Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Musings

By the time most of you ... even the earliest of risers among you ... have read this, I will already have gone racing downstairs to see what Santa has left under the Christmas tree for me.

And not just for me. I’m not THAT selfish. I also like to look at the other packages ... see whose names are on them ... and try to guess what’s inside.

This is a tradition that goes back to my earliest days ... and back then we didn’t have an upstairs or downstairs ... everything, such as it was, was on the ground floor.

We weren’t among the richest people in town, but we always had a Christmas tree ... a small cedar, cut and dragged in from a nearby field ... bedecked with tinsel, carefully saved from the tree each year before its ritual burning ... and it even had some hand-me-down blinking lights on it once.

About this time each year (Christmas Eve) I began fretting a bit about whether I had been good enough ... and long enough ... to find something under the tree for me. 

Santa seemed to be forgiving ... or forgetful ... for I always found something there ... though it was never the bicycle I always dreamed of having ... but it was never a lump of coal, nor a bundle of switches, thank goodness.

Ah, those were the days! Come to think of it, so are these. For these few hours, at least, we can forget about all that other stuff our there ... and simply focus on “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”



HELEN (Florida) ... I think I saw Professor Squigglee amongst the other “Snow Birds” outside one of the big stores - it includes “mart” in its name. The only problem was that he was freezing here in Miami-Dade County along with the rest of the locals. It seems to have thawed out for the time being, and I hope he stayed long enough to enjoy it.

(Aha! So that’s where that rascal ... er, explorer-educator ... has been.)

LOREE (Kansas) ... You can keep the snow, sleet, and especially ice, in your territory. We need moisture here desperately, but I prefer the spring rains later on ... I want to plant some rose bushes, but at the rate we’re going it will require a stick of dynamite to make a hole for each one. But I suspect we have an ordinance against that! Can’t you just see the headline in the local paper? “Retired Sheriff’s Deputy arrested and currently in the county jail for illegal use of explosives, WITHOUT A PERMIT!”

(Be careful, Loree. I have this thing about LOUD NOISES ... but even more regarding BIG HEADLINES in the local paper. Meanwhile, folks, Loree had an adventure with a bargain Christmas tree that she found ... but wasn’t allowed to buy. I hope to share the details on that next week ... so please stay tuned) 


TODAY’S POEM: Regular visitors to these postings probably have noticed that the poem presented here is always mine. It’s not that I think any of my poems stand head and shoulders above those of any other writers. Far from it. My poems are often spindly, struggling little things ... a far cry from what others write.

Still, I’ve sorta built a “tradition” of sharing my stuff with you, rather than subject myself to the horrendous effort of trying to select which poem, of all the great ones others have written, I would use here.

Today I’m departing from that “tradition.” 

But first a bit of background: I first met WALT and GEN when I dropped in on a writing group at an area senior center. They were such a devoted couple, lovers of poetry, too. I am so glad our paths crossed ... and I joined that group. 

Sadly, in time, Gen became Walt’s late wife ... but she lives on in my memory ... and in the memories of many others, I’m sure.

I recently received an e-mail from Walt which contained one of his great poems ... but let’s let him share the details with us:

Just a few years back, when Gen was with me, she asked me to write a Christmas mesage that she could duplicate and send as our Christmas card.

This is what happened:

Remember when on Christmas Eve
we always wished for snow
As we watched the dying embers
in the fading fire light's glow
The Christmas tree was lighted
each ornament in place
With wild anticipation
glowing on every face
Excited, happy little ones
tumbled into bed
With dreams of many treasures
racing round their tiny heads
And jolly old St. Nicholas
working merrily
Knew exactly the proper
gifts and toys
To leave beneath our tree
Remembering the cards and letters
from friends and loved ones
far and near
Filling our hearts with gladness
love and good cheer
During this Christmas season
and all year through
We wish you health and happiness
and pleasant memories too.

                    Walt and Gen


COMMENT? Feel free ... below, if you like. 

Or if you prefer e-mail, that's fine, too ... especially for more detailed observations, to

... and it helps if you put "Squiggles" or "S&G" ... something like that ... in the subject line (just remember, no religion or politics ... please!)


Oh, and if you’d like to see what’s up with my other ... DAILY blog ... here’s a link to it:

Thanks for paying a visit.


UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!


© 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Goodbye, Old Hat

Some of you may remember last week ... and the sudden disappearance of Professor Squigglee. At least he did leave a note, “Gone Shopping” ... but now I’m beginning to wonder if that was really his handwriting.

Usually what he has written is such a scrawl that even he has trouble figuring out what it says.

This was so clear ... so easy to read ... I can’t help wondering.

Well, I went shopping, too. That’s not like me at all. Oh, I do ... on occasion, like a really rainy day, or during a horrible snowstorm ... just as a last resort, seek shelter in a nearby mall. 

And I may even do some “window shopping” there, but I usually manage to stay above the fray, for I’m not really a serious shopper, you see. I hate being bumped by shopping carts ... I don’t like being shoved aside when I’m trying to get down an aisle ... I don’t even like having someone slip past me as I’m trying to enter, and then add insult to injury by letting the door slam in my face.

But this sudden disappearance of Professor Squigglee was something else.

I was sure I would encounter him in one of the checkout lines ... or see him in the distance ... perhaps stuffing newly-purchased merchandise into the trunk of his car.



MEANWHILE ... this just in ... thanks to WALT (Ohio), via e-mail:

Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards. 

One day they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, “Now don't get mad at me ... I know we've been friends for a long time ... but I just can't think of your name! I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is.” 

Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, “How soon do you need to know?”


TODAY’S POEM - I don’t even have a picture of it (the hat that’s mentioned in today’s poem, that is). The original had never, to the best of my knowledge, sat for a portrait ... nor even had its photo snapped by someone mistaking its wearer for a celebrity.

So I had to resort to a stunt double to illustrate the poem about its plight ... and (sniffle-sniffle) mine.

The double, of course, is a younger version of the vanished one, but it's gradually becoming ... well, quite comfortable, like an old pair of shoes.

But now, the poem:


"My old brown hat is gone!"
I cried.
"When did you have it on?"
she sighed.
"This year, or last.
Time goes so fast."
"The one rumpled, crumpled,
and torn?"
"Yes, yes! Tattered, spattered,
Twenty years my best buddy ...
all that.
My oldest, dearest friend,
my hat.
Now it's gone, left no trace.
I'm wild ..."
"I'm sure it's, uh ... someplace,"
she smiled.
And, looking me straight in
the eye:
"But it was time to say

(originally published in Capper's)


See you next week? M-m-m-m-m ... that all depends.


MEANWHILE ... COMMENT? Feel free ... below, if you like. 

Or if you prefer e-mail, that's fine, too ... especially for more detailed observations, to

... and it helps if you put "Squiggles" or "S&G" ... something like that ... in the subject line (just remember, no religion or politics ... please!)


If you’d like to see what’s up with my other, DAILY blog (no, this is not my “Home Page”),  here’s a link to it:

Thanks for paying a visit.


UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!


©  2010