dual personalities

Month: December, 2015

All the people said Amen*

Tonight is New Year’s Eve. We are going to a party at our old neighbors’ house where everyone has permission to leave at 12:02 a.m. We will all be up way past our bedtimes.

We will ring out the old year and ring in the new: 2016 already? you say. I know.

I had some goals in 2015. I made some serious progress towards them. No, I didn’t reach them, but I’m okay with that.

That basement clean up/organization may never be finished exactly, but it’s in much better shape than it was. Perhaps I can light a fire under the OM and he will pick up where he stalled. Perhaps I will just start shredding…

Anyway, Happy New Year to y’all and good luck to all of us in flyover floodville. As we say here: “Turn around, don’t drown!”

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*Matt Maher

Time to remember

It’s that time of year when TCM puts together their memorial to all those movie people who died during the year. Here’s the 2015 video:

Now that you have watched the whole thing, I know you are wondering who James Best was.

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I know I was.

Well, according to Wikipedia, he was an American actor–originally from Kentucky–who usually played the third cowpoke from the left in television westerns and films.

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You also might remember him as Andy’s friend, Jim Lindsey on the The Andy Griffith Show. He had kind of an Everly Brother vibe, and–fun fact–the Every Brothers were James Best’s uncles.

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Over a six-decade career, he is sadly best remembered as the hapless Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard.

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Well, now you know who James Best was. Rest easy.

The party’s over

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“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Only Noah saw it coming

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Ugh. It has been raining for two solid days. Intense puddling.

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And face masking.

Rainiest December on record. Rainiest year on record.

Daughter #1 is on her way back to NYC. Daughter #2 heads back tomorrow.

Onward and upward.

A Merry Christmas, indeed!

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. All our travelers and last minute purchases arrived on cue, including nine Amazon packages delivered all together in one giant sack — just like Santa.

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All my pictures are blurry. At first it was due to general sleepiness. We aren’t perky in the morning.

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Then laughter set in.

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I hit my steadiness peak around sherry time,

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but did not manage to produce anything remotely in focus after that. Draw whatever conclusions you will, but we were actually quite civilized.

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Pleased as man with us to dwell

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“The nativity mystery “conceived from the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary,” means, that God became human, truly human out of his own grace. The miracle of the existence of Jesus, his “climbing down of God” is: Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary! Here is a human being, the Virgin Mary, and as he comes from God, Jesus comes also from this human being. Born of the Virgin Mary means a human origin for God. Jesus Christ is not only truly God, he is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us, he is like us.”

–Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline

Merry Christmas!

“Hey, unto you a child is born!”*

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But as far as I’m concerned, Mary is always going to look a lot like Imogene Herdman – sort of nervous and bewildered, but ready to clobber anyone who laid a hand on her baby. And the Wise Men are always going to be Leroy and his brothers, bearing ham. When we came out of the church that night it was cold and clear, with crunchy snow underfoot and bright, bright stars overhead. And I thought about the Angel of the Lord – Gladys, with her skinny legs and her dirty sneakers sticking out from under her robe, yelling at all of us everywhere: ‘Hey! Unto you a child is born!’

Happy Christmas Eve. We are going to the early service this afternoon which includes the Pageant. It always reminds me of the book by Barbara Robinson and takes me back to my own Christmas Pageant experiences at school. How well I remember going to the Inn to ask for a room and my friend Trudy Glick turning me away. We had a moment where we nearly burst into nervous laughter, but we didn’t.  I sang a tremulous solo to my wife Mary. The Angel of the Lord fainted…or was that a Wise Man?

Keep the faith!

*Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; the painting is by N.C. Wyeth.

All she wants to do is dance

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Tradition says we must play 1980s 45s and dance at Christmastime. Who are we to mess with tradition?

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“He saw clearly how plain and simple – how narrow, even – it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one’s existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.” (Kenneth Graham, The Wind in the Willows)

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Hope you are enjoying your countdown to Christmas! Try to slow it down and enjoy the simple things.

What fun it is to laugh and sing

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Phew! The weekend was crammed full of holiday fun. Haven’t had time to distill it all yet. But in case you didn’t know, DIY photo props are the newest thing. More on that tomorrow.