Monthly Archives: December, 2020

A Brown Sugar and Butter Year Ahead!

So this is the big day and the last day of 2020. At this time in 2019 many of us were excited to be entering the Roaring 20’s! We did not know what was in store for us. Of course that is the constant condition of life, but we have good reason to believe that we are going to be able to extricate ourselves from the Grim Reaper Grip of the Pandemic. Indeed I have experienced in 63 years that some years are better than others. An open door is before us…and we will walk through it. Being an extreme lover of all things that are related to Christmas I vowed one year to think about the holiday each day and attempt to develop a feel for how long it felt like from one Christmas to the next. I was amazed at how rapidly the days and weeks and months did fly! As I have reached the Golden Years I have reflected on how short life is…and how much of it we fritter away on ephemera.

Common refrains that can be heard are; ‘I hope to travel when I retire,’ or perhaps ‘I will spend more time with my kids just as soon as I get caught up with work.’ Life is going on while I am writing this Blog Post. Life is happening all around you while you are reading the words that I wrote. We are all in an immersion experience that is not going to suddenly become ‘heavenly’ or ‘hellish’ without our active participation. Our New Year will be the 1st year of the rest of our lives!

Peace and joy and happiness are not contained in the big events of life. Certainly major happenings tend to be mile markers indicating where we have been and where we are going…but the joy of living is in the mundane and routine. Planning for a lovely vacation is exciting and inspirational…it is as significant to trust that you have the health sufficient to enjoy the pleasant work of travel… Our family has traveled on numerous occasions to visit Ron and Ira Kaye at Destin. There are a multitude of things to do in this tourist Mecca…but there is nothing that I enjoy more than watching the magic majestic allure of the ocean as it preforms its endless waves of natural beauty.

MJ and I were talking earlier about the effect you can have by being nice and kind to those you interact with. A kind word makes my day. When another human is empathetic toward me and is friendly…I feel better. I think that one of the greatest tools to make 2021 special for each of us it to treat each other like we want to be treated. Rather that being proud or boastful of how we told someone off or ‘read them the riot act’…why not apply a little brown sugar and butter to their sweet potato?

2020 In Our Rearview Mirror

Christmas Day was the coldest that I could remember. The chill factor was 0 degrees. Jonathon had been telling me for a few weeks that I was going to be surprised by one of my gifts. Laughing Santa has returned to my home after a 40 year absence. Jonathon had purchased for me a Laughing Santa, made in the 1950’s by the Gund Company…and he is an exact replica of the one that I had in my youth at Chicago, Illinois. Then I received a BaronFig Brass pen and pen holder. Finally, Aaron brings out of the closet a lovely bottle of Belvedere Vodka…and I was a happy 63 year old!

Saturday brought us our dear family, Ira Kaye and Ron, and our celebration of their 8 year anniversary. They bore gifts of the most delicious cheeses and treats and wine…and fun and laughter… We spoke of an upcoming visit to Destin, Florida in May…and our hope for better days. Laughing Santa looked on with mirthful approval!

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Sunday brought my decision to visit the emergency room regarding the calf of my right leg …which had been swelling significantly for most of the Pandemic. It cycled between better to worse…but worse was winning. When I was placed in a bed…quickly…and the emergency room nurses began to gather as if they had not seen such a magnificent specimen of a leg before…I knew that I was in the right place. In any case after many tests MJ and I, as well as Aaron and Jonathon, were relieved to discover that it was a skin infection that could be treated with antibiotics with no internal problems. After 6 bags of intravenous antibiotics and a night in the hospital…my leg is much better. I have been waiting for Covid 19 to subside…I should not have waited so long. I frightened MJ…the boys…and for that there is no excuse. MJ asked me why I had waited so long to visit the doctor when I had sat with her for her doctors appointments in St. Louis. I said that for her I would do anything and I thought that my medical issues could wait. I had the most wonderful nurses and the one that cared for me in the emergency room was gifted in removing fear and bringing joy! I enjoyed my second Covid test in less that two weeks, and it was the one that uses two swabs and the second one goes deep into the nasal cavity…it feels like you may have felt when you go swimming and get water up your nose.

