December 7th

Hope all is warm and well in everyone’s home. Old jack frost has moved in and is nipping at everyone’s fingers, toes, and nose. It is certainly a good day to be inside keeping warm. We top the scale today at fifteen degrees. The next ten days aren’t going to vary but a degree or so.

Growing up we would have loved it because the fireman would have hosed the rinks down and the ice would be frozen solid and ready for skating.

Growing up in a mining town we had rinks everywhere. The turned mine dump areas into rinks. The baseball fields became rinks and some of the parks had ice skating rinks. There were rinks every where.

I started skating at the age of two. I had double blade skates that had been my sister. My father loved skating and took both my sister and I skating down at the baseball park. You could see it from our house. Mom would stay home and fix something warm for us to eat when we were done.

Bundled up in layer upon layer of clothing under your  snow suit,  you were lucky if you could move. I can remember being so stiff from layers that I couldn’t bend. If I fell down someone had to set me back up.

Amazing how fast a young child can learn to skate. Then once you learned your balance you progressed to the signal blades and got your first pair of brand new skates for Christmas. WOW! Opening that box was a surprise. It had old wooden guards to protect the runners. I couldn’t put them on, I always needed help but I could get them off.

Then the crisp sound of the frozen cold air. How about blowing air just to see your own air. We use to laugh and say see I can smoke too! Never liked my nose cold though and I still don’t but we never ever had ski masks what’s up with that. We were tough with Rosie red cheeks. When you couldn’t feel your nose anymore it was time to go home. The worst part was having to walk up hill when your legs and feet were exhausted. Some days you just wanted to crawl through the snow on your hands and knees. But an hour inside warming up and you were begging to go again.  Oh I wish I was still that resilient.

My children never had the opportunity to learn to skate. I am sorry for that. I think every child should learn to ice skate and enjoy outdoor winter sports and not just skiing.

This would be the time of month when we would start count down until Christmas vacation looking forward to it with eager anticipation. We never heard of a snow day. The only way the school would close was if the furnace went out and that just didn’t happen no matter how hard we prayed for it.

Remember how great it was when that first snow fall came. IT was like a blanket of freshness covered the land. My mom was always happy because she would say “finally now it will kill some those germs.”  Never quite understood that as a child because everyone got sick during the winter not the summer. Oh well somethings just don’t make sense when you are young.

Even the train whistle sounds louder in the cold air. Never understood that.

Remember the icicles hanging from the roofs. We would try to get the longest one we could. We use to suck on them as we walked to school.

Then there was always someone crazy enough to put their tongue on metal and have it stick there. Not me “Ouch” nothing like pulling your skin off or having to have hot water to get you lose.

The schools were always cold and I was always glad my mom made me where sweaters to school.

I remember the first year of my teaching. I had heard how cold it got along the highland. We were twenty miles from the Canadian border and twenty miles from the North Dakota Border in a town called Plentywood. When I stood in front of the chalk board the wind blew in from outside and entered the room through the electric outlet. Talk about a cold chill running through you. I learned not to use the chalkboard during the coldest months.

The best school lunches I have ever seen in any of the schools I have worked in has always been their chili and cinnamon roll lunches. Great way to warm you on a cold day. Too bad they don’t serve hot chocolate too.

Growing up mom always had something hot on the stove whether it was soup, chili, stew, or a tea-pot. We never ever went through the winter without something hot to warm our innards,

Now as I look out my window and I still feel cool. I think of all the homeless people during this cold time of year. I don’t understand how the world has gotten in such poor shape. With so many empty houses why is it we can’t come up with a solution for our poverty.

Wouldn’t it be better to keep people in their homes then to have them sitting empty?

This Holiday season I will pray for an end to poverty and hope for a better future. Our children need something to look forward to in their lifetime.

Without hope there is no purpose, without faith there is no direction, without love hatred and evil grows. It is a time for us to provide the Purpose that hope can provide, the faith to sustain direction in one’s life, and love to erase all evil and hatred in the world.

Today I am reminded of this song.

The Christmas Song
(Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) : Lyrics
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
 Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
 Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
 And folks dressed up like Eskimos.
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
 Help to make the season bright.
 Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
 Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
They know that Santa's on his way;
 He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
 And every mother's child is going to spy,
 To see if reindeer really know how to fly.
And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
 To kids from one to ninety-two,
 Although its been said many times, many ways,
 A very Merry Christmas to you



For now I will leave you all with Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays .
Please stay safe and warm.


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