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A Share from the Netherlands

I love when Sam writes a post and I get to share it with my readership. It certainly makes my Blogging easy. 2017 saw Zed deployed to the Gulf and Sam and the children nestled down in Allen, MD with Pappy & G. (That would be Jeff & Kathryn) Today you get to see the family from a distance 3896.60 miles away. When we spoke with Sam yesterday she said it was a balmy 60 degrees. Enjoy our distant Grands and Greats

December 25, 2018 / c12samb

Fröhliche Weihnachten

Merry Christmas from Germany…well the Netherlands. Live in one country and work in another, pretty cool concept.

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This was our first year recording the chaos thanks to an early gift, 1.5hr of opening gifts and a full day of lounging and playing with them. I tried to upload the pictures in progression of the events.

1966

It’s Christmas Eve put the computer away, is what she said to me. But I have friends out there waiting to hear from me. Well wait until later before you go to bed, unless you hear the bells, on Santa’s sled.

I’ve got to send greetings to those who follow me, this is one day I just can’t let pass. Well right now we’ve got to get ready and, get to Mass, there is someone more important to who we must thank, and before church we need gas in the tank. So I log off the keys and clean up my act. If we don’t hurry, we’ll stand in the back.

We fill up the tank and drive to the church, I’m driving too fast, and we stop with a lurch. We’re greeted by the Priest with a skeptical stare, I’m thinking he saw us, speeding in there. We find us a seat and just settle in, as the priest and the Alter Boy’s march does begin.

The opening prayer is on Christmas and the birth of Christ, it’s the season of Joy and, everyone’s so nice. The theme of the Homily is to go forth and be kind, I turn to the wife and just start to smile, I’ve been kind to the woman for quite a while. Fifty-three years together are we, I shut my eyes and our first Christmas Mass together I see.

It was 1966 in New Jersey, a cold winter’s night when the two of us walked through thunder and snow. It was 8/10 of a mile to the church, the wind gusts were blowing 25 knots or so. There was something so special with everything white, I remember that walk, like it was this Holy Night.

Back at my grandmothers home after Mass, we were offered Mogen David wine, in a fancy cut glass. Joining us there were Aunt Maude and Uncle Jim. When I was little, every time they would depart, he would give me a dime. Those memories way back to a long-ago time, bring genuine joy and, I remember the Homily, Be Kind! theRooster, 2018

Reflecting Back

There are many great memories of Christmas with our families. While living in Connecticut, we would have Christmas Day at home and then in a day or two drive to New Jersey and Delaware to celebrate with our respective families there. This, of course, was a grand time for the kids when they were young. Santa seemed to always leave a few out of state gifts for our three, what a treat.

That first Christmas Mass together was attended at Holy Maternity Catholic church in Audubon, NJ. We walked the 8/10 of a mile from my grandmother’s house at W. Pine and 4th Ave. You can check the weather at the Wunderground site below. Twas, not a night fit for man or beast, but we were young, so what the hell.

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An excellent remembrance for me was a Christmas Eve I had to work many years ago. I was a young State Trooper and my assignment on this eve was I-84 between Rt. 32 and the Massachusetts State Line. It was called the Upper Patrol. On this night I exchanged my big grey Stetson for a red floppy Santa’s hat, big white tassel on end and all.

If my memory serves me correctly, it was a relatively quiet evening. I would make a few stops, give some verbal warnings. I would hand out candy canes to those I came in contact with and wish them a Merry Christmas and ask them to please drive safely as they continued their journey. After the shift was over, I’d enter our home quietly, my lady was waiting up, and we would have a bit of quiet time and last minute wrapping together. Those were the days my friends.  

This past week saw us journey North to CT to visit our son and his family. We would take a leisurely route and cross into NY via the Bear MT. bridge.

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A stop at the 202 diner in Cortlandt provided nourishment.

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It was only a three-day visit, but it was grand to be with those who are near and dear to our hearts. We had a meal at our favorite haunt when visiting Tolland, Camille’s. I got to spend a few hours with an old member of the Thin Blue Line, #467. We drank coffee at Dunkin Donut’s and told war stories for a couple of hours. I spent time with a brother-in-law, talking clocks and wine racks. He’s quite a Woodworker.

Yes, Christmas time is great for bringing us together. I thank the good Lord for giving me and the little women good health to travel and the ability to wish all of you who take a gander at the Blog from time to time a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

As I close, remember the theme from the Homily at Mass, BE KIND!