2020 has been a year of uncertainty and fear and sadness. Many people, especially older, have been putting off their medical needs due their fear of contracting the virus and possibly dying. Yet, throughout all of the dimness and darkness of the first year of our new decade…there are leaders walking in front of us who are shinning a light for us to follow the winding path out of our current morass… When I was in the process of being transferred up-stairs to the 4th floor for my nights stay in the hospital Dr. Kumar asked me why I had waited so long to come to the emergency room. I responded that I was afraid of Covid and the possibility of dying…until I considered that I could die of an infected leg at home. He laughed and said that although my leg probably would not have killed me…since they would just cut it off…it still would not be a good outcome. I retorted that I could brag that I had survived Covid and had given a leg in the process. Humor helps in stressful times!

Tommy’s Christmas Transformation

Christmas Carolers were singing ‘Good King Wenceslas’ next to the 15 foot brilliantly lit statue of Santa Claus that stood in front of the bank on the Eldorado town square. Just down the street the Orpheum Theatre’s marquee was aglow with the Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’ Shoppers were scurrying in and out of the Ben Franklin Dime Store and P.N. Hirsch Department Store. Tommy was walking with his mother along the colorfully festooned streets and thinking about what fun he had experienced when Chet had asked him to join the other members of the class in decorating the Christmas Tree. Marilyn’s singing had been wonderful and his pal, Chet, along with his friends, Parker and Porter, had made him feel as if he was a appreciated member of the class…something that he had not felt before. Tommy had been born with an unusual curvature of his spine and had to wear a back brace. Due to the many corrective surgeries that he had undergone he had been held back in school for 2 years. Tommy had learned to read when he was 4 years old and he devoured books…many above his age group. During Christmastide he read a Christmas Carol and Mark Twain’s ‘A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’ Court.’

C.P. Burnet came out of the front door of the bank that was named after him and he saw Tommy and his mother listening to the carolers. ‘Tommy…my good man…would you do me a huge favor and read the Christmas Story at my church’s Pageant, tonight? Now Tommy had not been accustomed to being asked to be in the spotlight for any event that he could ever remember…and he said yes with a wide grin on his face!

Mr. Burnett walked up to the microphone at First Presbyterian Church in Eldorado. ‘I have a special treat for you this evening to conclude our Christmas Pageant. My good friend Tommy has graciously agreed to read the Christmas Story for us,’ Mr.Burnett said. Tommy slowly walked up the steps leading to the place where the pastor customarily stands for his Sunday Sermons. Tommy walked with the aid of two canes and took a significant amount of time ascending the 6 steps. Then…he began to read… ‘He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from who men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has born our grief and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth…’ Silence hung in the holiday air of the First Presbyterian Church…then Tommy said…now for the Christmas Story…’

‘And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flock at night. And the angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger.’

Tommy walked slowly down the steps and into the congregation as they all surrounded him…with tears in their eyes…and wonder and awe at the power of his delivery. After sometime Mr. Burnett came up to Tommy’s mother and asked where he was… ‘Tommy is gone…for now,’ his mother said. ‘But…Mary…where has he gone…he will need assistance to walk very far…’ Mary responded, ‘He has gone to be with his father…he knows how to care for him…’

Two Little Lost Lonely…Souls

Excitement and anticipation permeated the classroom! Mrs. Kittinger’s first grade class was bubbling over with the joys of Christmas. Today was the day to trim the Christmas Tree and they had each brought ornaments from home to make the tree their very own creation. Parker had several glass ornaments that looked very old. She told Chet and Porter that her mom had told her that they were Victorian and that she must be very careful with them and be sure that she hung each of them herself. Then she smiled and told her best friends that they could help her! Chet had tinsel to hang on the tree…and he had a lot of it. Porter had his GI Joes and Daniel Boone who looked like the actor Fess Parker, who portrayed Daniel Boone on TV. He also brought his action figures, Johnny West and Chief Cherokee and even Stony the soldier…whose legs did not bend. Porter’s plan was to create a western Christmas scene…and a World War II Christmas Scene under the live fir tree. It was Tuesday, December 22, 1962…and school was going to be dismissed early tomorrow and not be back in session until after New Year’s Day.

