Happy New Year to the 6,722,318,700 of us on the planet at 13:50 5-1-09, and to the 122,231 who join us daily according to the World Clock by…

Happy New Year to the 6,722,318,700 of us on the planet at 13:50 5-1-09, and to the 122,231 who join us daily according to the World Clock by poodwaddle.com.

“The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.” (Robert H. Smith, 1932.)

Happy Belt-Tightening 2009 …

Shirley sent a card with some hope in it. It read:

A gentle word

Like summer rain

May soothe the heart

And banish the pain.

A Mom added another dimension of hope to that thought when her wee lass asked, “Mom, what’s a good life, and how do you get it?”

“When you’re young,” Mom replied, “life is like a garden with nothing in it, but with every kind deed, every loving thought you plant another flower in your garden, and the more you plant the brighter and lovelier your garden becomes.”

Some pretty fine thoughts to kick the New Year into gear, wrapped up by 18th-century economist Adam Smith when he asked, “What can be added to the happiness of a person who is in health, out of debt and has a clear conscience?”

Reality predictions for 2009 say thousands of Canadians would reply firmly to Adam, “A job!”

And therein lies the rub; our financial, business and political elite are telling us our red carpet lifestyle may soon fade to grey — well for us, not for them. Our political party leaders did “protest too much” in their pre-Christmas holiday parliamentary charades. They surely dashed out hopes of parliamentary maturity, which we expected upon learning parliamentary practices are 700 years old.

Grasping for their share of the voter-dole, they dashed our hopes they would earn their own way, as we must. Could this not cause more taxpayer belt-tightening, which could tip the scales putting us into Grandma’s Bread Pudding Times. (Just her way of saying the “D” word!) The period of history where Fats Domino was heard to say, “A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., an M.D. or a Ph.D.; unfortunately they don’t have a J.O.B.”

The D word is definitely partnered with the A word in the seldom mentioned category. Depression, and accountability are words you’ll not be hearing from the lips of those who’d have no truck at all, at all, with the thought that success is to do more for the world than the world does for you.

They’re easily recognized — they’re the people stepping from chauffeur-driven limos onto red carpets, with their hands out, only the tin cup is missing, while their lips are muttering, “bail-out billions if-you-please, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer!”

But not to worry, the experts are assembling; the bureaucrats are bureaucratizing and bread pudding recipes are being dug out of the trunk. Hope springs eternal. We hope that Obama fellow south of the 49th hasn’t cornered all hope; he sure brought it front and centre, and, without question, it’s in big demand.

A tip of the hat to all the men and women, who are behind the scenes all the time at fire halls, police stations, airports, on road crews and in tow trucks, and all those I’ve missed, keeping us safe, warm and cozy in our homes and cars. A second tip of the hat to those who bring them and us, all the supplies, tools, and goodies we need those indispensable Santa’s helpers, the long-haul truckers. Where would we be without them all in this frigorific weather?

p.s. Linda sent me a bread pudding recipe from where else, an Irish cookbook, which begins, “to make pudding combine raisins (1/2c) and whiskey (1/2c) and let soak an hour.” If we’re about to have bread pudding days, how’s that for a start?

Keep well, especially Canadian Armed Forces men and women at war the world over. Our hope is that all may come home safe to a grateful nation.