The Buck Stops Here
Time for random holiday thoughts through the medium of three-dot journalism.
My wife and I have laughed for years about this, because what else can you do?
It seems that every year during the holidays, one or both of our cars break down and we have to cut into the Christmas budget to fix it.
This has happened so many times that we now refer to it as a Christmas tradition.
Consequently, I’m probably getting a homemade CD and maybe a pair of slippers for Christmas
My Toyota has already received early presents of a new water pump and timing chain. I hope my car enjoys the gifts, but I’ve had enough of the tradition.
My dog, Stanley Frank Musial — affectionately known as Stanley — was also recently dealt some yuletide doldrums in the form of ice.
Stanley routinely chases us down the road when we leave and the last snow didn’t stop him.
Because of the slippery white stuff, we couldn’t go the 27 mph speed needed to leave him behind and he was running with us almost all the way out to the blacktop.
But then the snow on the road turned to ice, and Stanley learned about traction the hard way.
One morning when my son and I were heading out to work, Stanley came running down the hill as usual for his daily sprint.
When he hit the ice he started slipping and sliding all over the place, fell on his rear about three times and almost skidded under my wheels at one point.
He finally stopped and ambled back home, a defeated harrier.
The next morning he came running down the hill when we left, but he stopped hard and short in the driveway before we reached the road.
This is a dog who knows his limitations, although some times I wonder.
I just had my annual argument with my son about getting a fake Christmas tree.
He and his brother have bugged me for years to get a faux tree, so that we don’t have to annually pay or go out in the forest to cut one down.
Call me a sappy old man, but there shall never be a fake Christmas tree in my house, no sir.
To me, a fake Christmas tree personifies the crass commercialization of Christmas and looks like what it is; a funky set of plastic pieces often adorned in a hideous white sheen of something pretending to be snow.
I want my fingers to get sticky, to vacuum up needles from the floor and smell pine when I walk into the room.
I don’t want to look at the same, fake, ugly, devoid of character Christmas tree every year.
Maybe my kids have wanted the fake Christmas tree because they were sick of me dragging them out into the snow to cut down a real one when they were young and we lived in the forest.
That’s one psychosomatic problem I foisted on them they’ll just have to get over.
There will be no fake Christmas tree in my house, in my lifetime, period.
This isn’t exactly holiday related, but I owe this reverent apology to Louisiana City Council member Russell Stephens.
I recently wrote in a column that Stephens reads the invocation, or prayer, before every council meeting.
As he pointed out to me, he never reads the invocation. They are spontaneous, unrehearsed prayers that are extemporaneously delivered off the top of his head and heart.
Stephens doesn’t use notes or a teleprompter. The invocations are all his, every word.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays and Happy New Year to all.