Change is inevitable, we can’t control it. Change does affect how we view, interpret and react to our environment. Whether it occurs rapidly in minutes or slowly over years, we learn to accept it or reject it.
A Tuesday night snowstorm turns to Friday morning fog over a period of days as temperatures gradually rise. When the sun quickly rises the fog burns off in a matter of minutes.
The Thanksgiving holiday marks another year in our ever-changing lives. We reflect on our families and notice how we have aged and how changing family dynamics affect our relationships. Changes occur within ourselves as we respond to the progression of time. Some people age gracefully and like a fine wine become more refined. Others tend to fear the changes that come with age and cling to any remnants of youth with a death grip.
I celebrated the holiday with my Dad this year in Hudson, NY. Change was the major topic of discussion. What was once a large gathering has morphed into just the two of us (and his dog Casey). We discussed changes in the political climate, our homes, our pets and our relationships with others. We took Casey for a walk after dinner and talked about changes in the neighborhood.
Some things never seem to change, yet undergo changes that are so subtle they are barely noticeable. Other changes are so all-encompassing that they affect every aspect of our being.
My father has lived all of his 82 years in Hudson with a brief stint in the US Army during the Korean War. He was born during the depression, the first generation of Polish immigrants. He worked in the cement factories that were once the fabric of this industrial river town. He learned to adapt to the changing industrial climate as the factories shut and Hudson began a downward spiral resulting in blight and poverty. He watched Hudson’s rebirth as an Antique Center for the Northeast. Although resistant to that change, he again learned to adapt to a huge increase in the economy and property values. With a downtown train station and close proximity to New York City, Hudson transformed into a weekend getaway. Many blighted Victorian homes are now thriving bed and breakfast locations. The City’s main street (Warren) is now full of restaurants and shops. The arts and culture are now celebrated with pride.
The house my father bought in 1969 and remodeled over the years is hopelessly stuck in the 70’s, but that’s the way he likes it. The City he grew up in has changed all around him. I used to think my Dad would never change but over the years, found that was not the case. The truth is, we have both changed and somehow found a middle ground that is surprisingly familiar and for that I am very thankful.