Come gather ‘round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
. . . Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’ . . .
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past . . .
For the times they are a-changin’.
Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A-changin’” in 1964. Bruce Springsteen, Simon and Garfunkel and Peter, Paul and Mary also recorded it. Cluck, cluck, cluck! Would you believe that Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature? Actually, he deserved it more that some who have received it. Song writers are fine poets who express complex ideas with an economy of words.
Family life was different in nephew John’s and my day. People stayed and worked all their lives near where they were raised. Many Knightstown people worked at Chrysler in New Castle or at places such as Western Electric in Indianapolis. Today many people move to jobs in other states.
Nowadays, the chicken-every-Sunday-at-Mom’s is a thing of the past. One of my friends said that the response was tepid when she suggested that her children who live in Indianapolis bring their families once a month for Sunday dinner that she would cook. “I understand perfectly,” she said. “Both couples work, and weekends are the only time they have to catch up.
Shakespeare wrote, “Youth must be served.” Indeed, the times they are a-changin’. Chris, one of our twin grandsons, and his wife, Tasha, sold their Cincinnati home that they’ve owned for only a few years and moved last week — along with our first great-grandbaby — to Grand Rapids. GE will permit him to work from home, and her employer will do the same. (That’s a huge benefit of computers.)
Tony, the other twin, enjoys the European lifestyle and culture. He’s transferring to a GE facility in Zurich, Switzerland, and will be moving in a few weeks. I hate to see them go so far away, but I’m thrilled about their new beginnings.
Grandma will likely not cook pancakes or standing rib roast and Yorkshire pudding for them in the foreseeable future as she has done since they were little boys. Perhaps it’s time for me to accept the inevitability of change. Only Vicki and Tom will be here with us for Easter dinner this year. Thus, I have suggested we go out for a lovely brunch somewhere.
The world is changing at a mind-boggling rate, but some things do not change. This morning, there was a fine tracery of frozen water drops on the greenhouse window through which the huge, intensely golden moon that was sinking into the West was shining. I think that the smell of fresh coffee is one of the grandest aromas. I savored the scent when I opened a bag of delicious Goalie coffee and drank my first cup while watching the moon.
Oh how fortunate I am to experience even the minor joys of being alive. The world has been going to hell in a handbasket for eons, and humankind has been waging war for countless ages and shows no sign of stopping, but I am still here. It’s up to me to extract as much pleasure as possible from each day of my existence.
I take seriously what Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden: I wished to live deliberately . . . and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear . . . I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.
Stephen Hilbert said, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal!” Amen to that! firstname.lastname@example.org