Merry Christmas

December 25, 2018


Sailors’ night before

December 20, 2018

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.
This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice.”

“Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear.”
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free and it’s sailors who pay.
The Sailor say’s to our country “be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas, and All is Secure!”

Of beautiful days

December 17, 2018

The night before last the fog lifted and while no meteors were
seen the moon was shining brightly and the stars were out in
abundance. It felt like Christmas decorations had been strewn
across our universe.

Yesterday the first Christmas robin was sighted in the old
tree soaking up the sun. A cheerful reminder that even though
we have no snow on the ground yet Christmas is near.

After I took a picture the robin decided he had places to be
and other people to see. His bright colors against the blue sky
sure put us in the mood to celebrate. It was probably a big
coincidence, but he flew off towards the church steeple to our

Even the clouds got in the spirit and graced the sky with a
display rarely seen, at least here on the east coast of Iowa.
It looked like an artist with a hangover tried to paint a
snowman. Still the effect was mesmerizing.

The trees were afire in the morning light and put on quite a
display in their own right. We took that as a good sign that
this Christmas may be a little more special than others.

And if that wasn’t enough, I noticed the branch still stuck on
the power line as it has been for a month. The winds, rain,
snow, and fog did nothing to dislodge the faded leaves and the
spindly branch that supports them.

If you aren’t in the spirit we hope you get it soon and if you
don’t believe you don’t know what you’re missing. Enjoy our
Monday and if you can’t at least be a decent Scrooge. Now for
some coffee and a few chocolate chip cookies.
Comments are always welcome.

Some plans

December 15, 2018

Last night after venturing outside I came to the conclusion
some plans are better off not being made. The tail end of the
meteor showers was to occur and looked to see some but was met
with the fog. Needless to say, no meteors were spotted.

After seeing some lights to the east it was noticed the fog was
not so thick that one could not see at all. With the zoom lens
this shot came into view and reminded us once again of the
reason for the season.

The moon was flying high but visible through the fog so we
thought to give it a try. It’s not the clearest picture we’ve
taken yet couldn’t believe it wasn’t more blurry with the fog.
A little later it cleared up a little and a few stars could be
seen twinkling through.

Would have gotten more pictures if dressed for the weather but
expecting wall to wall fog I only grabbed a light jacket and
was getting cold. Just goes to show you can’t second guess
nature. It was still something to see.

When first outside with the fog I was worried that a crew of
mangy pirates would come out of this fog much like the movie.
That didn’t happen but one of the feral cats did rub against my
leg before I saw it.

Enjoy our Saturday as the weekend will be done before we know
it. Now for some coffee and a big stack of bacon.
Comments are always welcome.

Just thinking aloud

December 8, 2018

Last night I went out with camera in hand to see if I could get
a picture of the man in the moon. The clouds above told me that
wasn’t going to happen so after some walking around I came upon
the scene above.

In the age of computer powered light shows that are timed to
a musical theme this simple display calmed my soul and put a
smile on my face. Yes, it’s a simple nativity scene made up of
plastic figurines lighted from within, but it says it all about
the reason for the season.

Around here we don’t call it ‘X-Mas’ or wish others ‘Happy
Holidays’, we say ‘Merry Christmas’. If that offends someone we
will not apologize for our belief. We have noticed that all
those we have seen talking about taking God out of just about
everything take their Christmas off like the rest of us.

The people who have the display shown above have put it out
for several years and not much has changed. One year they
included a Santa Claus figure yet this year I think they nailed
it. And the timing is almost perfect. Some radio stations have
started playing Christmas music 24/7 and we watched ‘It’s A
Wonderful Life’ last night for the first time this year.

People seem to have the spirit as the stores fill with those
trying to purchase the perfect gift, the roads get more
congested, and yet the smiles are contagious. Merry Christmas!
And enjoy our Saturday as it won’t be long and Christmas will
be here.
Comments are always welcome.

Post Christmas thoughts

December 26, 2017

I know this post is late, but it’s a beautiful day and I’ve
been outside enjoying it. White fluffy love from above covers
the landscape and the temperature just hit a balmy 5 degrees.
The only downside is I have a song stuck in my head.

I’ll try the ‘Happy Birthday’ trick and that should fix the fly
in the ointment. We hope your Christmas was a special as ours
turned out to be and we heard at some stores the Valentine’s
Day displays are up. But we still have the spirit.

We even took a trip down memory lane to past winters and the
things we did in our youth. My stroll involved ice skating for
miles on frozen cricks (creeks to the city folk), and sledding
down the steep hills in the area. One particularly snowy winter
we even built and igloo in the back yard and spent hours inside
amazed that it didn’t crumble down on us.

The lady who follows me around still calls me crazy, but who
doesn’t go outside when the wind chill is below zero to take
pictures of icecicles dangling from the eaves? If that makes me
crazy I thank God he’s allowed to be me. And Him and myself
have no problem with that.

I just don’t see the sense in trying to be someone I’m not. So
enjoy our first post Christmas Tuesday as I know we are. Now, I
need more coffee as I am a quart low.
Comments are always welcome.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2017