Do you suppose God has a sense of humor or likes a good
prank? I wrote a letter to you earlier but by tonight’s reading I found it lacked inspiration. I trashed
most of it and started back in like a coal miner digging friends out from a cave in. Writing feels like digging
into something, I like the work but it’s not always easy. After a little time I had a decent letter but then it
happened, my computer blinked and that letter left the screen. I pounded the desk in anger and yelled some
non-family friendly words. Lisa just kissed me and exited stage right for bed.
Maybe that other letter was just too
contrived to be published. I was very tired and might have been trying too hard to be funny or straining to be clever.
That little blip of poor computer programming caused my letter to you to disappear but also gave me the chance to write a
better version. I can even remember most of the “gone” letter but none of it seems fresh anymore.
I didn’t desert it, it deserted me.
So what should I say this time? I can tell you that we’re
all doing pretty well around home. The cattle are fine and every animal on this farm was comfortable on Christmas Eve.
I always strive for that each year, a little comfort for everyone. The idea of banishing world hunger or peace for all
parts of the world seems overwhelming and abstract for someone who can’t imagine four billion people. However,
I can give the cattle more straw and I can help my wife clean the house. I guess it’s the little things that count
especially when little things are what you can offer.
Our side of the family celebrates Christmas this week-end.
We’re mostly boys in this family and boys usually celebrate Christmas with the wife’s family. I like the
way we do things, though. Everyone brings soup and bread and a gift to pass. It changes the focus and makes the
evening simple. Dad will make soup like we grew up with only he doesn’t so much dice the vegetables as maybe cut
them in half. I like the big chunks as I thought I was the only one in the world who liked vegetables that big
until he started making soup. It should be one of the nicest evenings of the year.
This is a much different
letter than the one it replaced. I’m even a little different as I will now and forever save my column as I type
it just in case one of those letter-losing electric blips visits me again.
Happy New Year