Happy New Year to all! I hope and pray that 2022 will be a much better year. We had so many hopes for this year and then... new illnesses, more deaths, car repairs, a tree falling in my back yard, need I say more? We all keep hoping that the New Year will bring a change that is good. Let us all keep our expectations high, and hope for the best that life has to offer.

I made several spelling errors last week for which I deeply apologize. My spell check doesn’t always work well. I write phonetically, and sometimes I can’t figure out names and places.

Greetings from Jim Kelderhouse from South Carolina. He is fine, but he’s not in the Catskills. Jim and family lived in Cornwallville and Windham.

The Pastor in Ashland has been doing a series on Going Home and the emotions felt when you return to the place of your youth. On Christmas Eve, Jesus was home at the church. Were you there, or on the outside looking in? Have you found your home? Did you spend your Christmas reliving memories of happier Christmases? Have you started any new traditions for your family? The end of the year is a time to remember while the New Year is a time to make changes.

I heard that Deacon Peter is finally slowing down a little. Good for him.

Prayers for Jerry Lawrence of Lexington and for Ken Smith who is in Florida. Sympathy to the Holister family of Hunter. Many are scheduled for surgery in the very near future. Please keep them in your prayers.

It’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. Have you made any yet?

AS I REMEMBER IT

Christmas is a time for family celebrations and making memories. I look around, and find this generation’s families not even talking to each other. Husband, wife, both in different rooms in front of separate televisions, playing video games. Each child has his own bedroom with television and at least one game console. A house full of people, with no communication. No smells coming from the kitchen because it’s easier to do take out. We each have our our cell phone, so we text each other when we need something. No personal interaction.

When we were young, we went outside and played with our siblings. Father would harness the horses to the sled and we’d go to Creamery Pond to ice skate. We had a huge bonfire to keep our feet warm. We brought blankets to snuggle under.

Each town had a band and baseball team. We would learn to play together and have friendly competitions with our neighbors. The churches all had a youth group and we would go roller skating or have dances. The Catholic Church had a basketball court and kids would gather there.

Even at home, families would get together and while the adults talked and “did their thing” in the parlor, the kids would be upstairs playing and horsing around. We would sleep 4 to 5 in a bed, or on sofas or on blankets on the floor. We looked forward to being with our cousins. Each would bring a toy to share and play with. We would play hide and seek in the closets, attic and cellars. We had scavenger hunts, family against family with things that were previously hidden. We were always sociable. We did family activities, we did church activities, we did activities with friends. Sam Carpenter’s father used to take a group of kids down to the bowling alley or the skating rink. Families didn’t sign a waiver for their child to get in his car, they just let the kids go. We trusted our neighbors, and we had fun together. Now everyone is scared to have their children out of their sight, except if they are home, in their room, playing video games, by themselves.

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