It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas!

It’s snowing at!  To show it off, I’ve gone to the black background for a little while.

In Alexandria, VA, it’s a bit dreary and is spritzing off and on.  This is important because I finally “renewed” my driver’s license.  Which means a picture.  I told the fellow who took it that my last 2 pictures were quite good (I’m not photogenic), so the pressure was on.  He said it turned out good, but I haven’t seen it yet, so the jury’s still out.  (VA no longer issues drivers’ licenses in person.)  It will likely be quite a shock since I got my hair cut yesterday, and even more color was cut off.  It’s really light.  Maybe I’ll just pretend it’s platinum blond.

To celebrate, I made my yearly trek to the liquor store for my yearly bottle of  scotch—Johnny Walker Red.  I’m secure enough in my scotch drinking that I don’t have to pretend to prefer single malt.  Besides, it’s a much more Christmasy color.  The store also had Old Overholt, which I was tempted to buy just for the name.  But I resisted.

And since it was a soup kind of day, I stopped at Panera for lunch—”grown-up” grilled cheese and tomato soup.  To quote Sam Winchester in the case of the meadowsweet Christmas wreath, “It was yummy.”


Childhood Revisited

My Earliest Memory

And how appropriate for the season!

A permanent traumas was averted

Entertaining guests. Permanent trauma averted.

Harken back to a slower, quieter time:  the mid-20th century, an age without digital cameras, when it took a few months to fill up the roll of film and get it developed.

Christmas day:  One 3½-year-old went to bed the night before, thinking of Santa Claus on his rounds, and worried she wouldn’t be able to sleep for all the excitement.

But I did fall asleep, which made the night pass more quickly.

As usual, I was the first one awake Christmas morning.  But I had orders not to go downstairs until my parents and older brother woke up.  It’s amazing that such an unruly, difficult child would obey.  But Christmas was special, and waiting just prolonged the happiness.

When the time finally came, we rambled down the stairs.  The (colored) lights were twinkling on the Christmas tree, and several presents which hadn’t been there the night before beckoned us.  My mother put on a pot of coffee for the grown-ups, but we kids didn’t need any additional stimulation.

One medium-sized box was the last to be opened—a Jack in the Box!  I put my face close to the lid and turned the handle.  A familiar tune played.

All around the Mulberry Bush
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey thought it was all in fun.

It’s the devil!  Right in my face! 

…goes the weasel.

It scared the living daylights out of me!  I began to sob and continued for an indeterminate amount of time.

Eventually I calmed down and took a closer look.  It wasn’t the devil, it was a clown.  In my defense, though, it was a pretty ugly clown.  And a little scary, especially when one’s face was just a couple inches away.

Turns out it was a pretty good present.  I played with it for hours that day.  Not too many months later, the clown’s felt hat had been torn off, but the music still played, and the clown still popped out on cue.  It continued to entertain me for a very long time.

When I look back, I’m always amazed that, even at that young age, I knew about God and the devil, and the true Christian meaning of Christmas.  It’s something we tend to forget in this modern era of materialism and over-commercialism.

[This post was written in response to a prompt from your friends at’s Daily Post.]