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Friday, January 11, 2008

Santa in the Off-Season

We all know that during the off-season, Santa is busy making the toys he'll need to deliver the following Christmas.

[Hey! A rabbit trail! Not only is Santa omniscient (He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake...), he's also prescient! How else would he know how many of which toys he should be making?]

Anyway...back to the main road.... Sure, Santa spends his summers making toys for good little girls and boys, but who can make toys 24/7?! So what does Santa do on his days off? He shops at Wal~Mart! "Pshaw!" you say? I was there, I tell you! I saw it with my own two eyes!

OK, here's what happened.... I was in Wal~Mart the other day, buying a few groceries, checking out the clearance racks, "same old-same old", when I heard it. Two identical little voices said in stereo, "Mommy, look!" Since my name is Mommy, I instinctively looked.

There, in the cereal aisle, was a cart laden with two matching preschool boys. Eyes wide open, mouths agape, index fingers clearly pointing. As I turned to follow the aim of the little pointers, I heard their voices again—"Mommy, look! It's Santa Claus!"

At the same moment, my gaze arrived at the fingers' target. Pushing his cart past the corn flakes was an older looking man—jeans and red plaid flannel shirt, gray stocking cap on his head, full white beard hiding his chin, and what could be termed the appropriate body type. He smiled sheepishly, as if this wasn't the first time he'd heard it. The mom shushed her boys with some vague comment and all the players in the scene moved on.

Intrigued, I followed "Santa" through the store, waiting to see if it happened again. A couple aisles over, I saw my friend, Judy. We made the usual chit-chat, but I was bursting to tell someone what I'd just witnessed.

"Judy, I just saw the cutest thing! Two little guys thought he," I flicked my eyes toward the Man in Red, "was Santa!"

We giggled together, and just as she started to say, "Oh, how funny," her little boy piped up, "Look, Mommy! There's Santa!" Judy and I grinned at each other and went our separate ways. I continued to follow the Man in Red as he finished his shopping and went through the checkout. I can tell you that "Santa" likes Red Baron pizza and Classic Coke, but there's also somebody at the North Pole who eats stir-fry and drinks Gatorade!

When asked about his identity, the Man in Red claimed that his name was "Lloyd", and that he was (get this!) a schoolteacher! But as you know, all the Big Shots have an alter ego—just look at Clark Kent and Peter Parker. Come to think of it, a teacher's calendar might work pretty well for Santa! He'd have summers off to spend in the workshop, and a two week break at Christmas to take care of last minute details before delivery.

I wonder if, now that he's been identified, he'll have to move on, like the Witness Protection Program? If he does, maybe come spring he should consider trimming his beard down to a goatee. Then, he could think about trying a more plausible secret identity—like...say...
Colonel Sanders?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another parody....

Status Quo
(to the tune of "Let It Snow")

Oh the relatives think it’s frightful
The way we act so spiteful
But since we refuse to grow
Status quo! Status quo! Status quo!

It seems there is just no stopping
This marital bellyflopping
Our behavior is really low
Status quo! Status quo! Status quo!

Each determined that we are right
Ev’ry contact turns into a storm
If we’re going to stop this fight
We’ll have to use chloroform

Well, we’ve heard there are folks a-sighing
And forever "goo-goo eye"-ing
What it's like we will never know
Status quo! Status quo! Status quo!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Caramel Corn!

I promised everybody at the Blog Party that I'd share the recipe for the Caramel Corn that almost was—

1/4 cup pancake syrup
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
dash of salt

Cook in microwave-safe container on High for TWO minutes (glass is best). Stir. Cook on High for approximately 4 minutes—until mixture has boiled for 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 teaspoom baking soda. Stir until foamy.

Immediately, pour over 4 quarts (16 cups) of popped popcorn in a paper grocery bag. Close bag and shake vigorously. Pour onto waxed paper or cookie sheet to cool. Guard vigilantly!


Some of my blogging buddies were hearing stories last night of my granddaughter's recent discovery of chocolate. Here's a little photo-documentary....

When Grandpa gives you chocolate, he doesn't skimp!

Chocolate is messy...

...REALLY messy...

...but it sure can make you smile!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Dad!

It’s been a whole year since you stepped across Heaven’s threshold. Does it seem to you like it’s been that long? Is it as if only an instant has passed, or does it feel like you’ve always been there?

Sometimes for me, it’s as if you’ve been gone a long, long time. Then there are the days when it feels as if it was only a moment ago that your pastor called, and as gently as he could, shared the news that broke my heart and forever altered my life’s landscape.

What’s Heaven like, Dad? I know you’re having a great time “hangin’ out” with Jesus. You and He always seemed like such good friends. What about all the other stuff we imagined? What’s it like not to have hay fever or need glasses? Was I right, and you finally like coconut? Or is it like you thought, and there is no coconut in Heaven?

Have you had a chance to meet any of the “big names” yet? Who did you talk to first? As much as you read the epistles, I bet you picked Paul, huh? ‘Course, you really liked the psalms, too, so maybe your first choice was David?

We’re all “pluggin’ along” here, living for Jesus and trying to make you proud. I’ve spent some time looking back at your life, seeing and hearing the life-changing difference you made for so many people in your quiet, unobtrusive way. You’ve given me a lot to think about, Dad, and set a high standard to reach for. But you always were encouraging me to “work up to my potential”!

Well, I can’t talk too long. My job here isn’t done. Mom’s doing OK. You’d be proud of her. Yeah, I know that’s nothing new--you always were! You’d be pleased, too, at how we all look out for her, and how we always say “I love you,” whenever we say “goodbye”--to her and to each other. Tell all my grandparents “Hi!” and give them my love. I don’t know yet when I’ll be arriving, but I promise I’ll be coming to see you all.

Until that day, know that I love you and I’m proud to be recognized as...

Your Daughter,