Auld Lang Syne

The snow is almost all gone. Now there’s a new weather notification: lots of rain and high winds, and there’s a concern about flooding of the rivers. There are two major rivers in this area, the Willamette and the McKenzie. I ought to know more about them but I don’t really. The Willamette runs through Eugene, while the McKenzie is in Springfield and goes on out to the east into the woods. I remember that there is a river you cross going into Harrisburg: probably the Willamette. Junction City and Harrisburg are about 15 miles north of Eugene. I knew a good friend who was raised in the latter town. I haven’t been up there in quite a while. It’s a tiny little place with just a high school, and probably a small elementary school and middle school. The main drag is just a little street with a silo on one side, a gas station, a Dari Mart, and a local store called EZ Stop. There is suburban housing across the railroad tracks and to the left. My friend lived on Gaileen Way with his wife, her two boys, and their daughter. For a long time he had a black ‘78 Camaro with a broken speedometer. Years later he got a black Dodge Ram he was never really satisfied with. But what jarred my memory was thinking of the bridge across the river that takes you into Harrisburg. Anyway, we’ve been warned about flooding after this Sunday, possibly. And it’s very odd how I know nothing about the geology around here, like the rivers especially. I guess I never took much of an interest in my environment. I grew up in the city and was an introvert. But I had a sixth sense for where the bookstores were, even in a foreign city.

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

This reminds me: Project Gutenberg has a saying that goes, “Out with the new, in with the old.”

Happy New Year!


Old and New

Looking around at the city these days, I’m a little amazed that I can’t share it with those who have departed. Some are dead, some just moved away, but functionally they’re all gone and unavailable. Thus I am alone with the changes to my hometown with respect to them, and yet people and new friends are everywhere. Much like the days of auld lang syne and the matter of forgetting old acquaintance. We hear the song at every New Year but perhaps don’t apply the message. This time, I can say that I feel the purport of the old song. We’ll be bidding farewell to the 2010s, which means hello to the 2020s and the prospect of futurity. Where I live, the buildings will keep sprouting up: apartment complexes, hotels, houses, and new and bigger businesses. People will continue to immigrate here, looking to my older eyes younger and younger. But it’s a happy feeling to be alive and not alone. “At the start of every day / A child begins to play / And all we need to know / Is that the future is a friend of yours and mine.”