Soon everyone…or almost everyone was busily bustling around the Christmas Tree and all were talking at once. Chet mentioned to his friends that Marilyn and Tommy were sitting in the back two corners of the classroom and seemed sad. Parker proceeded back to Marilyn and Chet and Porter headed for Tommy. Marilyn was a pretty blond headed little girl that always seemed to want to enter into activities and fun…but did not know how to make the first step. When her classmates would speak to her she would smile and look away from them. On the first day of 1st grade…Marilyn had been so nervous that she had a accident…and from there all seemed to progress downhill. Her clothes always looked brand new and her mother sat with her at recess and lunch and brought her to the classroom door each morning and was waiting for her beloved daughter at the close of the school day. Porter had noticed that even when her mom would take her hand that Marilyn would smile and look away from her mother. Tommy sat with his mouth open for most of the day. Sometimes he drooled…and sometimes he fell asleep in class. Unlike Marilyn…Tommy seemed unkempt and had a odor about him that was somewhat unpleasant. Chet talked with Tommy everyday and Tommy loved to see Chet. He laughed and said, ‘How are you Buddy?’ Chet asked Tommy to come and help him decorate the Christmas Tree and Tommy replied that most of the kids did not like him and so he did not want to upset them this close to Christmas. Chet responded, ‘You are my best friend and there is no one that I would rather decorate a tree with or celebrate Christmas with…than you!’ Tommy laughed and jumped out of his desk chair and looked like he had been reborn!

Marilyn took Parker’s hand and slowly walked back to the holiday festivities as she smiled and looked down at the floor. Parker told Marilyn that her mom had sent some old Victorian ornaments with her to decorate the tree and that she had told her to not let anyone place them on the tree but her…but that she wanted Marilyn to help her…and Chet and Porter shook their heads in agreement. As Parker and Marilyn were hanging the ornaments…Parker told her that she had overheard her singing in Music Class and that she had a beautiful voice. Marilyn began so sing, ‘Away in a manger no crib for his bed. The little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head. The Stars in the sky looked down where he lay…the little Lord Jesus…asleep in the hay.’ Then…the entire class began to sing, ‘The cattle are lowing The poor baby wakes But little Lord Jesus No crying he makes I love Thee, Lord Jesus Look Down from the sky And stay by my side ‘Til morning is nigh…’ Mr. Skelton, The Music teacher stuck his head in the first grade classroom and began to lead the class in the last verse of the song, ‘Be near me Lord Jesus , I ask thee to stay Close by me forever, and love me I pray Bless all the dear children, in thy tender care And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.’ Marilyn looked into Parker’s eyes and smiled as a tear coursed down her cheek…

‘Bless all the dear children…’

The Longest Night — The Jazz Man

Fifty-nine degrees on the first day of winter. Very pleasant compared to what it could be…and will be in the future. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest night in the year. Contrary to what almost everyone says regarding being lovers of long days and short nights…I must disagree! I worked evenings and nights for much […]

The Longest Night — The Jazz Man

Christmas For Boris

December 20 was staring back at Boris as he gazed at the calendar. He had awakened believing that it was Christmas Day. When his mom informed him that it was almost time for church and that he had overslept…he scurried to get his shower and prepare for Zoom Church! You see, dear reader, Boris had been attending Zoom Church since last march of 2020…when the pandemic reared its ugly head in the United States. Boris and his best friend Rocky had been talking of little else for the entire month of December. He had made a study of the brightly wrapped gifts that were under their Christmas Tree. There were large ones and small ones and some that rattled like something was broken on the inside of them. Boris tried not to shake these as vigorously as the others! Rocky reported that he believed that two of the gifts that he was going to receive were of Jake and Elwood…or better known as the Blues Brothers. Rocky had found the rare action figures at Electric Larry’s in Carbondale. Now Electric Larrys was a Emporium for the nerd and the geek among us…and of course for Boris and Rocky… Boris was desiring a set of Star Trek Bobbleheads consisting of all of the Captains of the Starship Enterprise…through out television history…beginning with Captain Kirk! Rocky had his heart set on an action figure of Quentin Tarantino’s character of Mr. Brown in the movie ‘Reservoir Dogs.’

