….Heaven and Nature Sing

a Christmas greeting for 2010.

Ah yes, in the form of zero visibility, howling wind, and an arctic clipper courtesy of Saint Nick.  I’m reminded of the iconic, obese Burl Ives compelling us to have a ” holly, jolly Christmas” as my 6.5 HP snowblower rumbles past the large holly bush by the barn.dscn5997.JPG

For those of you who might enjoy a sprig of branches and berries, they are available, free, under the popular “u-pick” format, no limit.  Note our GPS reading, Lat. 41.7222, Long. 86.3497, Elev. 725′.   Although no biblical documentation exists, the three wise men, too, must have had a Garmin or how else could they have traveled such a great distance from the east and managed to locate the baby Jesus ?

My holiday speculation; the star of Bethlehem was the first satellite.

Christmas will once again be overshadowed by the bowl season, the annual ritual of the flying butt bump in the end zone (origin;  ten lords a leaping), punctuated by the high-step, fingers pointed to heaven, slow-motion primal dance after every play.  Tribal behavior, even to celebrate a 2 yard loss, by gifted, tattooed, over-paid athletes. When you think it can’t get any better, endless interpretations of what once was referred to as “The Star Spangled Banner”, mangled by vocalists in the land of the freeeEEE, and the eternal, overdone halftime entertainment sponsored by the corporation du jour.


Although 20% of us are unemployed or under-employed, the economy in a prolonged deep freeze, we have more to be thankful for than the millions in Darfur, Haiti, and all of central and southern Asia.  Our lives (Lynn, dog Jack, and myself) met with a new, unanticipated challenge this year, minor in comparison to many, and hence, away from the realm of a Christmas greeting.  What I can share is advice when thinking you have your life in order:

You’ve overlooked something.

Below, in late August, 2010, on our beach in northern Michigan

dscn5345.JPGwe take the time to contemplate the future.



racing for a milkbone is in Jack’s future

Our master plan was to have Lynn attend to my every need in aging as I qualified by gender (male), age (100 months her senior) and demeanor (surly).  That may, however, change over time so her thoughtful Christmas gift to me…don’t try guessing (insert drum roll), I get to attend:

Nursing Home Fantasy Camp

  • Mah-Jongg strategy; how to pong and chow elderly Jewish widows by sidestepping piety, sincerity, and benevolence
  • How to cheat at church bingo; neutralize surveillance cameras, bribe the caller
  • Mobility chair racing for fun and profit; improve pit-stop performance, finish first in the buffet line
  • Lunch with 3rd tier celebs, Dick Clark, Suzanne Somers, and Dick VanDyke
  • Special guest appearance by Betty White, on her subject, “How Best to Take a Nap”

How best to return the favor, aha, Lynn will receive a $25 gift card from our favorite Rochester, MN restaurantdscn5260.JPGwhich, by no accident posts the followingdscn5262.JPG

Our lives are truly enriched and we are grateful.  Adding a sixth grandchild, a blue-eyed Irish princess, Alannah Rose, in August, we plan to meet her up-close and personal in February 2011. The balance of our extended family in New Mexico, Chicago, Ireland, and South Bend are firing on all eight cylinders.dscn5511.JPG

Above, our queen, doing her Vanna White presentation in Traverse City, MI, Sept 16, 2010.  She doesn’t appear to be unwell.

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.  Merry Christmas