Looks cold to me

A squirrel on a branch outside our dining room window reduces a walnut to nothingness. The meal took a good quarter-hour.  

Ten things I don’t like about December

  1. Too dark. It’s not just waking up and going to bed in the dark. Where I live, it also means going to work in the dark and coming home in the same. And that’s coming from someone who’s officially retired.
  2. Too cold. Where I live, we’re just not used to it yet.
  3. Too many shoppers. That means long lines at the cash register everywhere.
  4. And all that shopper traffic. Parking lots are full. Traffic lights are backed up.
  5. Everybody’s snarly. Can’t blame them. So am I.
  6. Santa Claus ditties. They’re coming out of ceilings everywhere. They have nothing to do with the birth of the Christ Child.
  7. Lying to innocent children. These presents don’t come from a fat man in a red suit, for starters. He doesn’t come down a chimney anywhere in the world. And telling them all this blarmy undermines their trust in anything else we tell them, especially about Jesus.
  8. Guilt, paralysis, and panic. For guys, especially, this hits hard about three days before the big event, when we still haven’t figured out what to get anyone.
  9. Everything else stops. Do I really need to explain this?
  10. It’s all about the Holiday Season. Or more accurately, holiday shopping. Let’s be honest and admit that what’s happening has very little to do with what should be happening.

How about a few firsts?

Yesterday was not only the first day of December, it was also the first day of Advent.

(Make that Advent in the Western Christian calender, which runs between 21 and 27 days before Christmas, depending. The Eastern Orthodox faithful, in contrast, observe it as a 40-day fast that began November 15 this year.)

For us, our first snowfall of the year also began yesterday, and it’s already delivered seven inches, a bit under half of what’s expected by tomorrow morning.

My wife was pleased to have all of this also fall into the extended Thanksgiving Day weekend, a welcome break in what’s been a chaotic schedule.

How’s the month kicking off for you?

Snow’s piled up atop the thermometer on the tree trunk. Welcome to December where we live.

 

Antique farmers’ forks

As a child, I was so fond of a bone-handle fork at my grandparents’ that I always got to eat with it whenever I visited. Its design is simple, the metal something other than silver or stainless steel. I still find it elegant and rightly weighted in the hand. I imagine they came to western Ohio in a Conestoga wagon from Lancaster or York county, Pennsylvania.

A lingering insight on marital splits

The Divorce Culture, by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997, 224 pages, $24) – reviewed by Jean E. Milofsky, The Colorado Review, fall 1997:

“Whatever else divorce is, it is fundamentally a loss. As a writer friend of mine once said, ‘It’s like death except no one says nice things about you.’ In divorce one loses not only the relationship with one’s spouse, but also one’s location in the social fabric. Friends fade away, and families are thrown into turmoil. Then there are the inevitable economic losses, which Barbara Dafoe Whitehead rightly claims fall disproportionately on women. Nowhere in her polemic against divorce, however, does Whitehead conceptualize divorce as a loss. Rather, with increasing insistence as the book goes on, she views it as an expression of individual freedom in a highly libertarian age.” …

“Whitehead’s concept of divorce as an expression of unfettered liberty ignores what every divorcing individual realizes – no choice is without consequence, no decision is without obligation or work, and adult freedom never really comes from throwing off chains.”

~*~

Counter with James Dobson’s insistence that “love at first sight” is really just infatuation and therefore selfish, while love is other-focused.