Natasha met the boys at E.L..’s. She was searching for Vintage Garments…and Larry had an abundance! She also enjoyed Antique Comics and had quite a collection of Superman editions. When they saw Natasha they noticed that she had on her knee boots and Mod Cap… Boris’s mom often referred to Natasha as a ‘Pip’ and Boris always wondered what that title meant. Natasha told Boris and Rocky that she had seen Pinkus yesterday and that he had told her that his family, of which was him and his mom, would not be exchanging gifts this year. He went on to say that his mom had lost her waitress position at S & B’s Burgers when they had closed due to the pandemic. Pinkus mom had been able to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table…and she usually spent more than she had for Pinkus on Christmas. She had been looking for work but the hospitality industry had ground to a halt due to the forced closures coming from fear of Covid spread… Pinkus and his mom were living at the Good Samaritan Homeless Shelter…and at least they were not cold or hungry like they had been in November.

Boris proclaimed that he had an idea! He and Rocky and Natasha rushed to their homes and each retrieved 3 Christmas gifts that were addressed to them from under their Christmas Trees. Then he said…let us readdress them to Pinkus and his Mom and ask them to join us for Christmas? Boris then thought that a real Christmas gift would be for he and his mom and dad to invite them to stay with them until they could get on their feet…after all they had a 12 room house and several of the rooms they seldom entered… Natasha and Rocky went to Good Samaritan House and invited Pinkus and his mom, Mary, to come to Boris house as they were going to be their guests until life improved. Mary wept tears of joy when she heard the words of love and concern…and she had not even seen the gifts…yet…

Boris dad, who was called Bullwinkle, was a small man with a big heart. When Bullwinkle heard about the plan that had been devised by Boris and Rocky and Natasha…he not only said that Mary and Pinkus were welcome…but that he would help Mary get a job with Southern Illinois University…as he still knew some people there… Pinkus danced and sang a song of joy, ‘No one will call me poor little Pinkus…anymore!’

Boris and Rocky and Natasha were all smiles Christmas morning. The look of happiness on Pinkus and Mary’s face were priceless… And Boris still received his Russian Nesting Doll of Boris Yeltsin and all of the other leaders of Russian…increasingly small and inside of Yeltsin…and Boris said…’What a Country!’ And it was a gift from Electric Larry’s Emporium…

Photo by cottonbro on

Santa Comes to Eldorado

Porter and Chet were excited about the infinite possibilities that awaited them as Christmas was only 1 week away. They had patiently awaited the magical day all year long. As they spoke with Parker, at lunch, they discovered that Santa had confided in her that he was going to personally visit each of their homes on Christmas Eve…and not let the elves slide down their chimneys…as he sometimes did… Now the personal visit of St. Nick was vitally important in 2020 as all of the Christmas decorations had vanished and the 15 foot tall 3 dimensional Santa that stood proudly in front of the bank…and the beautiful Christmas wreaths that were strung along the town square from one side of the street to the other…had vanished. Why, even when you met your neighbor on the street and greeted them with a hearty and full of holiday Christmas cheer proclamation of..Merry Christmas…they responded with ‘Bah Humbug’…and so it goes. Parker had drawn a majestic Santa Claus and colored it with red and green and it looked quite festive! She placed her art on the bulletin board in the 3rd grade classroom…and today it was nowhere to be found! Chet had attempted to sing ‘Good King Wenceslas’ for the annual Christmas Pagent…and someone turned off his microphone! Porter’s mom, Neva, baked Christmas Coffee Cake for his class Christmas Party…but when he began to pass the the sweet confection out…he pulled out turnips from the Holiday Bag… Christmas was in trouble…

Eldorado was hurting from the 2020 pandemic. Many of the citizens of the small rural community that boasted of having a population of 5,000 friendly people and one old sore head…had become ill with the virus…and some had passed away… Some churches had closed for the safety of their parishioners and other had stayed, stubbornly, open…and beseeched their congregation to stay strong and trust in God…and to not give up their freedom to the will of the Governor! Chet noted that he had tried to find the usual Christmas movies on television and when he could find none he had looked for his Christmas LP’s of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole…and Burl Ives…and they had disappeared also… As former President Jimmy Carter had told the nation…many years ago…there was a malaise covering the country. And then came Santa…

Santa arrived in Eldorado on December the 18th…a week before Christmas! Porter found him fast asleep in the Lazy Boy recliner in their living room. When Porter shook the sleepy old elf…awake…he rubbed him eyes and asked, ‘Porter…are you ready to help me save Christmas?’ Porter responded that not only was he ready but so where Parker and Chet. Santa said, ‘We begin in the morning!’

