For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Is This Christmas?

While shopping for gifts at a well known department store I saw some unattractive and unusual Christmas decorations. There were the typical birch branch reindeer, crystal pigs wearing Santa hats, purple hippos, and other animals that are rarely used in a nativity scene. Inflatable decor with an absence of air appeared lifeless in the store display. They were the worst decorations I had ever encountered. As I walked away I wondered is this Christmas?

The church I attend has a beautiful Christmas presentation that borders on a Broadway musical. I decided to watch a YouTube snippet of a recent production. While anticipating angels and Mary there were children singing a song about Rudolph.   Suddenly Santa appeared out of the balcony in a sled and everyone  was yelling for Santa. I was not sure if I was bordering on the Grinch, but I was perplexed as I watched Santa and his sleigh come down a wire to the dancing children. Stunned I wondered is this Christmas?

I went to a dozen stores and found the busiest location was the Dollar Store.  Customers were buying the tackiest Santa hats imaginable, and I even bought a pink satin purse card holder trimmed with fur.  As I fumbled through some tin trays a customer asked me if I was worried about picking a Santa tray that might be politically incorrect. Being politically correct was the last thing on my mind as I dodged customers and little children.  As the woman walked away  I knew she was a retired teacher, had bought tins for her twin granddaughters, her  Holiday itinerary, and the  baked items she was preparing for her family party. She did mention that she passed on the cheap card holders as I tucked mine out of sight. When I threw my loot into the car I asked myself is this Christmas?

We went to a prestigious neighborhood to view a house with a multitude of lights synchronized to a variety of songs heard through a radio station. It was fascinating and I loved the music, but is this Christmas?

I watched a concert by a well known orchestra that borders on rock.  They performed an abundance of  religious Christmas songs but I was distracted by the flying hair with guitars.  It still did not move me as I admired the skilled musicians.  Shouldn't this bring a tear to my eyes if this is Christmas?

Then there was the Christmas service which was beautiful.  However the girl in front of me  kept staring at herself in her camera phone while   applying makeup and admiring herself.   I was so fascinated with her grooming technique that I had little time  to enjoy the service.  A girl to the right of me had beautiful black stockings but a gloomy look on her  face apparently wishing she was somewhere else.  I watched others as they entered and exited in various moods.  The music was lovely but it was still difficult to feel the Christmas spirit. I felt cold and uninspired.

It was just a few days before Christmas and I didn't want to decorate.   Is it possible that shopping, cooking,  gifts, decorations, and preparing for the event mask the joyful feelings of the Christmas season?  Suddenly I remembered the simple Charlie Brown Christmas story that I used to watch every year.  I played the animated story and  thought about what was missing besides my youngest son James who stayed in LA.  Like Charlie Brown I had not allowed the Christmas spirit to touch me. It was there all the time.   I just needed to be reminded and let it be a part of me. I sighed and then smiled as I realized this is Christmas?
Unto Us A Child is Born
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the govenment will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ENVY - Am I Wrong (Official Video)

North by Northwest trailer (Alfred Hitchcock)

A great film by Hitchcock.  Do we have any movie stars that are as handsome as Cary Grant?  
Eva Marie Saint is charming, mysterious and beautiful.  

Merry Christmas to Chippy Chip

Merry Christmas Chipy wherever you are.  I know you liked to help open presents and always knew which one was yours.  Love you and miss you.

Righteous Brothers - UNCHAINED MELODY - GHOST

So sorry Patrick Swayze had to go.  He was from my hometown and neighborhood.  I still can see him in a swimsuit as a lifeguard.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mom's and All They Do

In my opinion there is probably no one in the world that will ever love you as much as your parents.  They never judge you, and support you regardless of what crazy things you may do.  They tell you stories, listen for hours when needed, share laughter and tears, love your children, and pray for you.  

Even as an adult there has never been anyone other than my mother that was so concerned with my welfare.  If I needed a coat she would say, "We need to find you a coat".  She has always loved shopping, but she never picked out anything for herself.  Instead she would find countless outfits that she thought would be great for me.  She always seemed to know what I needed. 

Her basic goal was to take care of my needs in general.  If I was down she encouraged me.  If I was worried about a test she would tell me how smart I was.  If I was disappointed about a friend or a boyfriend she knew the right thing to say. She never let me down.

When I told her I had a car accident during the ice storm, she said she wished she could help me.  
She wanted to come see me, and do whatever she could to help.   That's pretty remarkable for a
90 year old lady to still be your biggest fan.  Today is her Birthday, and I am the lucky one to have
had such a great mentor and friend.
Happy Birthday to a great mom and friend!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


A female friend confided in me that a male coworker had made a derogatory comment about her that was inconsiderate and hurtful.   I explained that this man had also hurt my feelings in the past.  I had concluded that he was lacking some ethical characteristics, but claimed to be a Christian.

She was disappointed that this man proclaimed Christianity, but fell short on integrity.  I had seen examples in him that did not exemplify the type of person that one would hope to encounter while touting the virtues of Christianity.

Being a Christian does not result in the perfect person.  None of us have all the desirable qualities. We hope that our friends, family, and coworkers do not hide behind a cloak of perfection only to show us a darker side.  There is always tomorrow, and the hope that we all become better men.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Robin Gibb (Bee Gees) Funeral A Final Farewell (1/2) - I Started A Joke ...

Mother Teresa Quote

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Getting Older

The taste of "sweet tea" was still in my mouth, and I decided to stop at  a fast food restaurant for a coke.  I told my mom that I wpuld be stopping and did she want anything.  "No, no, no, I do not want anything because I have plenty of Cokes and Dr. Pepper's in the refrigerator."

Nothing was open on Thanksgiving Day except for Jack In The Box.  My mom said, "How long will this take?"  I realized she had not been to a drive through restaurant in 20 years.  She immediately got testy and wanted to know what was taking so long.  I told her the two cars in front of us were ordering and then have to get their food. She got more agitated. "What are we doing just sitting here", she says.  It was taking a long time. She continued to complain and said.,"I think they are eating their food in the car." It made me laugh. My conclusion was once a Type A personality, always a Type A personality.  We never change even if we are almost a 100 years old.

Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) - official video

Quotes from "The Book Thief"

"The Book Thief" is an incredible story, and is beautifully written by Markus Zusak,  The narration is by Death.  The main character is a girl named Leisel,  and the story of her trials and tribulation during the time period of Nazi Germany.    

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” 
 Markus Zusak, The Book Thief