People, people – it’s only a number!

Posted on January 1, 2010


As a culture we tend to obsess about Significant Milestones.  The passing of a year, a decade, a century.  (Remember Y2K hysteria?)  When you  come right down to it, as we always do, all the numbers are arbitrary.  Calendars are the creations of human beings, not Mama Nature.  She does things in her own good time, and we can just whistle if we think we have anything to say about it.

And yet . . . I am a hypocrite. 

  • While I sailed through my 30th birthday, for some reason 35 gave me a big dope-slap.  (We will not discuss the many, many birthdays that have succeeded that shocking 35.  After all, they are only numbers . . . but nary a one has stunned me the way 35 did.  Go figure.)
  • During 2009 I wrote some stories for the Elk Rapids News or the Antrim Review about the 125th anniversaries of various local institutions, and about the 105th birthday of Bellaire resident Doris Brackett.  In all those cases I thought, well, that’s pretty impressive when you come right down to it, even if it is just a number.
  • During 2009 I passed the ten-year mark in an odyssey of my own, and gave that some considerable thought.  I concluded that on the whole it had been a journey from a very bad place to a much better place, though not without pain.
  • During 2009 I became obsessed with the stories of the Civil War veterans who came to the north end of Torch Lake after their war was over.  I’m not done with that obsession by a long shot, and during the coming Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War you can look forward to (or dread, depending) many more stories about those vets and their families, even if it is just a number.

Miss Sadie, the Cowboy, Miss Puss – they do not know from milestones.  They know only whether there are the requisites of Life:  Food, Shelter – and the greatest of all the Commandments, that we shall Love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  May you have an abundance of all three in the year, and the lifetime, to come.

We hope you’ll come along with us in 2010.  Love – truly – from all of us at the Writing Studio and Bait Shop

Miss Sadie, the Cowboy and Gerry . . . and of course Miss Puss