Pease Porridge Hot

As much as I was wishing it would continue raining until this storm passed, my hopes were dashed when looking outside this afternoon and seeing those big wet snowflakes falling, and if it keeps at it much longer, there’ll be some darned heavy snow to get moved come tomorrow morning.

I had only two appointments outside my office today, which afforded me more time to get back at my paper shredding. I thought I had pretty much all of it taken care of yesterday, but early this morning, I discovered another bag that I’d inconspicuously placed in the corner of my conference room.

Since I’m one who always makes sure to take a last-look at papers before being tossed into the hopper of my shredder, I was beginning to have bittersweet memories, as well as flashbacks of happenings that’ve taken place over these past five years. There are a number of people I know who’re somehow able to distort their past to a point where if you didn’t know better, you’d swear they’d been trapped their entire lives within rooms filled with funhouse mirrors. Even though you know differently, the best thing to do, is to keep silent and walk away, because the illusions they’ve created for themselves have long since been hard-coded. It’s very much like someone who’s unknowingly color blind and insisting the sky is green, which means there’s no “fixing” of their perceptions.

I’ve also had a real education regarding how times have certainly changed where in decades past, most people in their 60’s and beyond, were pretty much mellowed-out and playing the parts of being delightful grandparents, traveling, doing a little charity work, proudly tending flower and vegetable gardens, and becoming all the more involved in their church activities. Yes, there were always a few in those groups that you’d want to run and hide from because of how scary they were, but for the most part, they were gentile. I’ll not forget a great-uncle of mine by the name of Dave who’d do everything he could to terrorize all the younger ones within our extended family.

In contrast, we now find seniors who’re no longer playing the part of their aged predecessors, but rather finding everything they can to terrorize those around them and likely during every waking moment. I’ve seen some who’re the likes of rabid dogs and feral cats who’ve turned truth, logic, and reason upside-down, and now living in some sort of Alice in Wonderland worlds they’ve created for themselves.

Keep in mind, there’s no fixing them because the poison they’ve been putting out, is the poison they’ve been manufacturing from within. I’ll never understand as long as I live, how supposedly well-educated people can get themselves pulled into the dramas created by such nonsense of others, but I was reminded once again by a gentleman who showed up at the office today, how poorly our society works at keeping their minds alert and their hands clean. I just about fell off my chair when he mentioned a conversation he had with a man in his 50’s who didn’t know the definition of a word I knew way back when I was in grade school. Yes, whether we want to admit it or not, America is rapidly dumbing down, and we can blame our boob tubes for it.

While at my appointment today, I mentioned to my clients how a very old nursery rhyme popped into my head yesterday which I think a number of you remember, and it goes, “Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot, nine days old.” One of them remembered it, and when talking about it, we all got a good laugh over it while standing outside in the light rain. Sounds a bit British doesn’t it?

I went on to say how that particular rhyme spoke about the lifestyles of the average folk back in the 1700’s when it was put to print. You do know cook stoves were not created for the general public until in the mid to late 1800’s, but instead, there were large fireplaces with those swinging metal arms which held the resident cooks’ bubbling cast iron pots which were either simmering or boiling something for their household’s daily meals.

I do know that on many occasions, if all of what was left in those lidded pots wasn’t eaten after their last meals, the metal arms holding those pots would be pulled farther away from the fire just so they’d remain in a “slow-simmer” mode, and before going to bed, or early the next morning, there’d be more grains, vegetables, legumes, and possibly something wild that was caught, butchered, cleaned, and then added to a real boil the next day.

So now if you think about an open hearth fireplace with a big kettle hanging above its fire, you can imagine how cleverly someone back in the 1700’s created that rhyme out of a real happening. And to think many of us believe we had it so hard in our youths. I know there are camps around our country which offer lodgings that are about as close as you can get to the way it was back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Back then it was a living nightmare, but now, it’s a pay-for experience. Believe me, it may sound romantic at first, but after a day or two, the novelty of it all would be wearing mightily thin.

Tonight’s one-liner is: If you want to be a voice for peace in the world, then begin by making peace a permanent condition of your own lives.

Joe Chodur

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