I always feel a bit nostalgic this time of year ... as a year ends and a new one begins. I'm looking forward to the new year and the adventures it will bring, but I can't help looking backwards, too.
As I take a trip down "memory lane," I have a tendency to dwell on times that, at least in my mind, seemed to be kinder, gentler, and simpler than the fast-paced world in which we live today. And as I reminisce, I recall so many people and things from those kinder, gentler days that I miss.
Like cabooses ... sometimes I wonder if I am the only person who misses seeing a caboose at the end of a train, and the friendly conductor who always waved to us as it passed.
To me, it's like a sentence without a period ... or an "i" without a dot over it -- a train should have a caboose!
I also miss clotheslines, with their cheerful patchwork of colors decorating backyards in small towns all across America. Every yard used to have a clothesline, but they are a rarity these days.
And speaking of rarities -- I miss Johnny Carson, who was truly one of a kind.
And the extraordinarily-talented Mr. Dean Martin. I loved his tv show ...
I miss Andy, Opie, Barney, and Aunt Bea, too, and think the world would be a better place if they still made tv shows about life in places like Mayberry.
Do you remember those wonderful old Doris Day movies? I love Doris and always wished my hair looked like hers.
Another actress I loved was Natalie Wood. It was heartbreaking to lose her at such a young age.
Here are a few more people and things I miss ...
Mr. Ronald Reagan
I was never really an Elvis fan until after his death, but I miss him. The story of his life fascinates me and I'm sorry I didn't get to see him perform in person.
I miss seeing the Delta Queen docking at the Water Front in Vicksburg.
I miss country music -- real country music, as it was meant to be played ... with the twang of a steel guitar and the sound of a fiddle in the background.
And this man ...
I miss LaVyrle Spencer's books (if you've never read one, be sure and google her. Ms. Spencer's books are as good as the covers are pretty).
I miss Paul Harvey's resonant voice telling us "the rest of the story."
I miss the gracious and elegant Laura Bush.
And the youthful Sean Connery as James Bond (he will always be the only James Bond, as far as I'm concerned).
I could go on and on, but I'm sure there are things and people you miss, too, from times you think of as being kinder and gentler ... and I would love to hear about them.