Saturday brought a cold and windy morning…with holiday shoppers looking for Christmas gifts for their family and friends…but they had forgotten the importance of the event or the joy of the Season. Santa stood where the 15 foot 3 dimensional Santa had stood in front of the bank and began to utter his famous, ‘HO Ho Ho…Merry Christmas!’ Cars stopped in the middle of the road…as the drivers exited and made their way towards the rotund man in the red suit…with a little pipe in his mouth. Suddenly there was Mrs. Claus…better known as CC…along with Elvira the Elf. Pierre Noel told the continually gathering crowd that Christmas had not been canceled and that 2021 was going to be a much better year! CC proclaimed that Santa had gifts for everyone and a special blankett of Christmas Peace and Love and Good Cheer! Elvira said for everyone to wear their masks and to be especially kind to each other… Similar to an ocean wave…everyone began to smile and greet each other with a ‘Happy Christmas’ or a gift for the person that was standing next to them…tears of joy were in everyone’s eyes! Immediately the 15 foot Santa statue re-appeared behind Santa! Parker said, ‘Look…the Christmas Wreaths have come back!’ Porter reached down in his sack of turnips and brought out a delicious piece of Christmas Coffee Cake for Parker and Chet and for everyone around them!

On the Saturday before Christmas the people of Eldorado began to believe again!

Photo by Jill Wellington on

Yuletide Magic

Christmas has always fascinated me with its transformative power. Life takes on a misty prism of red and green and somewhat of a halt in daily strife and turmoil. I was at Walmart the other day and the friendly cashier wished me Merry Christmas. I wished her the same and I thought what a more peaceful world we would live in if we each took the time to wish each others the best..each time that we met. Statistics have shown that there is more food given to the hungry at this time of year and more shelter provided for the homeless during the holiday season. It hurts our conscience and our spirit of recognizing the birth of Jesus…to think that we turned away from those who are food insecure and those who are cold and who are sleeping rough… There is a feel good feeling to considering the poor among us at this time of universal gift giving. Why…even Congress may finally send us some small relief from our poverty and hunger and lack of coat or cloak or blanket as a buffer from the cold… and the devastation of the Coronavirus!

How does it feel when you are the person who is walking when seemingly all others are riding? What thoughts go through a persons head and what do they see when they look into the mirror and witness their emaciated reflection staring hollowed eyed…back at them? As you shiver outside of a local five star restaraunt…and you sit on the cold and hard sidewalk waiting for anyone to give you a dollar for a McDonalds hamburger? It is so easy to talk a good game…but to walk away when the need is directly in front of your eyes…

Scrooge’s transformation is legendary! Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ inspires us to rise from the darkness that is part of us…and to choose to follow the light of the angels… What if the poorly clad and cold and hungry among us…are angels… Perhaps the inconvenient and embarrassing and shunned in our midst…are Christ…looking for a place to be born?

Permission is granted to be more loving and caring and considerate of our fellow human travelers during Christmas time. It is an integral component of the ethos of the season. The warm and fuzzy emotions that captivate our heart become inclusive to those members of society that we do not often think of. We seek how to close our year and make amends for our thoughtlessness and lack of time for…the needy that are under our nose…365 days a year…

When I consider the blessings that I have received I know that I am neither worthy, by my own merit, nor one of those who did it on my own…or as the famous crooner, Frank Sinatra sand, ‘I did it my way!’ MJ and I worked hard…but a Guardian Angel was always at our sides! I vividly recall our first Christmas as a married couple! Christmas 1978 was a golden time for us! We had married in March of 78′ and had proceeded to experience extremely difficult times, financially, until October of that year. That is when I was hired as a Building Service Worker I @ Physical Plant Building Services on October 10th. On October 25th we purchased our first new automobile. A two door LTD. It seemed like a Lincoln Continental to me… As we drove to my mom and step-dad’s house in Eldorado, Illinois on Christmas Eve…I felt like that we were finally in the game of life! We could support ourselves and purchase enough groceries to feed ourselves and soon to buy our first home. We had a beautiful landscape painting in our, spacious, backseat, of our massive LTD…for mom. I had worked hard since the time that I had graduated from Eldorado High School…but I had never made any significant money…I felt like a hard working bum! But, I did not feel like a bum on Christmas Eve of 1978…I had a new job that turned into my career and I had money for modest Christmas gifts…and a glow of the magic of Christmas!

