Then One Foggy Christmas Morn (Part 5 / Denouement)

Here are the links to parts ONETWOTHREEFOUR

My conflicting emotions go to war on the battlefield of the mind, as I soldier onward, on my December 25th walk at dawn. One faction symbolizes fond memories of hometown Christmases past… the other cabal represents the unmemorable hometown of Christmas present.

In the scant hour, since this all began, the still unseen, rising sun has gradually, somewhat lightened up the blue / gray overcast… driven off a bit of the misty swirling fog.

My observations inspired, recurring question:

“What the hell good is change within a community when there’s no apparent, appreciable betterment of society?

This brings to mind the recent bulldozing of, yet, another Elementary school. That I had never set foot within it, is really not the issue. What is, is what eventually got built in its bulldozer leveled footprint… how the city fathers and mothers had thumbs upped a crass, subdivision developer’s master plan / plot to construct dozens of butt ugly, gargantuan, too cookie cutter and closely spaced, boxy, monstrosity “mansions”.

They remind me of Star Trekian Borg Cubes with tacked on aluminum siding. True, that’s an exaggeration… the siding is not aluminum.

I’m now free associating Malvina Reynolds’ song, Little Boxes, and suspect this will become an all walk long… maybe even all Christmas Day long earworm.

• Why couldn’t the locally empowered have opted, instead, for more affordable and aesthetically pleasing housing?

• How could they justify the negative impact of too damned much, rich, arable soil getting paved over… how that can only worsen world hunger and global warming… the one-two punch that threatens the very extinction of humanity!

Far be it from me to fault folks who are successful beyond their wildest dreams. However, their dreams become our nightmares when high elective office morphs them into the high and mighty. This, for the most part, is what draws the new town vs. old town battle-lines.

And what’ll be next? Gated communities with posted signs warning the commoners to KEEP OUT? Will the mayor wind up in his UnWelcome Wagon’s driver’s seat? Hanging his head out the window to blast over a bullhorn, his bullcrap, “GET OUT” message to the masses? Will he be presenting the key to the city to some vigilante (such as George Zimmerman)?

If any town buys into “of, by and ONLY for the wealthiest of the wealthy”, then commoners, such as I, become class war casualties.

And what then would become of my Chrismases, yet to come? Might one of those walks… uh… the final one… find me outward bound from the main drag’s City Limits sign… unjustly banished… forever run out of town by well-heeled heels?

Well… at least for the time being… my Christmas walk now sends me seeking out the comfort of hearth and home… the house I had inherited from my folks. I’ll soon be scaring up some comfort food, too. Instantly coming to mind is a stack of mouth watering, made from scratch, fresh off the griddle pancakes… all doused with maple syrup and washed down with fragrant, freshly brewed coffee.

All the more reason to pick up my pace. And an even better reason… to leave the new town reality behind me.

No truer words were ever committed to paper than lyricist Kim Gannon’s “I’ll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams” and author Thomas Wolfe’s adage, “You can’t go home again.”

The poignancy of it all can easily well up tears in the eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter To My Dear Deer Friends

 

Dear Jane and John Doe,

For starters, I am so sorry for needing to assign you made-up names. But… that’s because seven daybreaks ago there had been little time for formal introductions. And even had time permitted, there still is that language barrier between our species. After all, the two of you are majestic deer and I am merely human.

Why am I writing to you? Well, this open letter is to offer up my heartfelt apology for having frightened you off one week ago. Up till that moment, we had been able to coexist. But, in my defense, I did that in your own best interests. How so… you ask?

You see, the instant I threw open my patio window’s curtains that morning, I had to do a double-take. In spite of my having lived six plus decades in my lifelong hometown, I had never, before, seen a buck and doe paying me such an up close and personal visit… so calmly walking about my little corner of our neighborhood. Up till that moment, I had only seen you and your friends from afar… frolicking in that once-upon-a-time woodsy area right across that hazardous highway, which separates our home turfs.

And I do know you had a perfectly good reason for stopping by… namely… for too many decades, our formerly bucolic locale has been mutating into something more citified… changing too rapidly… and not for the better.

Perfect example… just this past spring, a tasteless, greed driven, environmental terrorist / land developer came to town. Obviously, he has never met a pristine natural habitat he didn’t want to sully… i.e., urbanize / pave over with wildly unaffordable, “luxury” condominiums, which are are butt ugly.

True, I don’t know for sure that we’re talking about an actual “he” here, but, that is a reasonable conclusion considering how I don’t believe womankind would be capable of / culpable for committing such a violation of Mother Nature.

