Tuesday, December 1, 2015

If ice storms weren’t so frightening and dangerous (please, God, don’t let the electricity go off, don’t let the trees and wires fall down,...

It usually began this time of year. On my every-Saturday-night telephone calls to my sister in New England, I would ask, “When are you coming?”...

Just think: Spring, by the calendar, is only three months hence. And isn't it sweet to have those few extra minutes of daylight each day, even though the vernal equinox still slumbers? Meanwhile, we must all endure Old Man Winter's wrath along with trying to keep warm, keep the pipes from freezing and despite having had the fireplace chimney relined several years ago, I still can't summon the courage to light a fire.

Make no mistake: down the road, we will pay for the prolonged January thaw which blessed us for so many days.

Time has a way of running out this time of year, and with horror I realized this morning - the day after Christmas - that a column had to be in by 10 a.

Twice, in early December, when glowering clouds veiled the skies so thickly that nothing was visible, I heard their song.

By now, you're getting a bit panicky. When you put last year's Christmas "away," where did you put the list with all the names of friends who get cards or gifts or coffee cakes? And what about the red and gold banners you stick on the pasture gate and the cemetery fence with green duct tape (which gives you a fit when you try to remove it come summer)? At least you remember where the rolls of red plastic ribbon are that turn the porch's white pillars into candy cane look-alikes when it is spiraled around them.

In these very troubled times - national troubles, global troubles, financial troubles, violence troubles, climate and weather troubles, energy troubles, war troubles, strike troubles, health troubles, ad infinitum - there are many families who will surely have trouble being thankful this Thanksgiving Day.

From Washington D.C., the telegram is addressed to Mr. Harry Thompson, St. Clair Avenue, East Liverpool, Ohio.

For me, Christmas morning can't hold a candle to one of these rare October dawns when the sun is not quite up and the dew is heavy on the grass and contrails play tic-tac-toe in heaven's splendid blue vault.