Tag Archives: my family

Oh, Christmas Tree!

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I took down our Christmas tree this morning and put all the ornaments away. Then vacuumed. It’s a big job, and I’m pooped. But then it’s an even bigger job to set it up. Why do we do it?

First we put on the lights. We use lights from the store Grandpa had in the 1930s, and they all still work. Then there’s a ton of ornaments to put on. Each and every one of our ornaments has a story: they’re a kind of history of our family. They bring vividly to mind the people we’ve loved, and good times shared with them. You might wonder what a Christmas tree has to do with the birth of Jesus Christ Our Savior. But God ordained the family, God loves the family, and it’s one of those things that His Son came to earth to save.

I put the tree out on the curb with a prayer that this past Christmas will continue to work throughout the year, powerfully drawing our hearts to Jesus Christ Our Lord: Amen.


Sanity Break: the Woolly Mammoth

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Sometimes writing about current events just wears me out. For refreshment, I turn to God’s handiwork.

Behold the woolly mammoth, as painted by the great Charles R. Knight. This was the first prehistoric animal I fell in love with. I used to dream about them. A truck would sound its horn at night, out on Route 1, and I would think it was a mammoth calling to the other mammoths.

And I don’t know why, but somehow I conceived the notion that my Aunt Betty, the nun, had the ability to obtain for me a mammoth of my own, and I used to pester her about it. Give me a break, I think I was only five years old. Poor Aunt Betty. She made me a little toy mammoth out of some kind of fur. Well, she tried. If I still had that toy, it would be among my treasures. But not as great a treasure as she herself would be.

When God restores His whole creation, I’m sure there will be mammoths once again. And we will enjoy them with our loved ones.

The Original Jax the Kitten


See that tiny black fuzzy thing attempting to nurse Boo, the obliging pit bull? That’s Jax as he was when my stepdaughter first took him in–the huge black cat whose picture I posted yesterday. In case you were wondering, Boo hasn’t gotten any smaller. Patty wanted you all to see this: after all, a lot of us prayed for this kitten, and you’ve seen how he’s turning out.

‘Silent Night’ (Andre Rieu)

My aunts used to have Andre Reiu on TV all thoughout the Christmas season. Now the house is gone, my aunts are gone, and the memories stand. Christmas is a good time for memories, and an even better time for hope. Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.

Anyway, I’m standing on the hilltop, waving the Christmas flag. Please feel free to join in with a hymn request of your own.

Memory Lane: Gracie’s New Year’s Eve

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We had a local character on our block, Gracie, who was, shall we say, flamboyant. She drove a pink Cadillac. She decorated her house to look like something in a fairy tale. And her outdoor Christmas decorations were indescribable.

She also used to go to Times Square in New York City every New Year’s Eve, and to the Roosevelt Hotel where Guy Lombardo played. She always hunted for the cameras, and several times succeeded in getting on TV. Most of the people in our town saw her on TV on New Year’s Eve.

After several decades of this, one of the local newspapers got interested and did a feature story on her. In it, Gracie’s age was given as 60-something.

When my Aunt Gertie read that, she almost fell out of her chair. “Why, that old so-and-so!” she cried (and a lot more than once). “Sixty? Sixty? Why, she was in my class in high school!” Aunt Gertie was in her mid-80s at the time, and somehow Gracie’s reported youth really rankled with her.

Ah, well. So what are some of you guys doing for New Year’s Eve tonight? We’re staying here, way too bloody cold outside for anything else. We have lots of fun movies to watch, our Christmas tree is here, and I have very nice Christmas cookies. Plus we have the “Feed me, feed me!” Twins, aka our cats, to keep us hopping.

We’ll understand if your plans are so wild, you don’t dare tell us about them.

Jax Just Keeps Growing


Remember that sickly little kitten my stepdaughter adopted, not yet a year ago, who needed a rare blood transfusion to stay alive? We all prayed for him, the rare blood was discovered to be readily available, and he was fine. She named him Jax.

Here he is with his big sister Boo, a pit bull who foster-mothered him; and if he keeps growing, he’ll be as big as she is! I mean, this cat is huge! And not done growing yet, he’s not yet a year old. Just eight months, in fact.

I wonder if he’s part liger.

NBC to Staff: Snitch or Be Fired

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Don’t let the door hit you in the kiester on your way out, Matt…

NBC fired Matt Lauer today, for perpetrating unwelcome hanky-panky on the job, and then issued a directive to all staff: from now on, report all incidents of sexual harassment… or be fired (http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/12/26/nbc-tightens-sexual-harassment-policies-post-matt-lauer-scandal.html).

Yes, “report any inappropriate relationships in the workplace,” or it’s adios to you. Also issued were “detailed rules on how to socialize.”

We are not told what constitutes an “inappropriate relationship.”

A personal note: Forty-one years ago today, Patty and I had our first date. We both worked at the Bayshore Independent: I was managing editor, she was the bookkeeper. Probably our relationship would be frowned upon by NBC today. We had dinner at The Islanders, a wonderful Polynesian restaurant that deserved to last forever, but didn’t, took in a movie–Voyage of the Damned, with Max Von Sydow, and finished with a visit to Sam’s Bar & Grill, another really nice place long gone. Neither of us ever dated anyone else after that. My mother advised me, “Don’t you dare let this one get away!” Well, I wasn’t fixing to.

I wonder if any of this would now be deemed “inappropriate.” It’s very hard to know what words mean when liberals use them.

And please remember that these are the very same people who for several decades have been pushing, for all they’re worth, the Sexual Revolution, if it feels good do it, the only unnatural sex act is the one that can’t be performed, it’s all about personal liberation, blah-blah. And now they don’t like the results?

I don’t like to think where they’re taking us.


Memory Lane: At Home with Mommy and the Ironing

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One of my earliest memories came back to me this morning.

I’m not old enough yet to go to school. I’m sitting on the floor of our little sitting room, playing with blocks while my mother does her ironing. Because she’s a Giants fan, she has the ballgame on: we have one of those primitive TV sets with all the knobs, you’ve really got to fiddle with it, to get a good picture. The Giants are playing the Brooklyn Dodgers, and my mother carefully lists for me the many moral defects of the Dodgers–except for Roy Campanella: not a word against him!–and explains how no right-thinking person would ever root for them. And I don’t know why, but I love the smell of ironing, and the texture of the rug, and the grainy black-and-white picture on the screen… and my mother’s company.

The very best day I ever had at school was not as good as this. Nowhere near as good as this.

‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’ (Josh Groban)

I had a hard time deciding which rendition of this hymn to post. Let’s try this one: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, sung by Josh Groban.

I love this hymn. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on my Uncle Bernie’s lap while he read these words to me out of a book of Christmas carols. I do miss him. But our God is an awesome God, who has promised the restoration of all things. That process began with the birth of Jesus Christ… upon a midnight clear.

P.S.–If there’s a version of this or any other hymn that you’d like posted here, well, shout it out. Don’t be bashful!

‘O Holy Night’ ( Andre Rieu)

It used to be, whenever I went to my aunts’ house around Christmastime,  they were watching this guy on television–Andre Rieu, with his Johann Strauss Orchestra. They loved him.

Well, now I can’t go there anymore. The very house has been torn down and replaced, no sign remaining that it ever existed, and they’ve all gone on before, leaving but a few of us on the earth. Aunt Joan is the last of us in her generation.

I will not forget. Hard for me to watch this video, but I wouldn’t want to miss it: the happy times that were shall be again, in Christ’s Kingdom. God has promised it.

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