As if evicting the deer population weren’t bad enough already, what makes his construction / destruction project even worse is it’s poorly chosen locale. Jane, John, I’m sure you’ve noticed how the two intersecting roads abutting this corner lot are elevated ten feet higher than the land itself.

Such a steep drop-off not only makes for an esthetically unpleasing view for both passersby looking in and eventual dwellers looking out their windows, but also makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Anyone with half a brain could’ve foreseen how, with the rooftops being at the same level as the roads… an out of control vehicle… oh… say… one spinning out on an icy patch of asphalt… could easily come crashing down… right through the roof… to maim and/or kill unsuspecting condo occupant(s).

And unbeknownst to most folks… who weren’t around back on 06/25/1968… is how a sudden, summertime cloudburst had left waste deep floodwater almost nowhere to go. Indeed, this particular parcel of woodsy land, likely from time immemorial, has proven itself instrumental in the drainage of such stormwater. This land, indeed, was what had limited 1968’s storm damage to my home’s basement.

So, I suppose I should feel a bit grateful that the condo builder, in question, hadn’t opted to truck in megatons of soil to raise the level of his land. Of course, keeping one’s own home dry probably won’t be a shared experience for those folks who eventually take up residence across the road from me.

Of course, who knows what the overall impact this newly paved over land might have on this drainage issue? And these concerns do exist even prior to our factoring in how rainstorms have been rapidly growing freakier… oft taking on biblical proportions. How global warming issues… the melting of our planet’s icecaps is causing rising water levels of our oceans and lakes… inclusive of Michigan’s Great Lakes.

This multitude of worries does raise many questions. Each and every time I take a gander at that local, ill-conceived condo project, I shake my head and ask myself…

How could our City Fathers have ever been so shortsighted to have green lighted the construction of these condos and destruction of an ecosystem?

True, I have absolutely no proof to back my suspicion, but…

Would it really surprise anyone if the mayor and councilpersons have recently come into some windfalls… now enjoy substantially larger, personal bank account balances?

But enough about me, Jane and John. I’ve only mentioned these issues to demonstrate to you, my dear deer friends, how humankind is harming itself, too… not to imply that one wrong would ever justify another.

Returning, now, to the morning I had chased you two away… I had fully realized that you’d been displaced by this ill-conceived condo project. In fact, while still remaining undetected while observing you, I could already hear the telltale racket of foremen barking out high decibel, yelled orders… backhoe and crane operators revving up their diesel engines… of carpenters carving up wood with their power saws and banging away at it with their hammers.

I had just about turned away to make my breakfast… just about left you two alone in your makeshift wilderness… when it suddenly dawned on me how this is deer mating season… how bucks like you, John, would be challenging every competing male who’d ever dare to woo over your mate. My immediate concern was that you might come charging in towards my house to attack, what, in reality, would’ve been your own image reflected in my patio window.

While I’d normally consider myself a welcoming person to creatures great and small… I had to prioritize your wellbeing… keep in mind how, were you to crash through all that glass, you could’ve easily become severely lacerated… might’ve even died from the severe injuries you’d sustain.

Not really knowing how the two of you would react I opted to risk it by cautiously sliding open my patio door. Well, you both did the rest… reacted to my just standing in the open doorway by taking that running leap over my next-door neighbor’s four foot high chainlink fence… btw… you two “totally rocked” with your gracefulness and athletic prowess.

Crisis averted? Nope, that’s likely only been postponed… that is… unless you, John, realize that, sometimes, it’ll be your own image getting reflected back to you in the windows of the homes you’re passing by… unless you can spread the word about this to the other bucks within your herd.

I’d also like to warn you, Jane and John, that not all humans will be as kind and considerate as I am. Indeed, in another Michigan community, Ann Arbor, many self-centered dwellers feel pissed off whenever deer visit their neighborhoods… have actually whined about this to their City Fathers. And these local politicians have been opting into a deadly solution… green lighting actual, within the city limits deer culls… i.e., the hiring of sharpshooters / hitmen to take you out.

Such small-minded humans deem deer as invaders of our territory… never once, even for one split second, realizing that it’s we humans, who are the invaders of deer territory.

It doesn’t need to ever be that way if humankind would stop chopping down, paving over and overdeveloping (y)our forests and wetlands. Regrettably, that MO is ubiquitous… proven out by my own hometown’s crazy condo project… one that has negatively impacted both the deer and human communities.

Jane and John Doe, I do hope we now better understand each other and that you, my dear deer friends, will accept my heartfelt apology for frightening you last week. Stay safe and stay alive!

Respectfully Yours,

CommonSenseTom