Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Somewhat Less Than Favorite Christmas Music

Yeah, yeah, yeah.... she loves music. Big deal!
Christmas music is wonderful, I love it all except the really cheesy Alvin and the Chipmunks stuff. But there is one Christmas hymn that I have said for years that I just plain do not like. Maybe it's because it isn't really about Christmas. No Christ child, no Santa, not even a snowflake. No sleighbells ring ring ring-a-ling, jing jing jing-a-ling too.
The first three verses are sad, it's depressing, it just gives me the blues - and a Christmas hymn should not do that. It ends well, all the bells are appealing. Pealing, all the bells are pealing. There is a story to the lyrics, they were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the Civil War. Or the War Between the States, however your history book references read.

Maybe what I have never liked about it was the lack of bells. At Christmas time, there should be bells. And heavenly hosts. And shepherds. And wise men. Especially bells. In this video, the narrator tells the story of how the lyric came to be. I love the story and the choir sings some of the verses. And there are enough bells. There are two bell ringers (bellists?) whose place I would like to have. They are both men, can you guess the posts I would like to have?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Every Time A Bell Rings...

It used to was that "It's A Wonderful Life" was shown a million times every Christmas season. You could flip from one local station to another and see it. It was a classic, Christmas wouldn't be the same without it, constant reminder that 'no man is poor if he has friends'. Then the right to show the film went to NBC; they only show it twice a year. It's on right now, because it's Christmas Eve.

I recently read a review of it that talked about how sad the movie was. Poor George, settled for his high school girlfriend and never got to Paris. Stuck in his small home town for his whole life, never achieving any of his dreams. Sad, sad, sad.

Most of us recognize the vision of the film, that George's life meant something because of the unselfish choices that he made. I wonder sometimes if my life has made that much of a difference in anyone's life. I suppose we all do. With the Lord's help, I know that we can make a difference, if not in a whole town, at least in the lives of a few people.

And every time a bell rings...

Sunday, December 5, 2010


What a beautiful day to go off-roading! Crisp (freezing) cold, light snow, and a little black ice. What a treat! Driving home from church, still filled with the warm spiritual glow following great meetings and sweet testimonies. A perfect, peaceful Sabbath.
Did I mention black ice? Yeah. Driving home, a curved exit from one highway to the next and that little bit of ice on the road. Suddenly, the car is fish-tailing, Ronald darling stoically wrestling the car, trying to regain control. Then the car said, forget it, I'm outta here! and it spun right off the road and into a ditch. We came to rest with the hood of the car aiming up at the road and the back of the car resting against a chain link fence.
Alive and unhurt, what more could you ask? Next steps, get out of the car, survey the damage and call a tow truck to haul us back up to the road. Yeah. In my dreams. Ronald darling was at the wheel. He gunned the engine, back and forth until we were facing in the direction we wanted to go, but still.... down in the ditch. He began driving forward, angling toward the road, putting us at about a 45 degree angle. I casually mentioned that if the car rolled over, which I thought was a distinct possibility, I would be upset. He recognized the possibility and backed up, back into the ditch. Was he done? You don't know him vewy well, do you? LOL
He started backing up, revving the engine, trying to back up onto the road we'd left. He would get close, but not make it, and then a car would come driving around the curve. We did that about four times, until he was back up on the berm, and could drive onto the road again. We drove on home from there, about three miles. There was grass and mud and ice on the windshield and on the sides of the car.
All the rest of the way home, no problems. After we got here, THEN he checked for damage to the car. His years of excellent driving skills, a little luck and some of the Lord's tender mercies got us through another adventure. And maybe those back to back Please, please, Thank you, thank you prayers helped.
Ronald darling is a stubborn man, he's tenacious and he doesn't quit. I love that about him!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hugged By A Stranger

Have I ever mentioned that I love to eat? In addition to singing, it is one of my favorite things. And we love feeding the missionaries; we've done it for decades. When our children were growing up, we had the missionaries over every Monday, it was great!
When the nest was empty, we started taking them out - usually to an all you care to eat buffet. Recently we've been taking them to breakfast instead. Just imagine - all the bacon you can eat! Love it!!
That's where we were this morning when I saw a young sailor at the breakfast bar. Goodness knows, I love a man in uniform! I decided to buy his breakfast, but he'd already paid. What to do, what to do? I went to one of the servers, gave her the money for his meal and asked her to give it to him. Just tell him "Thank you" and pay for his meal. Well, she wanted me to watch while she gave it to him, to make sure she didn't pocket the money. A wise move on her part, I guess, so I stood back and made sure that she went to him and tapped him on the shoulder.
I didn't want to make a big deal of it and preferred to be anonymous, so I walked away. But she ratted me out! She pointed me out to the sailor. He jumped up and followed me as I walked back toward the table. He stopped me and thanked me. Of course I thanked him for his service and he gave me a big hug. Bless his heart, they make sailor's really young these days.

God bless all of you who serve in our armed forces. Thank you for your sacrifice, and a special thanks to your wives, husbands and children who support and sacrifice with you.