And a good Saturday morning to you, on this, the last full week before Christmas. Yesterday I got our gift package for Austin ready for shipping. I am amazed how the ‘professionals’ do it; a strip of tape here and there and all is perfectly secure. Me? I think that before I felt all would be safe and sound on the long journey, I had expended half a roll of packing tape—and am still worried.

Mother Nature has an Aunt, Aunt Gaia and they are both still firmly in control. Yesterday afternoon Jason, Marin, and I drove the 100-miles to Columbus. No issues. Last evening with the temperature sticking at 30 the rains moved in. Overnight all was a sheet of ice and the news reported literally hundreds of wrecks. Now, six AM, the temperature has risen to a majestic 38; the iced roads turned wet, and currently are quickly drying. All is back to being ‘hunky-dory’. ‘Mother’ and ‘Aunt’ just flexed their muscles a bit.

What does all of this mean? Simply stated, I can sit here, on the corner of Chaos & Mayhem, peck away peacefully on these Ramblings and enjoy my morning coffee without Police, Fire, and EMT blaring by. Life is good. Thank you ladies.

“ Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.”~ Johnny Carson

Our Goodbye – Jason organized, I was invited, and grandson Marin agreed to come, and so we drove the hour-and-a-half to the State Capitol to give final respects to former Astronaut, US Senator, and National hero; John Glenn.

The line of people snaking through the marked lines in the Capitol building was never ending. The moment after we had gone through security we had to detour; the Glenn family had entered the building and security requirements took over.

For the three of us it was a good moment in time, and I was proud of my son and grandson for seeing the value and importance of this event.

To ease the long wait, throughout the building they had placed screens which looped the major events of Glenn’s life, especially that of the takeoff of Glenn shoehorned into his Friendship 7 capsule atop the Mercury-Atlas 6 rocket and the nail-biting reentry back to earth. This was followed by the parachute landing into the ocean and his jubilant lift onto the carrier. Even the ticker-tape parade, and finally at age 77, his launch as the oldest astronaut ever as crew on STS-95, the Shuttle Discovery, all that by itself was eye-opening stuff for Marin. As I mentioned, it was a good moment in time.


Vincent Van Gogh – Our town has a world-class Art Museum, and this fall they outdid themselves. The museum assembled an exhibition titled, Into the Undergrowth. And it is stunning!

Placed in one section was an array of Van Gogh’s woodland themed paintings, plus an amazing assembling of works by artists such as, Théodore Rousseau, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and even Toulouse Lautrec; all feeding into the ‘Undergrowth’ theme. All a fabulous play on light and dark, sun and shade, and reflection of water.

On display are over 20 pieces from private collections and museums across the US, Europe, and Asia all to be seen in one place.

What became a bonus for me was the focus on Van Gogh’s letter writing passion. As a bit of information, Vincent had a younger brother, Theo (by four years). Theo became Vincent’s patron and enjoyed this role. Especially during the years where Vincent was in France and Theo living in Holland there was a constant stream of letters.

Letter writing, especially by pen and in longhand has become a lost art. Nowhere visible was the bland standard so embedded in today’s texting phobic communication, a line such as; “cu gtg ?4U cm 88” (See you got to go, I have a question for you call me, bye bye) Vincent couldn’t even imagine.

Especially during Van Gogh’s mental crisis periods where he was institutionalized his sharing and outpourings are amazing. View this link to a full collection of his letters translated to English and all digitized – grab a mid-morning cup of tea, sit back, relax, and transport yourself back to the 1880s. See you there.


Animal Planet – For these past few days I have begun to feel that I am living in an Alfred Hitchcock move. IMG_20161213_154030723_HDR I have the distinct feeling that I am on the set of his; The Birds (1963). Right outside of my office window are some trees. This week flocks of black Sparrow sized birds have descended on these very trees. Apparently there is a small bud/nut which is their food source. In the meantime the swarming continues.

Finis – My walks have transferred to the gym. It’s partly due to weather, partly due to Marcia’s insistence that I have developed the ‘Pastoor’ walk (shoulders slouched forward Gorilla style with arms dangling). This week I sat for an hour with a trainer and am now spending much time with a wide array of rubber bands of varying thicknesses. It’s going so well that I have lost feeling in my left shoulder (I am kidding of course).

Next Saturday there will NOT be any ‘Ramblings’ – we’ll be driving back to the ‘Nati’ from Michigan. I’ll shoot for something Christmas morning. If not, have a joyous and blessed Christmas, and on Saturday, a very Happy Hanukah.

Make it a great week everyone.



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