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Time marches on

January 9, 2015
James P. Whipple , Shepherdstown Chronicle

Well, this past Christmas season and New Year's have flown by. We are already into the end of the first week in January. I still wanted to wish all of you a very Happy New Year; I hope that all of your wishes come true in 2015.

Old father time has a way of playing tricks on us as we grow older. I look at my life and think that I have completed two volumes of work and am now working on volume three, Chapter 72.

The first New Year's that I remember vaguely, I remember I asked my mother if there were two Christmas's since we were having a second big dinner. She told me no, that we were celebrating a new year. She told me I would be asleep when the year changed. I ask her if someone was going to drop off the New Year or was it going to come in the mail, a little like a Christmas card. Mom told me that no one was going to bring it by or that the New Year was not coming by mail. I wanted to know what kind of thing it was, was it big or small, what color was it? She laughed and sat me down.

"See this?" she ask, this is called a calendar.

She showed me a paper that had a picture on the top and what looked like some boxes with numbers. This is a calendar, she said. I looked at the paper and saw that the picture was a big boat that looked like it had water all around, on top was some writing and some numbers I remembered the first one was a one and the second one looked like a six turned over then a four and then another six this time up. My mother said that word is January and the numbers say 1946.

Researchers have told us over the years that young children don't really understand time concepts. It's not until the first or second grade that kids begin to see and understand time.

On the website Scholastic.com it says "While some children can memorize the sequence of the days of the week, they lack a full understanding of what a day actually is. Teachers today find ways to teach preschool-age children to understand such concepts as before and after as well as later and next."

My mother in a way was ahead of her time when she worked with me or learning things about life and educational things before I went to the first grade.

My mother was a great teacher throughout my very young life. She taught me things like reading simple words like in the funny papers. I learned my ABCs. Whenever I had a question she always took the time to answer it. No matter how stupid the question might have been she would always try to explain it to me. In all of those young years she never lost her temper or got upset if I did not get what she was teaching me right away.

I made up my mind to see what really happened at midnight. Try as I might I could not stay awake and when I woke the next day it was the first day of 1946. "I thought you were going to wake me up so I could see the New Year," I said.

She just smiled and said "Look around its still the New Year." For the rest or at least for most of the time each day she would write down what day it was and what month. By Christmas of 1946 I pretty much had learned how to read a calendar. To me as a kid the days seemed wonderfully long. Now I blink and a week, month and yes a year has passed by.

Again, have a great 2015 everyone.

 
 
 

 

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