Three Weeks Until Christmas

MJ and I have been busy this past few days. Although I think that is life for most of us during the holiday season! Christmas is my favorite time of the year and it seems to come around more rapidly each year. It appears to me that from Thanksgiving week until Christmas is a long period…until I live through it and then I realize’ that it is over in the blink of an eye! As I close in on my 10 year anniversary of being retired I know that it is vital to have a schedule and a purpose for each day of the miracle of life! The more I remain physically engaged and mentally active…the happier I am! The holidays bring an increased awareness for me, each year…and a focus on where I have been and where I would like to go.

Better days are ahead for us! This Christmas Season brings us the blessing of the welcome news that the United Kingdom is going to begin vaccinating some of their citizens next week…and that there are two pharmaceutical companies that have developed Covid-19 vaccinations that are 95% effective…and that there should be FDA approval on December 10th. The name of the boy that is hidden under the cape of the Ghost of Christmas Present is ‘Ignorance’ and the Girl is named ‘Want’ in the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. The children are emaciated. This year we can rise above ignorance and do our best to ameliorate want…

All politics are local…we have been told. Also, want and fear and ignorance…are local if we choose to endeavor to lift the heavy burden of our neighbors. Jesus explained to us; ‘ For I was hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, when saw we then hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty and gave thee drink? When saw we a stranger and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ KJV Matthew 25: 35-40

Cyndy Green, my assistant of many years, would decorated our offices at Building Services in a jovial and festive adornment of Christmas Trees and Santa’s and Holly and Ivy… Cyndy is one of the most pleasant people that I have ever known! Her holiday exuberance was a vital addition to our Christmas joy! It was the happiest time of the year…where we all took a moment to reflect on how blessed that we were to work at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…and to appreciate the special people that were our colleagues! We took a pause to reflect on how quickly our careers were whisking by us…and subsequently our lives. When you are working…your work life is inextricably connected to your home life! Happiness at one usually equals happiness at the other…

One of my first Building Services Christmas Parties was held at Muckelroy Auditorium in the Agriculture building. Joe Mayer was my supervisor and he cautioned me to beware of the coffee urn on the right as it was spiked…heavily…and he knew that I was a christian and probably did not want to imbibe alcohol… The auditorium was full and there was Mr. O’Hara, Superintendent of Building Services, and he was like the president of the university for me…he had hired me! As the dinner progressed…in walked Vice President Dougherty, who we all called ‘Doc’, and Mr. Tony Blass who was the Director of the Physical Plant. Doc went to each person in the room…including me…and asked our names and told us how he appreciated our work and wished each of us a Merry Christmas. I was throughly impressed! I wanted to be like…’Doc!’

I came from a place where no one seemed to know me or care about my welfare…other than my precious mother… MJ and I spoke with a car sales person the other day and I appreciated the kind demeanor that he had and the sales training that he had obviously received…as I received the same…so many years ago… I reflected on the wonderful gifts that God has given our family…and I was humbled that I had not done more to pass on what we had received…

2 responses

  1. Happy holidays πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽβ›„

    1. Thank you, my friend. Happy Holidays to you! πŸŽ„

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