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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Old One Hundredth*

I seem to have jinxed myself.

Discerning readers may have noted the most recent column was #99. This raises several questions, not the least of which are: how has the publisher permitted so many of these things to slip through the filter, and what am I going to write for Number One Hundred??

While dismissing the first question as a mere piffle, I began to focus upon the latter: How to be Memorable?
Well...surprise, surprise, surprise.

The more I focused, the more fuzzy things became. Have you ever tried the trick of staring at a dot in the midst of a bunch of squiggly lines? Everything merges into an indistinguishable mass.
That is how my creativity has been.

Sure, friends offered suggestions and encouraged me. My Lovely Bride would say “Don't worry, it will come to you.”, leaving me to find an empty Creativity In-box. I lifted my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. Only this time, my help must have been enjoying a leisurely lunch.

Many times I put pen to paper; only to result in fairly nonsensical gibberish. For example:
It was a dark and stormy night and I wondered as I wandered....nah, nothing there
Four-score and seven years ago, I heard the raven say “Nevermore”...nope, that doesn't cut it either.
Zip pi-Dee-doo-dah, Zip pi-Dee-ay... my oh my, I can't write today...Good Grief!
And so on. I spent countless hours (well, maybe a few minutes) staring at a blank laptop screen; only to find myself falling prey to the subtle enticements of Solitaire. Regaining my senses, I would wrest myself from the clutches of the cards, to commence staring at a blank screen once again
I considered the significance of a century. Derived from the Latin word “centenuim”, it means simply. “one hundred years” No more, no less.

There were no coins with the Emperor’s likeness called a “c-coin”. There was no Centennial Lions vs Christians party at the 100th meeting. Nope; it simply meant a hundred years had transpired.
I then thought about the significance of 100 years. There must be a little divot in the Time-Space Continuum which changes my perspective of 100 years. When I was small, the concept of anything being around 100 years was unfathomable. Although Mayfield Village was over 100 years old, and there are still several structures in town easily surpassing that mark, 100 years was mind boggling.
While the prospect of “being 100” was once inconceivable; achieving that milestone is no longer out of the realm of reason. Suddenly, it doesn't seem all that old. Now, 175, 200 years old... you are talking some serious age happening there!
I recall visiting several battlefields with my Dad during the Centennial of the American Civil War. We journeyed to Gettysburg, Antietam, Petersburg, Mannassas, Appomattox...I was enthralled at the history, the drama, and the age of everything. I have historical documents from that conflict which are still legible, a century and a half later.

Little did I know, fifty years later, I would be telling my grandchildren of these places.
I thought about the beginnings of this blog. Originally, my Lovely Bride and I signed up for a weight-loss contest sponsored by our local newspaper. Part of the requirements was writing a weekly blog-post about our experience.
While I didn't take to losing weight so well, (LB came in second.. I am very, very proud of her), writing is second nature for me. LB would struggle with a re-cap of her week dealing with her nutritional modifications while continuing to drop weight like a champ; I struggled with jelly doughnuts, and wrote like... well, a person who enjoys writing.
I got booted from the weight-loss contest for not making the cut. Oh well, c'est la vie. I was most bothered by not being able to write. Lo and behold, the editor of the paper at that time approached me about continuing to write. If only she had an inkling of the monster which her suggestion spawned....
From the initial posting of January 29, 2013, I am writing Number 100. What a journey it has been. The views from the hills have encompassed tremendous joys, and deep sorrows. The views have gazed into the Valley on Uncertainty in August of last year, only to gaze upon the peaks of Happiness in March of this year. The views have sometimes been funny, sometimes reflective, but always open. Ups, downs, and level happy trails; we have trod them all.
I am happy to say; I look forward to at least 100 more views across the hills.
I hope you continue to walk along with me.
*Title shamelessly borrowed from the hymn “Old 100th”, sometimes better known as “Doxology”

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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