Three scenes:

My husband and I sat in a 60s-type cafe and I ordered a basket of fried shrimp. They brought me cheese sticks, so I re-ordered. With the shrimp, the waitress brought a plastic bottle of catsup. With a flip of her wrist, catsup flew from the bottle down the front of my white v-neck tee. “I only take lemon with my shrimp,” I said.

When I entered my husband’s office, he said, “The bookstore called and wants to deliver the book you ordered. It seems they have the wrong address. They also need the book title again.” I couldn’t call them back because I couldn’t remember the book I ordered. The only thing that came to mind was John Grisham’s Client. And I’d already read that.

We had chosen beautiful paper to wrap a gift for our neighbor’s grandchild. We crossed the road to present it to them. Standing in their yard, my husband unwrapped the gift and handed it to them.

THEN I WOKE UP! Being warned in a dream of seemingly “biblical proportions”, I decided that I should proceed through the coming day with great care.

Thoughts Released

Christmas Visitors

A visitor came Christmas morning, and he is staying. He’s nearly six feet tall, wooden, purchased from an antique shop. No, not alive, but he is definitely a presence. He provides accommodation upon his shelves for those of lesser stature. Pretty nifty, huh?

It isn’t large enough to hold my entire collection of nutcrackers, but it shows off a few to the best advantage. He makes me smile.

We had other visitors on Christmas Eve: Three of them. No, they weren’t The Three Kings, but they were three trekkers. They were traveling on a mercy mission, and we were glad to invite them to our table. For a brief time, we could offer them shelter, food, and fellowship. We couldn’t share their entire burden, but they left with a lighter load. They went on their journey with a smile.

The Lord says whatsoever you do for the least of your brothers and sisters, you do it unto me. Even the least you can do for those you come in contact with may be exactly right.

Thoughts Released

Christmas For Real

Our eyes grow bleary viewing the same-old, same-old TV Christmas offerings, starting in July. The scripts are mostly boiler plate with new hometowns, characters with differing careers, each seeking fulfillment through the holiday festivals, new-found romance, and iced with a touch of nostalgia. You may yearn to discover such a place. But at the end, the film’s denouement may be unsatisfying, leaving unanswered questions.

I find myself looking for the children’s cartoon favorites: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Clause Is Coming to Town–you know the genre. These stories seem to be saved for the Christmas Season, not appearing in July.

To me, Christmas actually comes when I’m privileged to see the children’s Christmas presentation at church. I’ve witnessed the chaos at the practices when the spirit of Christmas anticipation enlivens the kids to the point of mob mania. But put on the costumes, and a miracle happens. Mary and Joseph eye the doll in the manger differently. The little girls clothed in white dresses and fluffy wings almost become angelic. The Magi stand tall and stately, proudly holding their shiny gifts.

It wasn’t perfect. One shepherd strayed away with his sheep. One shepherd opted to stay off-stage. One wiseman didn’t want to give up his present to the baby Jesus. But these minor flaws simply added the spice of childhood.

Now, for me, Christmas can come.


New Words and Phrases

For My Writer and Reader Friends

Words are fun for me: scrabble; crossword puzzles; Readers’ Digest word definition section. I love attending parties where we’re challenged to find as many words as possible out of a larger word. I do hate the puzzles where you’re asked to ‘find’ a word  in a mishmash of letters strung up and down within a grid. By the time I’ve encircled a couple of words, these lines block out the other words that I’m supposed to find.

Two new terms came to my attention lately: alpha privative; peripety. (Each of the authors who introduced these to me had written stacks of books, probably as tall as they are.)

Alpha privative is a prefix attached to the front of a positive word that deprives the value of the stem word. Examples: a, un, dis. Moral to amoral; happy to unhappy; satisfied to dissatisfied. You know lots of them!

Since I deduced that since alpha in Greek meant beginning that there should be an omega that we could put on the end of a sentence that also could negate the meaning of the stem word. I couldn’t find any. But we English-speaking people are inventive, and we found a way around that. We say, for example, “I will give you a hundred dollars” then pause a few seconds and add ‘not’. That’s our omega addition. It works.

Peripety means a sudden or unexpected reversal. I don’t think we can tie in alpha privative to a positive expectation which, that when withheld, would cause peripety. I suppose some authors might even be able to do this by creating a situation that goes from good to bad. To me, the word peripety is just fun to say. I’ll not be using it.