2018 Life Logs, Day 335: Christmas Countdown
Date: Saturday, December 1, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 42, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight my grandson Sam is at a sleepover with friends and Ollie and Jonah are here with me for an overnight. Jed is going to be out of town for his birthday next weekend, so I offered to kidsit so that he and Heather could go out on a birthday ‘date’. It was the perfect night to spend with grandkids as they were both very well aware that this is first day of December. And that means we are counting down to Christmas Day. We had a wonderful evening together watching the short, but favorite Charlie Brown Christmas and followed that up with a 1979 movie called Jack Frost. I had never heard of this movie, but it looked interesting to the boys, so we watched it. It has nothing to do with Christmas, but it did help prepare us for the coming winter weather. It was originally a stop motion animated television program where the Groundhog tells the story. The Groundhog’s voice is that of Buddy Hackett. It is a love story as well as the story of the Groundhog who lets us know on February 2 whether or not we will have six more weeks of winter weather. And I was amazed that Jonah knew it was stop motion animation. He evidently learned this at a workshop he took at Falmouth Community Television a couple of years ago. He had to explain to me what it was!

I was a bad Oma tonight as I let the boys stay up later than usual. But after the movies, we sang Christmas carols from the Curious George Christmas Carols book. Last year we watched The Grinch together in my apartment on the harbor, and we had stored copies of the words to The Grinch in this book. So, of course, tonight we had to sing every verse of The Grinch at least four times. Then Jonah had to read to us from a book of nonsensical, but very funny poems. Ollie and I read a couple of stories from Stories from Around the World while Jonah went in another room and continued singing. And we read about the December moon in Thirteen Moons on a Turtle’s Back, a book of Native American lore. That created questions about whether artists know that turtles have 13 plates on their shells, so we had to gather stone and wooden turtles from around the Cottage to check it out. Indeed, they do know. But did you know that every year has 13 moons? The Moon revolves around Earth 13 times during the time the Earth revolves around the Sun once. If we had a lunar~solar calendar we would have 13 months of 28 days each or four 7-day weeks. Numerically, that is the same as having 52 weeks of seven days. I loved teaching first grade because I loved learning new things each day through the bright, untainted eyes of six year-olds. And now I continue to learn about the world through the eyes of my grandchildren. It is a wonderful way to view the world.

And speaking of the way we view the world, I want to share some things I am learning by watching yet another internet docu-series called Interconnected. It is about the power to heal from within and I am finding it to be very powerful information. In today’s episode, Alessio Fasano, Chief of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Mass General Hospital, stated that the health community has been working with the premise that two things impact our health—our genetics and our environment. At one time, it was believed that genetics played the major role. But that is no longer the belief. Some health experts now think that our health is determined only 10 percent by genetics and 90 percent by environment and the life choices we each made within that environment. And as Fasano pointed out, the epidemic of disease we are currently experiencing in this country points to the fact that we are definitely doing something wrong. This epidemic of disease has happened in the last 50 years and that is too short a time to blame genetics for the rise. And to quote Fasano, “So that leaves the environment as the culprit.” We have changed the environment way too fast for our genetics to keep up. What I love about this series is that each episode leaves you with a sense of hope and roadmap for making changes in your lifestyle to stay healthy within the given environment. I can see that I am going to have a very long list of New Year’s Resolutions as a result of watching Pedram Shojai’s (The Urban Monk) Interconnected series.

2018 Life Logs, Day 336: A Wonderful Meshing of Traditions
2018 Life Logs, Day 334: Staying on Track