Tuesday, April 5, 2016

About Time: Wishing You Long Years

Sometimes Time slips away, doesn’t he, Old Father Time, that is. Rising this morning, for example, late because instead of three or three-thirty, I’d slept until quarter past five.

No matter, and it doesn’t put the day in a jerk, if so I’d know I was treating my retirement Time disrespectfully, but overdue sending out the weekly email reminder of this morning’s Bible Seminar. Today about the post-resurrection appearances in the Gospel according to John and introduction to Revelation. 

This morning I did notice, sitting on the edge of the bed to collect my balance before standing, that, not having been summoned during the night by either of my spiritual directors, Father Nature or Father Time, it would be wise to hold on and dash to the immediate bathroom instead of all the way down the hall to my own. Part of Time slipping away. Same with eighty, about Time, whom I noted in yesterday’s blogpost.

Time really does slip away. Linda and I are not into publishing pictures of ourselves, except for my from Time to Time needing to remind myself that I’m twenty-one as the pic of Ensign Weller shows. Or double-Time, forty-two as my Navy retirement photo shows. This morning shows up online, well on Facebook, the picture of Linda and me coming down the aisle, the first couple married at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church. 



In his various books, Harry Golden, dubbed "the Carolina Israelite," reminisces about his Time growing up a Jew in the Garment District of New York, talks about mavens, and Yiddish expressions, customs, ordering “for two-cents plain” and telling the soda jerk behind the counter “put a little on top,” which meant, rather plaintively and cheap, just a touch of strawberry syrup on top of the plain soda water. Like the 1936 Pontiac business coupe that my father converted into a pickup truck, those old things from growing up years can put a tear in one’s eye nowadays in +Time+ when gone are all the folks we loved so dearly, or, frankly, feared, were terrified of.

One of Harry Golden’s reminiscences is about “the Evil Eye,” in Yiddish lore the invisible being who notices most everything we do, and are and about us, especially as we age, and who only needs the slightest hint to seize both opportunity and life. But the Evil Eye could be warded off, thrown off course by various sayings. As the door to door life insurance salesman, for example, sat on the couch in the living room of your tenement flat, he had to discuss unmentionable things such as your life, and your length of Time ahead. To throw the Evil Eye off, the insurance salesman would say slyly, “if anything should happen (meaning of course, but absolutely unmentionable because of the Evil Eye, your dying)” he would add “wishing you long years,” and then go ahead, “your family would be taken care of,” and concluding, again for the sake of the ever present Evil Eye, “wishing you a hundred twenty years.” All this hopefully would throw the Evil Eye completely off track, and the client would sign the insurance policy contract and pay his first fifteen-cent monthly premium, and the salesman would leave knowing that, death and age not having been mentioned, he had offered his sales-pitch well, and the client would feel safe that the Evil Eye had been thrown off course yet one more time again. 

That’s about Time, and Linda and I, loving our wedding photo that’s posted in Battin Hall at HNEC, continue to keep our fingers crossed and throwing salt over our shoulders as we sit down for every meal, hope the Evil Eye won’t notice that we’ve been married nearly a hundred-sixty years, well on June 29 it will be one hundred fifty nine. Wishing us long years. 

My friends, life is short. And we haven’t much Time … and the Evil Eye reads Hebrew but not English. And certainly not Arabic numbers

Tom+ in +Time++

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