Gonna Do In The New Year

January 14, 2020

Julie Traynor Postcards from the Pine Columnist

Well, the hoopla is over and it’s time to get going on all of those things you’ve set aside for winter. You know what they are. I don’t have to remind you of all you’ve postponed and ‘saved’. Chances are these projects are the same ones from last year and the year before that. Some projects live into old age, untouched. Do you ever wonder what you’re really waiting for? I bet you, deep down, know the answer… I know what I’m waiting for…and maybe this will be the year.

I did knock one thing off my long-time ‘gonna do’ list just before the end of the decade. After a long, long time (code for 50+ years), I got my ears pierced for a second time.

Years of resistance and denial, “Who needs more holes in their ears anyway?” aside, I must admit that I do not know why I let unreasonable fear make me wait so long. I certainly have accumulated enough earrings to fill them. So, thanks to my daughter, who called and said, “This is what we’re gonna do…” and to Barb Thompson of Barb’s Creekside Salon, who met us on her day off and did this thing for us. I have doubled my earring capacity. Daughter also got yet another set of holes in her ears and paid for mine.

“It’s thank you for financing all of this!” she said, gesturing to the multi-pierced ears she’s had since her teens. There was never any fear of the piercing gun for her.

My pierced ears go back to the day before piercing guns. In fact, it was still the old-fashioned Wild West days of piercing. No one I knew went anywhere to have ears pierced, unless it was to their best friend’s house. Those were the days when the preferred piercing tools were ice cubes, a darning needle and a potato or cork. As badly as I wanted my ears pierced, I could all too well envision the process and passed.

Then, in my senior year, something called ear piercers came along. They were small, spring loaded wire hoops with a needle like wire at the end of the spring. Place them where you wanted them on your lobes, wear for several days, frequently apply alcohol, and ta-da! After several days, they worked their way through the lobe and ears were pierced and painlessly, if they worked correctly. Of course, one did not, and that further enforced my no more holes policy. I wouldn’t have taken a million dollars of the holes I had in my ears, nor would I have given ten for more.

My ears have been pierced since the spring of 1968. There have been very few days in the course of all these years that I have not worn earrings. I truly feel naked without them.

Neither my mom nor my grandma, Fern Berry, had pierced ears, which is surprising considering the eras into which they were born. What Grandma did have was the love of earrings and jewelry in general. She did not leave her home without earrings clipped on her ears and a matching necklace around her neck. She wore jewelry to the garden, post office and church, alike. Her favorites were red.

Later in her life, during a long illness involving endless blood tests, needles and the like, she admitted that her early fear of the darning needle that had stopped her from piercing her ears was foolish. She had learned that there were far worse things to endure in life and that the old adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” was indeed truth.  What had seemed like such an insurmountable fear when she was young became a way of life in her old age. And she never had pierced ears.

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