The weather on 24 December 1966 in the greater Philadelphia area.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Merry Christmas

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From the Rooster and his flock, a very Merry Christmas from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Herself, kids and a grand or two are making cookies on this Sunday a week before Christmas eve. My server, Bloo Surf is pulling one of it’s becoming frequent non functioning days. So, I travel the 3.5 miles to eldest daughter’s home and steal some bits of her band width.

Net neutrality, be damned the poor forgotten rural settlers. Seems my net is in neutral most of the time. I’d settle for a slow 2nd gear now and then on a semi regular basis.

Yesterday afternoon we joined a family that owns a large commercial nursery for a festivity that has gone on for a number of years. The invitees car pool to the nursery and then get to ride in a bus, car or P/U truck to gather festive greenery from the wild to take home for household decorations. The fact that we had a heavy wet nine inches of snow a week ago made the gathering quite easy. So many trees and bushes were relieved of branches that the pickings were easy.

If you need to learn the hows and whys of Holiday greenery check out funflowerfacts.

At one time during our outing we walked the grounds of Green Hill Church, built in 1733. Herself and the Rooster lived in and managed a farm dating to 1733 also. The bricks in the church and the home we lived in came from the same source back in the day.

Herself among the grave markers and the church as it sits today on the banks of the Wicomico River. https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/Wicomico/WI-2.pdf

Once the gathering was finished we (30+) invitees returned to the home of the nursery owners for some fine Mulled Cider, soup and sandwiches all finished off with home made cookies. Thank you Sylvia and Harrison for your friendship and generosity.

I slept well last night with all the fresh air and good food. Calories be damned, it’s Christmas.

Mercy

The Dalai Lama said:   “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

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Quite often in life I have heard the words, “Oh Mercy Me.” Just what does this mean I ask. Well, in reading a recent book, 
“Mercy means that we no longer constantly judge everyone’s large and tiny failures, foolish hearts, dubious convictions, and inevitable bad behavior. We will never do this perfectly, but how do we do it better? How do we mostly hold people we’ve encountered with the understanding of a wise, caring mother who has seen it all, knows that we all struggle, knows that on the inside we’re as vulnerable as a colony of rabbits?”  A blogger I follow used those words from Anne Lamott’s new book, Hallelujah Anyway- Rediscovering Mercy.”  
That question (judgement of others,) is one I have recently been asking myself, very recently in fact. Especially when herself gives me that look. You all know what that look is, right?  _
The Oxford dictionary in it’s “Synonym Study” has this to say about Mercy:  If you want to win friends and influence people, it’s best to start with benevolence, a general term for goodwill and kindness. Charity is even better, suggesting forbearance and generous giving but also meaning tolerance and understanding of others. Compassion, which is a feeling of sympathy or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune, will put you one step closer to sainthood and showing mercy will practically guarantee it. Aside from it’s religious overtones, mercy means compassion or kindness in our treatment of others. 
Way back in 1971 Marvin Gaye wrote and sang about the Ecology and used that saying “Mercy Me.”
Whoa, oh, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Whoa, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no
Oil wasted on the oceans
And upon our seas, fish full of mercury
Oh, oh, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no
Radiation underground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
Oh, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land?
How much more abuse from man can she stand?
Oh, no, no, no
My sweet Lord
No, no, no, no, no
My, my, my Lord
My sweet Lord
Ecologically speaking, I get that look when I toss a recyclable in the trash can. “Oh mercy me, I’ve erred again.”
During this season of Christmas I shall make every effort to show a little “Mercy.” I’m not looking for Sainthood, just a little compassion and kindness towards others. If I don’t get “that look,” quite so often I’ll know I’m making progress with both people and recyclables.
May you all enjoy this Christmas season and may a bit of Mercy enter our hearts.

Merry Christmas from the Rooster’s Coop

Horrible, that is the only word to describe the connectivity to the Internet several days prior to December 25th. I had my electronic card ready to post and this effort was to no avail. Several times I connected but the speed was such that getting it into cyber space would not occur. Finally I am here at an alternate site, thank you Jeffrey and Kathryn for allowing me to tap into the world of 2016.

So here goes my Christmas Card a day late.

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Merry Christmas from our coop to yours.

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The Rooster and Herself

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Our newest addition Benjamin Franklin Fiddler, (a real BFF) nine weeks old.

Simon

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Casper

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The Girls

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Rooster LogoSemper-fidelis