Good morning all:

Weekly seasonal quote:

”Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” – Dr. Seuss

This morning, Oh the weather outside is frightful. But the coffee so is delightful. And since I’ve no place to go, let it……. –  and you know the rest. Just let me say that sitting here, dark outside, in a very quiet house, drinking fresh coffee, and being all cozy in a warm fleece jacket means that it’s a perfect time to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Marcia suggested, last night, that I sit down and write some of this post—maybe all of it. I just can’t do that, it just doesn’t feel right. Besides, I was in the final couple of chapters of reading Laura Hillenbrand’s (she of best selling Seabiscuit fame) latest work: Unbroken; A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. An amazing story, one which I could not put down.

It’s the true story of Louie Zamperini (still active and now nearly 95), incorrigible in his youth, who overcame his problems through running, and eventually was selected to be a member on the 1936 US Olympic team in Berlin as a distance runner. In 1943, now a bombardier in the pacific war theater he crashed and spent 46 days on a two by six foot raft. Eventually picked up by the Japanese he was kept in a series of POW camps—one more brutal than the other. His dealing with the depth of despair and the bitter hate he experienced as the demons of post-war trauma took hold of him, and his eventual turnaround, makes for an amazing, motivating, and moving story.

Taking into consideration this is the Christmas season I realized that this book was not only a great read, but an inspiration on many levels. Enjoy reading? Stop reading this tripe and hustle to pick up a copy.

Naples – Jason’s car had to be taken in. It ran fine except the one front brake kept grabbing. Probably just a small problem, easily fixed. Wrong. The years had taken its toll and the mechanics said that once they got started they had no idea where the problems would stop. Rust is an insidious and horrible thing. Jason loved that old Diesel and now, instantly, it had become a ‘parts’ car.

Talking with brother George and his car involvement he came up with a solution. He had one he was getting ready to unload and would it be something for Jason? The price would be just right; and it was.

Last Monday morning Jason and I flew to Naples, spending a wonderful evening with Sandy and George catching up. We walked and dined around the shore and the lit-up little downtown of Naples. Got introduced to a new must stop at kind of place; the cupcake joint, offering over 50 types of cupcakes (and coffee for me). Caught a few hours of sleep, then at dawn we both scrambled into Jason’s new wheels and drove the 1,000 miles home. Marcia only grunted when I climbed into bed a little after midnight.

Jason is thrilled. Cathy is thrilled. Marin and Dinah are thrilled. Goodwill, the new recipient of the old ‘beast’, is also thrilled.

Thanks so much guys.

What’s going on? – After getting back, the mails delivered a letter from our prosecuting attorney advising that one of the two juveniles arrested for burglarizing our home last summer had been released due to lack of prosecution? Huh? For this I sat in a miserable waiting room for over three hours, for this I made sure to be available for the postponement date?

All the drive home from Florida regular gas was pretty well in the $2.95 to $2.98 range. The next day I began to watch the evening news when it was announced that gasoline had jumped nearly 50 cents a gallon. I grabbed my phone and punched the “gas-buddy” app which said that my favorite nearby gas station was still at $3.02. Bam! I was out of the door and was hightailing it up the road. What greeted me was a blazing sign proclaiming “Regular $3.38”. I knew of one other place that is slower to raise their prices and about a mile away filled up for $3.18. Nobody seems to really know why, in one fell swoop, gas jumped that much. It would seem that in most any other business such a coordinated price increase  would warrant being scrutinized for price fixing.

On a positive “what’s going on” note is our experience in Atlanta. Jason and I had a lengthy layover and I remembered that the underground walkway leading from terminal T had a wonderful display of life-sized sculptures. Most sculpted in stone, these were made by artists from Zimbabwe and they are stunning. So, instead of sitting gateside being jostled by folk, take a moment and view this mini-museum of great art. Good stuff can be found anywhere, even an airport.

Closing – Merry Christmas to everyone. This year try to make the real meaning of the season have more value than seeing how large the pile of wrapping paper can become. Along with the traditional expressions of love, consider also “civility”, “decency”, “grace”, and “listening”. Then, enjoy a bit of chaos this weekend; remember, no chaos means no life.

Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers,
Dirk

Comments are closed.