I stood in silence as the Ghost of Christmas present sang to us at the Fox Theatre! He sang of the joys of Christmas and of his visit with Mr. Scrooge and his performance lifted my spirits to what I call…a Christmas Experience… I saw a little boy in Chicago…and a young man with a new wife and 2 little boys named Aaron and Jonathon…and a 63 year old man…who is still mesmerized by the magic of Christmas…


There is a chance of snow tonight. That has become somewhat of a big deal in Little Egypt. I remember as a child in Eldorado, Illinois and walking to school through 6 foot snow drifts… Oh…perhaps they were not always 6 foot drifts but we did have more snow in our neck of the woods than we do now. I recall several days of single digit temperatures and some days that were below 0! We had a coal furnace in more than one of the homes that I lived in during my youth. The Coal Man would deliver our coal and we preferred anthracite coal over bituminous coal…because it burned cleaner and hotter. When we moved to the country it was my job to retrieve the coal each evening when I arrived home from school. Now this was at least an hour later than the conclusion of school due to my riding the school bus…and during this time of year it could be rather dark. The coal room that was adjacent to the garage…was dark. I often took a flashlight to determine the burnable coal from the clinkers…and on the rare occasion the evidence of the cats that made the darkened and private facility their toilet… In this house, that my mom and step-father lived in until his death, we had a coal stove just off to the kitchen. In order to facilitate the heating of our 6 room home…we had to stoke the coal fire to a red hot glow! In those early days of my christian experience I had a practice of reading my Bible every evening at the kitchen table. The pages of my Bible would curl up at the corners due to the extreme heat.

My Christmas joy was heightened this afternoon when I walked the Campus Woods path and discovered that there are more ornaments now than there were before Scrooge absconded with the first batch! It is a Christmas Miracle! Each day of Advent…is Christmas to me! When I walk the woods path and see the Christmas ornaments placed lovingly on the trees…I feel the hope for a better tomorrow! The holiday season always reminds me that there is never enough time… My father-in-law, Berl Hickam, told me on a regular basis, ‘Jay…you will never have enough time to do everything that you want to do.’ Berl was right! During Christmastide I think about where I have been…and where I want to go. My life is a tapestry that I reflect on. I truly believe that each of us is a mixture of darkness and light…the challenge is to journey towards the light…

I was reading a review of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ earlier. The reviewer noted that the famous animation took a complex look at the Christmas Season. There was a melancholy theme to the program with Charlie Brown feeling depressed by the commerciality of the Christmas Season. Sent to purchase an aluminum Christmas Tree…he finds a forlorn small fir tree that the group decorates into a lovely Christmas Tree by adorning it with beautiful ornaments. I think I see the little Charlie Brown Christmas fir tree each time that I walk through Campus Woods and observe the wonderful Christmas ornaments that my fellow campus woods walkers have placed on the, sometimes, small and unnoticed little trees… There is a bit of a ‘Blue Christmas’ for each of us that have lived for sometime. A hidden melancholy colors our emotions and thoughts during this joyous time. We remember happy Christmas memories…and we recall sad events that have happened during this special time of year. Many of our friends and neighbors have lost loved ones to Covid-19…many of us are out of work…many of us are food insecure. When we see Christmas we see the little sad and lowly fir tree with the bent branches and falling needles. Perhaps with God’s help and the love of others….we can visualize the transformed Christmas Tree…with the hopeful ornaments of faith and trust and peace…

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on

Good News! — The Jazz Man

Darkness has clouded our horizon for much of 2020. I recall, as if it were yesterday, our church board meeting in the beginning of this year and voting to close our church to public meetings…perhaps until Easter. We had a May holiday planned to visit Maine…that in late February I thought we might be able […]

Good News! — The Jazz Man