about her mere survival out in the streets of Newark, with speeding cars and the chou-chou down the block that seems never to be on a leash, a risk to her very life. But there she was, ready to come home just before the most bitterly cold nite of the (new) year. She was ratty-looking, the fur on her back rather oily and even spiky. She scratched as tho infested with fleas. But I have flea powder and shampoo, and have seen flea dip at the Bergen Street Pathmark, but have not yet called the 800-number to see if I can use it on kittens. In any case, I am very, very happy that Tammy came back to her daddy — and the other kitties did not give her a hard time at all, but accepted her as tho she never left.
Many crypts have wonderful stained-glass windows. Jeffrey Bennett, our guide, says that the bulk of these were stock pieces, not individually commissioned.
Are my kitties just uncritical? Would they permit a mouse or rat to intrude, and not bother it? Now I must confess that I do have a mouse in my bedroom, an area I do not let cats into. Is this a genius mouse, who knows to go only into areas cats are not allowed into? Or did other mice, that ventured into parts of the house into which my cats ARE allowed, perish in the venture? I have twice chased this mouse from the bottom drawer of my left nitestand. It is SO CUTE!, dark gray, tiny thing. Adorable. I think it may have gnawed thru the bag into a stash of peanut M&M's, but am not sure. So, if I find a hole in that bag, then what?
These paired cruciform grave covers lie near McCarter Highway and the Passaic beyond.
Do I throw all the peanut M&M's in that bag out onto the yard, to feed squirrels? But can squirrels eat chocolate, or is it toxic to them? I don't know. If chocolate is toxic to squirrels, will they leave it for the possums? Is chocolate toxic to possums? I don't know. Got to do some research online.
And what about the tiny mouse in my bedroom and perhaps in my hoffice (traveling between floors by climbing up within a wall)? Do I just ignore it? Or do I permit my female kitties that do not spray to mark their territory, to be in my hoffice?
Here's another vandalized monument. In that, as you can see, the monument is three times a person's height, it took some doing, probably a car with a rope or such, to pull down the massive top that lies to the left of the pedestal in this foto.
I start the New Year very proud of myself because not only did I fix all my little plumbing problems without help, but I also made a good start on major cleaning projects long neglected. One leg of my kitchen table gave in, and could not be repaired, because the metal had actually parted near the bracket to the tabletop. When I turned the table over to disassemble it, I saw ink stamps that gave a date, "MAY 18 78". So it lasted 31 and a half years. Good run for a table of what appeared to be a kitchen set of moderate price. I removed 42 reusable screws in disassembling it to put out for the next bulk pickup.
Some people don't mind hanging around a graveyard and having a drink. During daylite? At nite? And is that a stolen wallet, or just an item discarded because it's worn out?
By the way, a reader told me that people with Thursday collections should put out garbage only, no recycling, on Wednesday instead, this week, but I couldn't get this done in time. Busy busy!
At least he (she?) chose a refined place to sit.
While I was doing all this housework, some long neglected, I was half-watching a Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel (channel 48 on Cablevision Newark), which continues much later than I will been able to stay awake. I had seen many of the half-hour episodes, but not of the hour-long episodes. I was struck, again, by how young Rod Serling was at his death (51). I was also struck by how negative so many of the episodes were. Some that were speculative in nature were truly horrifying, such as the one in which astronauts who returned safely to Earth were obliterated from the history of the world, even from before their flite should have ended in disaster, after they had survived that crisis. Twilight Zone was so inventive, and so different from everything else offered at the time, that we didn't notice how abysmally negative much of it was. The series creator, Serling, smoked on camera, and died very young as we would view things now, tho he looked much older than his age then and especially now. Twilight Zone remains, 49 years after its debut, an astonishing accomplishment of human imagination, but, alas, very, very downbeat in many episodes. It's one of those cases of which one thinks, "If only they would use their powers for good."
Happy New Year — or Good Riddance, Old Year, whichever you feel. And don't we all feel much of both?
Sunlite shines thru stained glass into the interior of a crypt and beyond, right out to the living again. And so each year passes but leaves something of itself with those who go on.