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Showing posts from December, 2020

Christmas Bells

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Editor's note:  In this Christmas season of 2020, we felt moved to post something that expressed, for us, the unusual nature of this year. We were reminded of the Christmas of 1863 when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem "Christmas Bells," which expressed his feelings during a challenging year.  Several years earlier, his wife, Frances, was accidentally killed in a fire. Then in 1862, his oldest son, Charles, enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War. In November 1863, Charles was seriously wounded in the Battle of Mine Run. Thus, on Christmas Day, Henry wrote the following words, expressing his feelings of remorse but also of hope. Today, we feel they speak solace to many who have faced loss recently. In addition, the poem conveys confidence that we will learn to overcome the discord and strife which currently divides us. I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play,      and wild and sweet      The words

Winter Sky

By Ashlin Awerkamp deep black darkness opens pale gray clouds flatten faint milky flakes drift frigid silver wind cuts silky ivory snow enshrouds fragile dusky night stills glimmering crystal sun rises icy blue sky revealed

The Dairy Farmer's Christmas

By Jarom J. Petrich The farmer’s day began before the morning sun’s first light, But before he’d finished all his chores it was slipping into night. It was Christmas Eve, so his wife and kids had laughed and trimmed the tree Yet the farmer thought without much joy, what’s Christmas done for me? That Christmas Eve he’d stayed up late to help a cow give birth And as he trudged back to the house he laughed with little mirth. A perfect calf was born that night, but as his luck would be, God had got the gender ‘wrong’, instead it was a he. He’d hoped for a Christmas present that would be a two for one. A baby cow would grow the herd, but bulls , he wanted none. A dairy farm has little use for a newborn Holstein bull, And can ill afford to spare the milk to keep his belly full.  He spoke aloud in mocking tones, “Now what a precious gift!” Instead of feeling Christmas joy, all he felt was miffed. “God ain't so good at giving gifts; why take the time to pray? Ain’t like he cares ‘bout wha

Grokking My Dryer

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  By: Kelly McDonald Some people think design means how it looks. But, of course, if you dig deeper, it’s how it really works. You have to grok what it is all about.  Steve Jobs     I was sitting in my workroom at the end of August, hoping to make some progress on my latest essay before it was time for bed. I was trying to write more, now that we had been sequestered by our cautions to COVID-19. Beverly walked up the stairs to our upper floor, having finished off our laundry’s latest before the 10 p.m. news began. She stopped in to visit me before she entered our bedroom.       “What are you working on?” she inquired while resting her arm on my shoulder. We had a ritual of watching the nightly news together.      “Just trying to capture a few more sentences before I wrap it up for the night,” I replied.      She just stood there, watching what I was doing. Then she tapped me lightly on the shoulder and quietly responded, “I hate to say this, but the dryer is broken.”      I’m no strang